Abortion Legislation Bill

NZNO seeks your feedback on the changes proposed in the Abortion Legislation Bill, which takes abortion out of Crimes Act and seeks to treat the procedure as a health issue.

Crucially, the bill would allow a woman to refer themselves for an abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. This replaces the current system that requires an abortion to be approved by two certifying consultants before proceeding.

However, after 20 weeks, women will have to meet a statutory test requiring a heath practitioner to “reasonably believe the abortion is appropriate with regard to the pregnant woman’s physical and mental health, and well-being” before being given the procedure.

The bill would also:

  • allow safe areas to be established around specific abortion facilities, on a case-by-case basis;
  • disestablish the Abortion Supervisory Committee;
  • ensure that practitioners who object to providing services on the grounds of conscience must inform the pregnant women about their objection, and that the woman can obtain the services elsewhere and
  • make it clear that health practitioners must advise people who are considering, or have had, an abortion that counselling services are available (although counselling will not be mandatory).

We are very interested in your views as health professionals on this model, either as individuals or as members of a college or section.  

Please click the link in the Link box below, and send feedback to by September 12, 2019.

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