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Reproductive rights march today

A march from Frank Kitts Park to rally at Parliament today is demanding that abortion be removed from the Crimes Act, and that free, safe, widely-accessible, publicly funded access to abortion is made for all women.

The march and rally, which starts at 12:30pm, is co-sponsored by ALRANZ, the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand, along with Organise Aotearoa, the Victoria University Feminist Organisation, and the Feminist Law Society.

Speakers at the rally will include MPs, former MPs, and activists

In New Zealand, abortion is still in the Crimes Act.

The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, has asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review the country’s abortion laws with the intention of treating abortion as a health matter rather than a criminal matter.

“The Law Commission’s report to the Ministry of Justice on abortion law reform highlights the inadequacies and injustices of our current system” said Terry Bellamak, National president of ALRANZ.

“Current law discriminates against women and pregnant people by forcing them to seek the approval of two certifying consultants and lie about their mental health status in order to receive abortion care,” said

“After forty years, it’s long past time for reform.”

The certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Those grounds do not include rape, nor the most common reasons cited overseas: contraception failure and the inability to support a child.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to reform New Zealand’s abortion laws, making abortion care available as a matter of right.

Poll results show a majority of New Zealanders support the right to access abortion on request.