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To: The Ministers for Justice, Health and Women's Affairs
Take abortion out of the Crimes Act!
Dear Ministers Clark, Little, and Genter,
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act. Its main purpose was to grudgingly permit abortions, but only in some circumstances. Forty years on, abortion remains a crime in New Zealand.
The effect of this outdated law is that people wanting to end their pregnancies must get two doctors to sign off on their choice, and say that continuing their pregnancy would cause 'serious danger to [their] physical or mental health'.This means they often have to lie about their mental health to get the health care they need. Ninety eight percent of abortions are 'allowed' on the mental health grounds.
It's time for a change and the majority of New Zealanders support this. We call on you to reform the law, remove abortion from the Crimes Act and allow the decision to have an abortion to stay between the person and their GP.
Why is this important?
The 40th anniversary of this law is a great chance to reflect on whether it's working, and it isn't.
In 2017 abortion remains on the Crimes Act , and the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act requires people seeking an abortion and medical staff to jump through hoops (and often lie) to obtain 'approval' for the procedure . Ninety eight percent of abortions are only 'allowed' on the mental health grounds . This is despite the majority of New Zealanders supporting abortion being totally legal .
It's time to reform the law, remove abortion from the Crimes Act, and allow the decision to have an abortion to stay between the person and their GP.