Blog: The Party Politics of New Zealand’s Abortion Law

 

The Green Party is the only major party so far to make abortion a party issue and proposed that abortion be decriminalised in New Zealand. However, Jan Logie, sixth on the Green Party’s latest list, said they would not be introducing a private members bill as it would be unlikely to pass before the general election. The addition of abortion law reform as a party issue fits with the progressive and socially liberal ideas of the Green party.

 

David Seymour has supported calls for reforming the current abortion law, calling it archaic. Seymour has also criticised the Greens and Labour for ‘grandstanding’ on this issue without taking any concrete action. Review of the law aligns with the libertarian ethos of Act, arguing it would give the individual the right to decide what is best for them as opposed to the government regulating it.

 

Maori – the Maori party has not released any official policy on abortion reform. Co-Leader Marama Fox has argued it needs an overhaul. She advocates for parental notification for young women under 16 years of age undergoing a termination of pregnancy. The ASC strongly disagrees with this move arguing it would put these young women at risk.

 

New Zealand First – Another party without a clear stance on abortion. But they have said in the past any reform should be decided by a citizen-initiated binding referendum. A recent poll of New Zealanders’ opinions on abortions put NZ first voters as more conservative leaning, so it is unlikely to see this party leading the call for reform.

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