So according to the Right to Life (I'm not recommending you follow this link - just providing for information sake) website the Family Planning Assocation have withdrawn their application to provide medical abortions from their Hamilton clinic.*
If this application was successful Family Planning would have been able to apply to provide medical abortions in all their clinics.
Family Planning have clinics in Greymouth, Invercargill, Timaru, Tauranga, Ashburton, Whanganui, Ashburton and Rangiora - at the moment women in those places have to travel to another town or city to access abortion. They also have multiple clinics in Auckland and Wellington - so women from Porirua wouldn't have to take two buses and a train to get to Newtown Hospital, and women from South Auckland and the North Shore wouldn't have to make their way to Epsom. It would have completely transformed abortion access in New Zealand.
It would have not solved all the problems that our horrific abortion legsilation creates for women seeking abortion. It would mean that women in larger cities would have a choice between surgical and medical abortions, but those in other areas could only easily access medical abortion. And women who go to Family Planning would still have to jump through the hoops to prove to doctors that they deserve an abortion.
But it would have made a real difference to abortion access in New Zealand. And now it won't happen.
Right to Life have had marches and law suits against the Family Planning Association. That's how worried they were about it.
I think this is another sign of the importance of building an active pro-choice movement in this country. Come along to the 2011 Pro-Choice Gathering.
Updated to add: It is possible that this is not family planning withdrawing from trying to get medical abortions, but it could be a temporary withdrawl. That seems to be what Right to Life think (again provided for informations sake - only follow if you can stand it) - thanks muerk for the link.
* And just to make fun of Right to Life they include in their press release the statement that medical abortions have killed 12 people - worldwide. Where pregnancy and childbirth is normally totes safe, and has never lead to any maternal deaths, ever, anywhere.