Roe v Wade: Ryan Bridge slams National MP Simon O'Connor's' 'stupid' abortion Facebook post

  • 27/06/2022

It wasn't National MP Simon O'Connor's smartest move to post on Facebook celebrating the controversial US Supreme Court ruling on abortion, Ryan Bridge says.

O'Connor, the MP for Tāmaki, on Saturday said, "Today is a good day" in a social media post. The post was made after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that recognised a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and legalised it nationwide.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's other political parties were blasting the Roe v Wade decision. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was "incredibly upsetting", ACT Party leader David Seymour reacted on Instagram saying, "Wtaf (what the actual f**k) America?" and Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick said New Zealand expressed its "solidarity with Americans fighting for restoration of their rights to healthcare".

Following the widespread backlash, National Party Christopher Luxon asked O'Connor to remove his post. Despite being openly pro-life, Luxon said the Roe v Wade decision was "distressing for many women" and he empathised with them.

Luxon has said any future National Government would not revisit New Zealand's current abortion laws.

AM host Bridge said Luxon would be frustrated by O'Connor's comments.

"It wasn't his smartest move, was it? I mean, what a tit," Bridge said of O'Connor's Facebook post.

"The point of Christopher Luxon coming in is that he was going to clean up all of these distractions, keep people on message and get the party back into order - which he's largely done. So when you've got a tit like that doing silly things - you must be so frustrated.

"He might as well have worn a T-shirt saying, 'Let's discuss awkward topics for Luxon.' I mean, it's just stupid," Bridge said, adding the comments weren't O'Connor's "first offence".

Simon O'Connor.
Simon O'Connor. Photo credit: Parliament TV

After Parliament voted to pass the Abortion Legislation Bill in 2020, which brought abortion out of New Zealand's Crimes Act, O'Connor, who voted against the Bill, said in a speech: "Mihi vindicta: ego retribuam, dicit Dominus." That translates to, "Revenge is mine, I will repay, says the Lord".  

In a statement on Sunday, Luxon said O'Connor removed the Facebook post because it didn't represent the National Party's position. 

"Our situation in New Zealand is very different from that occurring in the US. New Zealand's abortion laws were debated in detail, voted on and ultimately settled in the last parliament during 2019-2020. 

"I have been consistent since becoming [the] leader that these laws will not be relitigated or revisited under a future National Government and these health services will remain fully funded."

Meanwhile, chaotic scenes have unfolded outside the US Supreme Court following the Roe v Wade decision. Police officers have clashed with protestors advocating for women's rights - as the country's controversial abortion ban grips multiple states. 

More than 50 years after it was established, the Supreme Court's decision abolishes the constitutional right to an abortion.