Call to change abortion laws

By Regan Paranihi

Organise Aotearoa, Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand, the Victoria University Feminist Organisation and the Feminist Law Society will rally together at 12.30pm today to march from Frank Kitts Park to parliament for reproductive rights.

Organise Aotearoa spokesperson Kate McIntyre says, “The state of abortion rights in New Zealand is embarrassing.”

In 1977, the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act allowed for abortions to be signed off by two GPs in instances where incest or fetal impairment was involved, or if continuing the pregnancy would significantly danger the mother's health or mental health.

McIntyre says unexpected pregnancies can lead to financial strain.

"Poor, working class, and rural women, in particular, feel the weight of our current state of abortion access.  It shouldn't be this difficult."

"We're asking for a choice-based model that trusts us to make informed decisions about our own health, our own bodies, and how we plan our own families.  Just as nobody should be denied the right to continue a pregnancy if they wish to, they also shouldn't be pressured to continue a pregnancy against their will," says McIntyre.

The march will include speeches from Jan Logie from the Green Party, Priyanca Radhakrishnan from the Labour Party, long time women's-rights advocate Sue Bradford and sex workers rights advocate Dame Catherine Healy, followed by live music performances.