Tuesday 25 January 2011

Invitation to Hand Mirror readers to the 2011 pro-choice gathering

Action for Abortion Rights Wellington warmly invites you to a national gathering of pro-choice organisers and activists. It will take place 9am-5pm, 12-13 March 2011 in Wellington. This is an opportunity for individuals and groups to share resources and ideas and to plan for the future.

This gathering is for those who want to take part in planning and organising a campaign to make abortion legal, safe and accessible. We also welcome pro-choice discussion and planning around broader reproductive and sexual health needs. 

The weekend will involve a series of facilitated workshops/discussions and some guest speakers. We are still setting the programme. You're welcome to contribute by running a workshop, speaking or suggesting speakers/topics. We recognise that pro-choice groups and individuals differ in priorities and strategy. Our hope is that a rich variety of perspectives will be presented and respected at this event. 

The event is open to pro-choice people of all ages and political standpoints. As a pro-choice event, the gathering is only open to those who believe that a pregnant individual is best qualified to decide the outcome of their pregnancy. 

If you will be able to come please register on our on-line registration form. Registrations close 2 March 2011. 

About us: Action for Abortion Rights is a group at Victoria University of Wellington. We think that the outcome of a pregnancy should be determined by the person who carries it. Our goals include legalised abortion, vastly improved abortion access including access to/ awareness of medical abortion, and the destigmatisation of abortion.

Hoping to see you there. Please contact us at actionforabortionrights@gmail.com if you have any questions. 

Update: I got the registration address wrong in the original post. Please register (link now working) if you want to come so we'll have ideas about numbers for feeding purposes.


captiver said...

Fabulous. Thanks for organising this and I hope to be able to come.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I agree with the basic principle about choice and whose choice it is (although I don't think the taxpayer should have to fund something they may vehemently oppose.)

However, the current situation may be as good as it is going to get. Further political activism might actually, in a climate that is (possibly?) trending to conservatism, risk re-ignition and swing of the debate against you.

LudditeJourno said...

Great stuff, will be doing my best to get there :-)

A Nonny Moose said...

Perhaps Lindsay, you missed the previous request (multiple of them) by THM writers and mods that if you want to debate the basics of abortion you do so in the space provided, not hijack every thread.

Sandra said...

Brilliant. Thank you to all the people who have not assessed if a cause is currently winnable and based their agenda on that, but begun from a carefully thought out point of principle and are prepared to fight for it, knowing it will reuiqre a lot of courage. Maia, you and your co-workers in AAR Wgtn are an inspiration.

Boganette said...

Well said Sandra. I'm glad that not everyone sees the world as Lindsay Mitchell does. Thank goodness for brave people who don't ignore wrongs because they're too afraid to stand up for what is right.

Anonymous said...


@Lindsay: I can assure you, the threat that doing the right thing will backfire is a guaranteed way of making me do the right thing.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"Perhaps Lindsay, you missed the previous request (multiple of them) by THM writers and mods that if you want to debate the basics of abortion you do so in the space provided, not hijack every thread."

Were they directed at me? I can't remember debating abortion here before. As I said, I am principally on your side.

As 'activists' go though I don't rate some of your commentors.

Why set out to alienate an ally on this particular issue?

As a political candidate I have repeatedly advocated a woman's right to choose abortion. Interestingly, after meetings arranged by religious adherents, particularly Catholics, some women quietly venture forward to thank me. That is humbling.

You have every right to fight for your cause. My point is simply that currently abortion is safe and available. The practical aspects outweigh the attitudinal.

Maia said...

Hey everyone - I hope you can all make it.

I actually think Lindsay is raising an important point and not derailing to talk aobut morality. I've had the question about whether we ouldn't be making things worse asked of me lots of times.

Those of us (and I'm one of them) who think we should push on, and that fighting for abortoin rights is much mor elikely to be successful in protecting abortion rights than the status quo, need to make that case (which I will try and do before the end of hte week).

M said...

"My point is simply that currently abortion is safe and available."

- You have obviously never tried to get an abortion in New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your post on the subject, Maia!

In the mean time, my quick and shouldn't-be-necessary rationale:

Neither major party in the New Zealand Parliament have the stomach to increase the restrictions on abortion. We have seen this multiple times with the Right to Foetus Life action against the current status quo. So on that basis, nothing to lose.

On a more positive note, I firmly believe that the current lack of popular interest in abortion activism in NZ comes down to people thinking the status quo is working just fine and not realising the severe issues faced by, well, young women who aren't them. Progressive men, in particular, don't have - because they don't need - an understanding of the actual situation here. But many I have spoken to, once they get the whole "two consulting physicians have to tick the boxes" thing, are franky baffled that such ludicrous restrictions can apply to a woman's choice.

Finally, it's the right thing to do.

Sanna said...

For what it's worth, I don't think most young women are aware that abortion is not legal in NZ. I myself was horrified when I found out what hoops one is required to jump through in order to get an abortion. It's simply assumed, given how liberal we are in areas like prostitution, that abortion is legal here, and a lot of people don't think about it until they find themselves unhappily pregnant. If nothing else this gathering will help spread the word regarding where things stand now, politically, and hopefully get more people involved.