NZ Herald Jul 3, 2010
A Labour MP has taken the controversial step of proposing a new law to legalise abortion on request for women up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Steve Chadwick, a midwife and former associate health minister, is gauging support for what would be the first changes to abortion law since 1978. The Abortion Supervisory Committee has repeatedly urged Parliament to review the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, which states the legal grounds for abortion, but MPs avoid the issue.
A judge has questioned the lawfulness of most abortions. Last year, 17,550 abortions were done, compared with 17,940 in 2008. Mrs Chadwick’s Abortion Reform Bill would take abortion out of the Crimes Act, making it solely a health matter and a choice for the patient, at least in the first part of pregnancy.