ACT leader David Seymour confident abortion laws won't change in New Zealand

ACT leader David Seymour says it's unlikely New Zealand's abortion laws will change because the majority of MPs support the current legislation.

It comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision on Friday (local time) that recognised a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and legalised it nationwide.

The court, in a 6-3 ruling powered by its conservative majority, upheld a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In 2020, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Abortion Legislation Bill, which made abortion no longer a crime.

"For over 40 years abortion has been the only medical procedure considered a crime in New Zealand. But from now abortions will be rightly treated as a health issue," Justice Minister Andrew Little said after the Bill passed in 2020.

Seymour told AM Early despite the US decision to change their abortion laws, he believes Kiwis have nothing to fear.

"Look, I would be very worried if I thought New Zealand might have a change in its abortion laws, I voted for the current law and all 10 of ACT's MPs are pro-choice on this issue, Seymour told AM Early fill-in host Nicky Styris.

The legislation passed 68 against 51 in 2020, and Seymour says a lot of the MPs who voted against the Bill have left Parliament.

"If you look at it, in the last Parliament, the law passed by 68 to 51 and 26 of the MPs who voted against reforming our abortion laws and giving women choice two years ago have since left," Seymour said.

"I think over time, New Zealand's Parliament becomes more liberal, so I just don't see a majority in our Parliament to tighten our laws.

"So look, I would be worried if I thought it was going to happen, but I really look at it, and I don't think that we do need to worry in New Zealand."

ACT Leader David Seymour.
ACT Leader David Seymour. Photo credit: AM

Seymour's calculations are based on the current make-up of Parliament, but if National wins the next election, those figures could change.

Abortion has been a hot topic over the last few days, with National coming under fire after MP Simon O'Connor posted a heart image with the words: "Today is a good day" after the US Supreme Court's decision.

The post didn't go down well, and National leader Christopher Luxon later confirmed O'Connor had removed it because it was "causing distress" and didn't represent the position of the party.

Luxon went on to say despite being pro-life himself, New Zealand's abortion laws wouldn't be "relitigated or revisited" under a future National Government. Last year the National leader said he believes abortion is tantamount to murder.

Watch the full interview with David Seymour above.