Women pen open letter to PM urging caution over abortion reform

A group of eight women who have had abortions have published an open letter to the Prime Minister regarding the potential changes to abortion law.

The women say there needs to be better support and information given to women who are making the decision.

Barbara Hill knows what it's like to go through the process of abortion.

"It was expedient at the time - it solved the initial problem I had, but I didn't realise until years later that I'd actually been grieving."

That's why she and seven other women who have also had abortions say they've taken out a full-page advertisement in the Sunday newspapers to publish an open letter to Jacinda Ardern.

The letter says: "We did what we thought was best at the time, encouraged, or in some cases pressured, by those around us. But we have suffered."

It comes as the Government looks at abortion reform, including removing abortion from the Crimes Act and making it a health issue.

"We are looking at two facets of it, the medical side and the criminalisation, but we are not looking at the consequences," Ms Hill says.

She's calling for greater support and information to be given to women who are considering abortion, motivated by her own experience.

"Once I stepped on the medical conveyor belt, there was no counselling or any information around potential fallout," Ms Hill said.

"All the other women I've spoken to, not one of them has had really in-depth counselling about the possible outcome of this."

The open letter - authorised by Christian lobby group Family First - also asks Ms Ardern to err on the side of caution when making changes to the law.

The Prime Minister hadn't yet read the letter when Newshub spoke to her, but said all views would be considered.

"As parliamentarians we will debate this, but there will be time for the public to have their say."

She agrees with the letter writers that support for women considering abortion should be paramount.

"I imagine that will be a critical part of the discussion - that is the kind of support that I think all New Zealanders think should be in place."