Revealed: Large majority of Kiwis want abortion law change - Newshub-Reid Research poll

Warning: Some people may find this story upsetting. 

Newshub can reveal the Government is hoping to pass abortion reforms through Cabinet within the month, but has been held up by New Zealand First. 

And a Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows the reforms can't come soon enough - with the majority of New Zealanders want abortion decriminalised. 

The Newshub-Reid Research Poll findings

Revealed: Large majority of Kiwis want abortion law change - Newshub-Reid Research poll
Photo credit: Newshub.

Should abortion be decriminalised?

  • 69.9 percent said yes
  • 23.6 percent no
  • The rest (6.5 percent) didn't know

Abortion is currently a crime - 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. 

A woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Newshub said she felt forced to discuss her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

"I had to talk to a complete stranger about it, which I really didn't want to do, but I was so afraid of being denied an abortion. I just had to do it - I didn't have a choice."

In October last year, the Law Commission gave the Government options for abortion reform - and now the clock is ticking. 

Three options being considered by the Government

Revealed: Large majority of Kiwis want abortion law change - Newshub-Reid Research poll
Photo credit: Newshub.
  • 36.7 percent of people like option A: there's no test and the woman decides with her health practitioner
  • More people, 43.2 percent, want option B: there's a test and the woman would need to prove the abortion's appropriate 
  • Just 12 percent like option C: there's only a test for late-term abortions beyond 22 weeks
  • 8.1 percent didn't know
Revealed: Large majority of Kiwis want abortion law change - Newshub-Reid Research poll
Photo credit: Newshub.

Option C is Justice Minister Andrew Little's preference, and the Cabinet is debating whether to lower the threshold to 20 weeks. Mr Little is hoping to get Cabinet to agree in the next three to four weeks. 

"It might be slower than I would've liked but we're making progress and I'm confident we'll get there," he said. 

Newshub understands the hold-up is New Zealand First - though Mr Little would never admit that. 

"They're being very constructive," he said. 

He seems to be playing nice, because when Mr Little revealed to Newshub last year that the three-strikes law would be repealed before Cabinet signed it off, it was kyboshed by NZ First leader Winston Peters. 

But Mr Little says hasn't had "any sense that any of the governing parties are saying, 'No let's stop it in its tracks'". 

And that is probably for the best, because New Zealand wants this. 

Newshub.

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