Government set to reform abortion law after 40 years

Newshub can reveal Parliament looks set to vote to reform abortion law - removing it from the Crimes Act and treating it as a health issue.

Newshub asked all 121 MPs which way they would vote on abortion law - and although a lot haven't yet decided, the vast majority who have made up their minds will vote for change.

Government set to reform abortion law after 40 years
Photo credit: Newshub.

Kate, who doesn't want to be identified, was refused an abortion.

"It's just shocking and traumatising."

She says she was told doctors weren't comfortable terminating her pregnancy at 18 weeks.

"I cried - I felt powerless, I felt suicidal because I'd rather have died than carry out this pregnancy against my wishes."

Kate says she's an example of the system failing women - and the need for reform.

Now, change does look set to happen. A Newshub straw poll of all MPs shows abortion is likely to be taken out of the Crimes Act.

54 MPs believe abortion should be taken out of the Crimes Act and treated as a health issue, while six said no, 21 didn't reply and 40 are undecided or wouldn't say.

For abortion to be legal, two doctors have to agree pregnancy would put a woman in physical or mental danger.

Government set to reform abortion law after 40 years

The Law Commission has proposed three options for change:

  • Option A: no test and the woman makes the decision.
  • Option B: a health practitioner test showing abortions as appropriate.
  • Option C: a test, but only after weeks of pregnancy.

Of the MPs who want law change, most (34), haven't settled on a preferred option, three MPs prefer option A, none like B, and 14 prefer option C.

At a Christian rally on Tuesday, one woman explained why she's opposed to abortion despite having had one in 1989.

"I'm speaking from experience: I don't want any woman to have her life ruined like I did."

Government set to reform abortion law after 40 years
Photo credit: Newshub.

Abortion's a red button political issue that politicians typically try to avoid - that's why successive governments have ignored it.

But now the law looks almost certain to change - after 40 years abortion will likely become a health issue, and no longer a crime.

Newshub. 

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