National Party leader would be “loath” to take abortion out of the Crimes Act.


National Party leader Simon Bridges says he would be “loath” to take abortion out of the Crimes Act.

On Monday, Jack Tame on TVNZ and Susie Ferguson on Morning report challenged his position.

Bridges said his position on abortions was that they should be “rare, safe, legal” – with an emphasis on rare.

He said he believes the present system is working well.

Bridges said the issue would be a conscious vote for National MPs.

On its website, TVNZ notes that Bridges is “religious.”

Bridges’ father was a Baptist minister and he is a practising Christian.

In a 2013 interview, Bridges said religion played a minor part in his adult life.

“I would still consider myself a believer. I do believe in God.”

He and his wife Natalie are reported to have attended an Anglican church in Tauranga.

They met at Oxford while she was doing a Masters in English Literature and he was doing a Bachelor in Civil Law.

Both Ferguson and Tame’s questions were motivated by the Irish voting in a referendum to remove the prohibition on abortion from their constitution.

“If you look at Ireland, they had a situation where it was probably the most restrictive regime in the western world – that’s not where we’re at” Bridges said.

Irish Minister for Health, Simon Harris, will seek the cabinet’s backing on Tuesday to draft the new legislation.

The proposed legislation will allow abortions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

It will allow them up to the 24th week in exceptional circumstances.

New Zealand Catholic bishops’ position is the law should protect the rights of both the mother and the unborn child.

They say it is both a justice and a health issue.


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