Men should get a vote on abortion - Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson believes men should get a vote on abortion as the pro-life movement does not discriminate between the sexes.

In an opinion piece published on Thursday, Newshub digital producer Sophie Bateman argued against men getting involved in the abortion vote, saying those without a uterus should stay out of the issue.

Richardson, who admitted he's in favour of the proposed reform on access to abortion in NZ, said he had to think long and hard about it before forming an opinion.

It comes down to who each side is fighting for, he said. In Richardson's view, if you're pro-choice then you're thinking of those who may need abortions while, if you're pro-life, you're fighting for the fetus.

"As a male, I'm thinking 'oh right if you don't want me involved in the vote I'm quite happy to stay out of it'.

"But if you are a pro-lifer you're not actually thinking about the women, you're thinking about the baby. 

"We have to give the pro-lifers the right to have their say, in which case pro-life does not distinguish between female and male and therefore I think you have to allow males to vote on this."

Richardson wasn't the only one weighing in on whether men should get a vote, fill-in newsreader Ingrid Hipkiss said in a democracy everyone gets a vote, including men, while host Duncan Garner said he would be happy to abstain from the vote if he was an MP.

Parliament voted in favour of a Bill suggesting major changes to the way abortions are accessed in New Zealand on Wednesday. 

If it becomes law, abortion would no longer be in the Crimes Act, and any statutory test from doctors would only be required if the person seeking an abortion is more than 20 weeks pregnant. 

It is now before the Select Committee.

MPs Willie Jackson and Judith Collins, who both voted to in favour of the Bill at its first reading on Thursday, said they thought men should have a say in the matter.

"You can't have a baby without a man. Men are actually human beings... and most men are lovely, decent people," Collins told The AM Show.

"I would have thought men's votes count too... We play a part," Jackson added.


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