The fragility of de facto abortion on demand in New Zealand Aotearoa
journal contributionposted on 31.03.2021, 02:43 by A McCulloch, Ann Weatherall
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. On the whole, women in New Zealand have good access to safe and affordable means to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Although seemingly ideal, the current situation is a fragile one. Under current legislation, abortion is criminalised and legal access to it relies on gaining the approval of two certifying consultant physicians. In this report, we provide an historical overview of the social and political influences shaping New Zealand’s current approach to abortion, considering the consequences of having abortion governed by criminal law. The situation in New Zealand is used to support a proposal that a pragmatic liberal feminist approach to abortion is best for women where it is a medical matter rather than a legal or moral one.