The numbers on abortion law in NZ

For some reason a decision by the US Supreme Court on whether abortion is a constitutional right under their constitution has lead to claims this means NZ could change our abortion laws, if there was a change of Government.

This is farcical. We have had a liberal abortion regime for over 40 years and in 2020 went to an even more liberal regime (and one I support). The third reading had 68 votes in favour and 51 against.

But that was before the 2020 election. Now only 26 MPs remain of the 51 who voted against, and the vast majority will have been replaced by MPs who support the current law. I’d say a vote today would be around 90 – 30. And that isn’t a vote between abortion being legal and illegal – that is a vote between the current very liberal law and the previous law.

Of the 26 MPs remaining who voted against the 2020 law change nine are Labour MPs and 17 are National MPs.

I’d say the chance of abortion laws in New Zealand being made more restrictive in the next five years is less than 1%.

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