Law Commission – alternative approaches to abortion law overdue

Justice Minister Andrew Little seems intent on fixing archaic and unfit for purpose abortion laws this term. Good. About time.

Law Commission abortion law reform briefing received

Justice Minister Andrew Little received today the Law Commission’s briefing on alternative approaches to abortion law.

“Our abortion law is over forty years old, starts with the proposition that an abortion is a crime. In February, I asked the Law Commission for advice on treating abortion as a health matter could look like,” Andrew Little said.

“I would like to thank the Law Commission for its extensive work on the briefing paper. I asked the Commission to gather the public’s views, and they received comprehensive submissions,” said Andrew Little.

“I acknowledge that the subject of abortion is a personal one for each MP. I will be taking time to talk to my colleagues across all parties about the Law Commission’s briefing before progressing further,” Andrew Little said.

The Law Commission received just under 3,500 submissions from the public, as well as meeting with a range of health sector bodies in developing its briefing paper.

The Law Commission’s briefing examines what abortion law could look like if abortion was treated as a health issue. The paper outlines:

  • three models for when abortion is available
  • changes to:
    • the criminal aspects of abortion law
    • access to abortion services, where abortions are performed, and by whom
    • the oversight of abortion services
  • related issues, such as women’s informed consent, counselling services, and conscientious objection by health practitioners.

The Law Commission’s briefing paper is here.

This will go to a conscience vote, but surely well into the 21st century we should have sensible abortion laws.

The current law works in practice but it is demeaning for women.

Just about everyone uses some form of birth control these days. The world is badly overpopulated by humans.

Women who are not in a good position relationship, health or finance-wise are better deferring having a family until a better time.

I don’t see any practical difference between a women having say a couple of children then going onto birth control or her partner having a vasectomy, or a women having an abortion or two prior to having a couple of children and then relying on birth control. The end result is much the same.


Leave a comment


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  26th October 2018

    I do see a difference, I find the idea of abortion as birth control abhorrent.

    It may technically be a crime, but we all know that it’s abortion on demand in reality, If it’s a crime, why are all the people who do it for a living (and how they can bring themselves to do it is beyond me) being charged and imprisoned? Much is made of it being a crime, but it’s done legally. I suspect that it’s a crime only if someone with no medical training does it and it results in injury or death,

    Do these people want anyone to be able to do abortions? When I was a nursing student, a young girl was admitted after a DIY abortion, She was lucky that she didn’t die and she would never have another baby. She could have had a legal abortion by then. I won’t say how she did it. I’d rather not think about it,

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  26th October 2018

    Glad to see this being discussed. About time we had an abortion law that wasn’t fathered by a Catholic judge and two Catholic MPs.

  3. Morris

     /  27th October 2018

    …and don’t forget the countless children fathered by the odd Catholic priest, the latter to be moved on to another parish to repeat the crime.

  4. david in aus

     /  27th October 2018

    What is missing in the arguments is the acknowledgments that there is another human being involved, the foetus.

    The question should be at what point does the foetus have rights?

    Under the proposals, an abortion can be performed just before the baby is delivered at 38 weeks. Does anybody think it is moral that a foetus can be legal killed/terminated at a age that is typical born?

    There should be adjustments to other laws at the same time if the abortion laws change. If a deliberate assault occurs on a pregnant women results in miscarriage, the logical conclusions is that that should have no bearing on the severity of sentences. The foetus which is viable outside the womb and are typically born at that age, has no legal rights or entity.

    In my mind the options are extreme interpretations of ‘Prochoice’ ideology. There must be point before birth where we recognize the existance of an another human being. Where that point is matter of debate but these choices are disturbing.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th October 2018

      My opinion has always been that the foetus has rights once viable outside of the mother. The incubation of very premature babies has shown to produce children likely to have ongoing mental and physical health issues so there needs to be some care in deciding that point.

  1. Nation: Andrew Little on abortion law | Your NZ

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