The Abortion Advisory Committee has called for a modernisation of the laws, including removing the procedure from the criminal law, which technically makes it illegal.
But the call has been met with mixed reactions.
Dame Linda told parliament’s justice and electoral select committee that an overhaul was in order.
“Some parts of the legislation I actually find quite offensive – referring to people as subnormal, for example,” she said, according to the NZ Herald.
“Really it is an indictment that we have statutes like that on the books that is not being corrected.”
But abortion law reform is not a priority for the government now, according to Prime Minister Bill English.
And if amendment legislation was to come before parliament he would not support it.
While Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, who described himself as pro-choice agrees now isn’t the time, caucus colleague Chris Bishop disagrees and believes changes are needed.
Act leader David Seymour said on Tuesday if he hadn’t already put euthanasia legislation in the members’ bill ballot he would seek to introduce abortion reform.
“The right thing to do is to reform abortion law to reflect what actually happens: women exercise choice for their own reasons,” he said, referring to the current requirement that two doctors agree the pregnancy would endanger the woman’s physical or mental health.
Labour MP Kris Faafoi believes amendments would have the numbers to pass parliament.
“I think if a member’s bill was pulled out of the ballot it would get pretty close to passing. I think there is enough advocacy on this issue now and it’s obviously getting a bit of traction now that gives weight to those kinds of things,” he told TVNZ on Wednesday.
For one, this is never going to run during an election year. And two, crusty old Catholic Bill English simply wouldn’t allow any liberalisation of abortion laws while he is the Prime Minister.
– NZN via Yahoo! News