Legalise Abortion in New Zealand
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In New Zealand, abortion is the only medical procedure included in The Crimes Act 1961. Under this piece of legislation abortion is only legal if two consenting doctors agree that carrying a child to term would cause the woman* serious physical or mental health issues, if the pregnancy is a result of an incest, or if there is a fetal abnormality (only up to 20 weeks). Rape is not included as a legal provision (though it 'may be considered' by the certifying consultants). By law the doctor/s do not have to agree to giving the woman consent for the procedure - this is called conscientious objection; which puts women in areas where there are only a small number of GPs at risk.
You can read more about the law here: http://www.familyplanning.org.nz/advice/abortion/the-law-around-abortion
It is completely unacceptable and archaic for abortion to still be considered a crime under certain circumstances. This law increases the stigma around abortion and forces women to go through an arduous and expensive process in order to receive the abortion. In fact 99% of abortions in New Zealand are performed under the guise that carrying the child to term would be a danger to mental health, which is dishonest and ableist. As a signatory of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) - a UN convention that recognises access to abortion as a human right - New Zealand is not meeting its commitments. In 2012 the CEDAW Committee recommended that we "review the abortion law and practice with a view to simplifying it and to ensure women's autonomy to choose."
Abortions should always be safe and easy to access - which means they must be made legal. This petition is being created to raise awareness and hopefully get the law changed in this country; by signing you will be part of the beginning of the long fight for abortion law reform in New Zealand #mybodymychoice.
*The creators of this petition do not want to exclude anyone (transgender, gender neutral, non-conforming etc.) from the issue at hand and would like to recognise the fact that this law affects everyone with a uterus - some of whom may not identify as women, and the fact that not all women have uterus'.
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