Skip to content

New Zealand bill seeks to allow elective abortions before 20 weeks

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

8/7/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (

The government of New Zealand proposed a bill this week that would lift a law stipulating that abortions before 20 weeks may only be performed for medical reasons.


Catholic Online (
8/7/2019 (2 months ago)

Published in Europe

Wellington, New Zealand, (CNA) - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the bill on Monday. It will be introduced to the New Zealand Parliament on August 8 for a preliminary vote.

Currently, a woman seeking an abortion must have two doctors' referrals stating that the pregnancy poses a danger to her physical or mental health.

If the bill passed, women would be able to undergo abortions up to 20 weeks into pregnancy without a doctor's referral or medical reason. After 20 weeks, they would need a doctor to assess that the pregnancy poses a threat to their physical or mental health.

The legislation would also prohibit pro-life counselors and protestors from coming within 500 feet of an abortion clinic.

According to the New York Times, Ardern predicted that the vote will be close. It has been labeled a conscience issue, so members of Parliament may vote outside of party lines.

Justice Minister Andrew Little has advocated for the measure, saying it is time for change in the nation's abortion laws.

"Safe abortion should be treated and regulated as a health issue; a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body," he said, according to the BBC.

Pro-life advocates have pushed back against the bill, calling it "extreme." Kate Cormack, media spokeswoman for Voice for Life, said the bill does not reflect public opinion.

"What Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Government is attempting to do here is truly astounding when you consider they have no public mandate. This is simply wish fulfillment for a tiny minority of very vocal abortion ideologues, and it will waste valuable Parliamentary time and resources that should be spent on more pressing issues," Cormack said in a recent statement.

According to Voice for Life, a Curia Market Research poll in 2016 found that 56% of New Zealand women support "time limits for abortion to be shorter than the current 20 weeks."

Right to Life New Zealand also expressed disappointment with Ardern's announcement and encouraged the government to defend the dignity of the human person.

"It is disappointing that the Prime Minister who is a loving mother and genuinely cares about children, child abuse, child poverty and is the Minister for Child Poverty Reduction is oblivious of the plight of our unborn, the weakest and most defenceless members of our human family," the group said in a statement August 4.

"The State has a serious duty to protect the lives of every member of the community from conception to natural death."


More Europe

Vatican denies Indian nun's appeal of dismissal from religious life for disobedience Watch

Image of View of St. Peters Basilica and Vatican City flag

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches has rejected the appeal of Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was dismissed from religious life in August ... continue reading

Amazon synod discussion groups support married priests, female deacons Watch

Image of Pope Francis

At least four of the 12 language groups at the Amazon synod overtly propose the ordination of married men to the priesthood in summary ... continue reading

Analysis: A pink dolphin, a carved image, and inculturation at the Amazon synod Watch

Image of Female figure synod 2019

At a "moment of Amazon spirituality" Oct. 16, in a church just down the street from St. Peter's Square, a woman told the Amazonian folk ... continue reading

Poland's ruling party accused of trying to ban sex education Watch

Image of

The governing party in the Polish parliament has introduced a bill that could criminalize some forms of sex education in schools. Warsaw, ... continue reading

Vatican communications official: Carved figure at Amazon synod not Virgin Mary Watch

Image of Carved figure at Amazon synod

Fr. Giacomo Costa, a communications official for the Amazon synod, said Wednesday a wooden figure of a nude pregnant woman, which has been ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.