Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Editorials on abortion

So, what have our newspapers been saying about last week's decision by the High Court questioning the lawfulness of many abortions? It's been a week, and the major dailies (and one provincial paper) have now spoken. Here's the summary:

  • The New Zealand Herald calls for the defence of the status quo, in Gains made a generation ago should not be eroded today
  • The Dominion-Post says Abortion reality check overdue, but talks mostly about the need for Dutch-style sex-education to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
  • The Press, in an editorial unimaginatively titled Abortion review, says that the decision is "hardly surprising", and argues that "the law should be changed to bring it into line with 21st-century attitudes."
  • The Timaru Herald, in Abortion on demand, says that politicians will finally have to face up to the issue, but that they should find it easier to liberalise the law than their predecessors did.
  • The Otago Daily Times calls for a full review of the Grounds for abortion, and asks "whether we have, in 30 years, achieved an appropriate balance of rights where unborn children still have little legal status and negligible privileges, and where abortion is by far the most common medical surgical procedure our young women receive."

So, two outright liberal, one cautiously liberal, one avoiding the question while pretending to address it (like the politicians, really), and one apparently conservative.

It might be interesting to see what line these papers took back in 1977. Anyone?