Abortion after 20 weeks gestation likely to be more frequent

abortion law

In a submission to a Select Committee, Family First national director Bob McCoskrie stated proposed changes to abortion legislation would make late-term abortions more accessible and therefore more would occur.

“Currently it’s only available for exceptional circumstances, danger to the life and health of the mother, or the child,” said McCoskrie

“But in this bill after 20 weeks gestation, a baby could be aborted as long as the practitioner who is going to perform the abortion, and immediately there’s a conflict of interest, considers it appropriate in the circumstances.”

He said he wanted to further restrict the pre-existing legislation from 20 weeks to the point where there is a foetal heartbeat.

But in her submission, `ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa president Terry Bellamak said such a provision would give people almost no chance to get an abortion in most cases.

“At six weeks an embryo does not have a heart, what is does have is an electrical pulse in the part that’s going to eventually develop into a heart, that can be detected at six weeks and that’s before most people even know that they’re pregnant.”

There were about 13,000 abortions performed in New Zealand last year, according to Statistics New Zealand.

 57 of those took place after 20 weeks’ pregnancy.

Under the existing law, those seeking an abortion require legal certification from two consultants that having a child would damage their physical or mental health.

There are even more stringent provisions after 20 weeks.

 Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) and the Family First were the only ones to make submissions on Tuesday.

The parliamentary Abortion Legislation Select Committee is taking submissions on the proposed Abortion Legislation Bill.

It will report back in February.

The bill passed its first reading, 94 in favour 23 against.



Additional reading

News category: News Shorts, Top Story.

Tags: , ,