Abortion law needs review – Andrew Little

Long Lunch 16/02/2018

Justice Minister Andrew Little wants the Law Commision to review New Zealand’s abortion law in effort to decriminalise abortions and make the process easier for women seeking the procedure.

The current law restricts abortions unless two certifying doctors agree that the pregnancy would result in serious danger to a woman’s mental or physical health.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC)​ told Parliament on Thursday that the law makes more difficult for women seeking an abortion. Mr Little is working with two other Parties before sending a referral to the Law Commission. 

Mr Little argued that the the Contraception, Abortion and Sterilisation Act 1977, which is over 40 years old, is outdated.

“When you’ve got a law that’s more than 40 years old, you should review it for that reason alone,” he told Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch.

The Justice Minister criticised the law for making women “go through heaps of hoops” to get an abortion.

Before the election, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said abortion should not be a crime and that she intended to change the law.

I think attitudes have changed.

“Politicians have just steered away from it because it’s in the too-hard basket,” Mr Little said. “Well I just don’t think we can keep doing that.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid of having a debate.”

Listen to the full interview with Andrew Little above.

Afternoon Talk with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.