Cooks doctor told not to facilitate abortion appointments

The Cook Islands Ministry of Health has told the country’s only gynecologist to stop making appointments at the Epsom Day Clinic in Auckland for women who want an abortion.

“Before, I could ring and make an appointment at the Epsom Day Unit, so they could go there,” Doctor May Aung has told the Cook Islands News.

“But the ministry said I must not do that because some people think that is an encouragement.”

“But this is a very old way of thinking. If they are not using the (contraception) services we provide and if they are in trouble, then I think we should help them as much as we can.”

Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens.

Abortions are free for New Zealand citizens at the Epsom Day Unit, however women who cannot show eligibility pay $1,300.

Under the Cook Islands Crimes Act, which dates back more than 40 years, abortion is illegal, except to save the life of the woman, or preserve her physical or mental health.  Continue reading

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News category: Asia Pacific, News Shorts.

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