Saturday, 3 July 2010

Abortion Law Reform: Steve Chadwick's Bill

At long last, an MP has the courage to sponsor a bill aiming to bring New Zealand abortion law into the 21st century.

Labour MP Steve Chadwick has drafted a bill which will:
- take abortion out of the Crimes Act;
- remove the need for two certifying consultants to given permission for a woman to have an abortion;
- allow a doctor to carry out an abortion at a woman's request, before 24 weeks gestation;
- after 24 weeks gestation, allow a medical practitioner to carry out an abortion, if it is medically appropriate and takes regard of the woman's "current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances."

At this stage, Steve Chadwick is gauging support for her bill, amongst her colleagues.

It's time to start writing. Write directly to Steve Chadwick, and tell her that you support her bill. Here is the address to use:

Steve Chadwick MP
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

You don't need to put a stamp on the envelope. All you need to do is write a letter or a postcard, and send it to Steve Chadwick.

You can also write directly to your own MP, and tell her or him of your support for Steve Chadwick's proposed bill.

Here is a list of current Members of Parliament. Locate the MP for your electorate, and write. The address is:

Your MP's name
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

Again, you don't need to put a stamp on it.

Write to list MPs too. Especially take the time to write to Labour party list MPs: Steve will need the support of her colleagues for this bill to go into the parliamentary ballot.

Steve Chadwick, thank you! Thank you for having the courage to take this critical first step in reforming New Zealand's abortion law.


Anonymous said...

Write to ALL MPs in your area: find them in the Blue Pages of your phone book under 'Members of Parliament', or for the same words.

Phil Lyth

Boganette said...

Thanks for the info Deborah I will definitely write.

Anonymous said...

Some resources:

Voting record of current MPs over the years, at ALRANZ's 'old' site:

ALRANZ's 'new' site:

and their FaceBook page:

Phil Lyth

captiver said...

Thanks for the post Deborah. I'll be writing!

ms p said...

This is great news. I too will be writing to MPs.

This may risk setting of some kind of comment bomb, especially in light of the comments in earlier posts:( Also, I've never been pregnant so acknowledge my ignorance about the timelines for obtaining an abortion, but 20-24 weeks seems quite advanced in the pregnancy to be accessing abortion. What do people think of the criteria listed for the bill?

Cal said...

Wow. Steve Chadwick is fantastic. I will definately be writing to support this legislation - this is one law change I can get behind!

Lucy said...

What do people think of the criteria listed for the bill?

24 weeks is around the point at which a foetus becomes viable outside the womb, although YMMV drastically - I had a brother born at this point who didn't survive, but others do (though usually with significant health problems). Essentially it's when the lungs develop enough for breathing. I'm pretty much happy with it as a natural point for drawing a line.

Julie said...

Here's an opinion piece by Dita de Boni on the 24 week issue. She had a baby at 29 weeks which has lived, and also appears to be by-and-large pro-choice.

I think the debate will probably centre quite quickly around the 24 week issue, which may turn out to be something of a red herring meaning we (as in NZ) don't properly talk about the more key issue of abortion on demand.

ms p said...

That's my concern - that anti-choicers will whip up hysteria around the 24 week threshold and possibly create real obstacles to getting this bill through parliament. And yet, I'm also aware that we all lose if we tailor any law change to avoid anti-choicer tactics.

Maia said...

I've got a draft post about this which should go up today. But I think the 24 weeks aspect is absolutely vital.

If this is going to happen then it needs to make access to abortion free of artificial barriers for all women. Including those who need abortions late in the pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

if pro-lifers are "anti-choice"; then pro-choice are "anti-life".

Anonymous said...

I belive in abortions although anything after 12 weeks i think is not right!