Anti-abortion protesters confront public outside Christchurch Hospital as the world reacts to Alabama law change

Anti-abortion protesters are making a stand outside Christchurch Hospital as world-wide conflict continues over the recent Alabama abortion decision.

The elderly couple was photographed by a member of the public on Friday holding up their pro-life signs in front of passersby.

"The unjust taking of life is called murder," the man's sign read.

The woman held a sign with the message: "Mummy and Daddy, please love and protect me".

Abortion is currently a crime in New Zealand - women have to use a kind of 'legal loophole' to make it legal, and two doctors have to agree pregnancy would put her in physical or mental danger.

The pro-life protesters.
The pro-life protesters. Photo credit: Supplied

However this could be about to change. A Newshub-Reid Research Poll in March showed the majority of New Zealanders want abortion decriminalised, and in October last year the Law Commission gave the Government options for abortion reform.

Cabinet is now expected to pass a proposal which would lower the threshold for women to seek abortions to 20 weeks. This will then be sent to Parliament for a conscious vote.

But while New Zealand seems set to liberalise our abortion laws, the US state of Alabama has gone in the opposite direction.

The state Senate has passed a bill that would outlaw nearly all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, creating exceptions only to safeguard the health of the mother.

The move is part of a multistate effort to have the US Supreme Court reconsider a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

The law would take effect six months after being signed by the governor, but is certain to face legal challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups who have vowed to sue.

Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced in 16 states this year, four of whose governors have signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.

The Alabama bill goes further, banning abortions at any time.

People who perform abortions would be subject to a felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison, although a woman who receives an abortion would not be held criminally liable.

Reuters / Newshub.