Media Release 18 June 2019
Family First has released a new resource to help New Zealanders understand the current abortion law and also the proposals for liberalisation suggested by the Law Commission and promoted by the Labour government.
“We’ve seen widespread confusion and, in some cases, complete misrepresentations of the current law in the public domain. That confusion does not help with the debate happening at the moment over the current status of the law and the proposed changes,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
With the assistance of legal advice, the two-page summary “Abortion Law in New Zealand Q&A: A Guide for Media, Community Leaders and Families” clearly sets out the current law, and the proposed law options. It covers issues such as:
* are women ‘criminalised’ for having an abortion?
* does NZ have abortion on demand?
* what changes are proposed?
* does this mean late-term abortions will become legal?
* what do the proposed law changes leave out?
It also summarises independent polling on the issue, including the recent poll which found strong support for the unborn child having human rights and being legally protected once a heartbeat is detected (which can be between 6–12 weeks), and only a small minority thinking that life doesn’t begin until the child is born. 31% of those who generally support abortion agreed with heartbeat rights for the unborn. Overall, women are far more likely than men to say that life begins at conception.
“The abortion statistics published by Stats NZ today clearly proves that we have abortion on demand in New Zealand.”
“But while radical abortion groups want more liberal time limits, polling at the beginning of last year found that only 4% of New Zealanders want more liberal time limits for abortion. The vast majority of New Zealanders also showed strong support for a restrictive legal framework for accessing abortions. This is in stark contrast to the proposed models put forward by the Law Commission to the Government last year, and goes against calls by groups like Family Planning, ALRANZ and the National Council of Women who are promoting Model A which allows abortion for any reason up to birth.”