Lines drawn on abortion law reform


The Abortion Supervisory Committee has recommended an update of New Zeleand’s  abortion laws.

Prime Minister Bill English disagrees.

On the other hand Labour leader, Andrew Little believes reform is necessary as does his newly elected deputy, Jacinda Ardern.

On TVNZ’s Q & A programme on Sunday morning English told interviewer Corrin Dann that he is not in favour of liberalising the abortion laws and would not vote for legislation that did.

English went on to say that it would be an issue dealt with in a parliamentary vote, and his would be one vote in 121.

He hoped that others would vote with him.

Later in the same programme Andrew Little said  English was “deeply conservative on an issue like abortion.”

“I happen to differ from him on that. I think that the advisory committee is right.”

Jacinda Ardern told the programme, “I think those recommendations do need to be pursued. That’s my view, but it is a conscience vote.”

She said English was right to point out that it is a conscience issue but she thought many New Zealanders would be surprised to know that currently those laws are contained in the Crimes Act 1961.

“And so, for obvious reasons, that has been raised by the Abortion Supervisory Committee. So they’ve called for a review, and when you’ve still got abortion in the Crimes Act, that’s understandable, and it would be timely.”

Sh said her position “on issues like this has always been regardless of what my view is, why should I impose that view on others and remove their choice?”


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