Friday, June 06, 2014

The Greens support abortion

The Greens have become the first party to formally support a woman's right to choose:

The Green Party has ratified a formal policy on abortion, making it the only party in Parliament to have one.

It would legislate to decriminalise abortion and protect the right to end a pregnancy.

Having an abortion in New Zealand is still a crime under the Crimes Act, unless a pregnant woman faces a danger to her life, physical or mental health.

Abortion law has always been a subject about which politicians have tried to steer well clear, despite repeated calls for the laws to be reviewed and updated.

Green Party MP Jan Logie said it is time that abortion is removed from the Crimes Act, and brought out from that shadow of judgement and mistrust of women, because ultimately it is a health issue.

The full policy is here. While there's an obvious focus on removing our absurd thirty-year-old abortion law, which effectively requires women to declare themselves mentally ill to access a basic medical procedure, it also addresses availability, requiring medical professionals who object to abortion to provide an effective referral, and ensuring that women don't have to travel hundreds of kilometres for a basic medical procedure. It would be a major positive step, and I look forward to the Greens bringing a bill to implement it.