No Public Mandate To Change Abortion Law

Media Release 16 February 2018
Family First NZ says that the Labour government has no mandate to weaken abortion laws and the public has no appetite for the abortion laws to be liberalized.

“The Abortion Supervisory Committee complains that nobody is listening. That is the way it should be. Polling of New Zealanders released last month found significant support for greater time limits on abortion, including from those who generally support abortion. There was surprisingly small support for the current Crimes Act time limit of 20 weeks, and overwhelming rejection of any extension to the limit. There was also strong support for legal safeguards,” says Marina Young, spokesperson for Family First NZ.

“These results confirm that the Labour government has no mandate at all to liberalise the abortions laws. The vast majority of the population – including people who generally support abortion – show strong support and acceptance of the current legal framework and the presence of safeguards around issues such as coercion, standards for providers, and informed consent.”

“In a surprise admission, pro-abortion group ALRANZ admit they don’t want any laws or regulations around abortion to safeguard women. This is actually quite shocking, but fortunately rejected by most NZers. The polling showed that only 4% support changes to the law as proposed by ALRANZ. 53% of those who generally support abortion think the time limit should be less than the current 20 weeks – 29% of abortion supporters say 10 weeks or less. Of those who did pick a time limit, 15 weeks was the median choice, according to Curia Market Research.”

Other safeguards in the current law are supported by the public. 86% support the current legal requirements of providers and premises having to be licensed. 90% oppose sex selective abortions. 76% support doctors being required to verify a woman seeking an abortion is not under any coercion from a 3rd party. And a 2011 poll found that the majority of New Zealanders (64%) believe that women considering an abortion have the right to be fully informed of the medical risks of abortion – and the alternatives.

A 2016 survey asked respondents whether they agreed with the following statement: “Women who have abortions risk harming their mental health as a result of the abortion.” Overall, 46% agreed with the statement, 21% were unsure or didn’t say, and only 33% disagreed. Significantly, strongest agreement with the statement came from the younger 18-40 age bracket (50%).

“Contrary to misrepresentation by pro-abortion groups, New Zealand women are either satisfied with the current regulation of abortion or want it made more restrictive. Women are not made criminals by the current legislative guidelines and protections. To claim otherwise is simply false scaremongering aimed at deceiving people into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand. The existing safeguards are there to protect women from unlicensed premises and coercion, and they are ones most New Zealanders support.”