Skip to main content

To: The NZ Government

Supporting paid leave for women after abortions

Supporting paid leave for women after abortions

Kia ora,

We are a group of students completing Level 3 NCEA at Wellington East Girls’ College and this year in our sociology class we are looking into paid leave for women who have experienced miscarriages and abortions.

We were pleased to find that the ‘Holiday Amendment Bill’ has passed its second reading and if passed, will mean women can access bereavement leave after a miscarriage, however, the current proposal only covers ‘unplanned’ loss of pregnancies. This means that women accessing abortions and terminations cannot take paid leave. We feel that all women should be entitled to leave after a miscarriage or an abortion.

We understand that not all women will feel a sense of loss after an abortion and that abortion is a planned intervention, so the term ‘bereavement leave’ may not be ideal in this case. However, we feel that an opportunity to support women has been missed and could be easily fixed. This is why we are hoping you will consider amending the current Holiday Amendment Bill so that it supports any woman after the end of a pregnancy for any reason.

Most submitters to the Select Committee supported the removal of the word “unplanned” from the Bill to include women who had a planned end to their pregnancy. We feel that this issue may have been sidelined by a concern from pro-choice supporters that the term bereavement, in this case, has implications in the right to life debate. While we are supportive of those concerns we think there must be a straightforward solution that removes the word “unplanned” and the classification of the type of leave itself.

As women, we understand the physical and emotional effects that would come with any end of pregnancy, and we believe this change would benefit women in the workforce across Aotearoa.

This is where we need your help! We are seeking your support to remove the word ‘unplanned’ as the Holiday Amendment Bill is still in the committee of the whole house.

Why is this important?

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a focus under Goal 5 on safe abortion as part of protecting “human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. Target 5.6 seeks to ensure “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences”.

We believe that the Holiday Amendment Bill act could be changed to better suit the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to better support women in Aotearoa.

We hope you consider our suggestion as young people and women going into the workforce. As a society, we believe we need to do more to ensure women have equal rights and have equitable working conditions.

Thank you for helping us in our fight to remove the word ‘unplanned’ from Ginny Anderson’s Holiday Amendment Bill.

Ngā mihi,
Lorna Hallett
Renee Hamilton
Kate Chu
Athena Kapralos
Ella Murdoch
Evie Harrington
Bella Redshaw
Bintou Fiti-Jaiteh
Natasha Taylor
Valora Leilua-Tiatia
Tia-Rhiena Martin-Upton
Nicole Askari
Ruby McGovern
Sophie Irving


2020-09-17 10:45:08 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-09-16 15:05:28 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-09-16 13:27:38 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-09-16 12:09:52 +1200

10 signatures reached