Abortion is a crime under the Crimes Act, and is legal only if two consultants agree that the pregnancy would seriously harm the woman’s physical or mental health, or that there is a substantial risk the child would be born seriously disabled.
The Greens want abortion removed from the crime statutes, saying it would reduce stigma and judgment surrounding the procedure. This would mean a woman seeking one would not need external approval.
“The Green Party trusts women to make decisions that are best for them and their whanau/family,” women’s spokeswoman Jan Logie said.
The current practice and current law are out of sync. We effectively have abortion on demand in practice, but the law states that a woman has to prove damage to her mental health to have an abortion. I don’t know of any cases where this is not deemed proved, so it is just an unnecessary bureaucratic step,
Statistics from 2012, the latest available, showed 14,745 abortions were carried out in New Zealand, the lowest number since 1995. The median age of women having an abortion was 25 years and in 62 per cent of cases it was the woman’s first abortion.
It’s good the numbers are falling. My view is abortion should be legal, safe and rare.
The issue is a conscience vote for most MPs. But if I was an MP, I’d support the Greens policy.