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If women want to abort "Say the truth, then technically, under our laws, they are criminals," Thursday, August 8th, NZ premier Jacinda Ardern (Labor) faced parliamentarians. "And I'm basically in disagreement with that," hammered the first woman to rule the country.
She was speaking before a much-awaited vote on a government-sponsored bill to legalize abortion until the twentieth week of pregnancy, approved by 94 votes in favor. and 23 against. This opens a legislative process for the practice to come out of the criminal code within six months.
Correcting a law dating back to the 1970s calling abortion a crime was part of Jacinda Ardern's campaign promises. The practice is only legal today in the case of incest,"Mental anomaly", Fetal anomaly, or risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.
Now, this is the last argument that is invoked in 97% of cases. "You have to lie to a doctor to have access to a medical treatment," summed up Terry Bellamak, president and spokesperson for the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (Alranz). The United Nations (UN) has repeatedly denounced the New Zealand legislation. "Convoluted", making women "Dependent on the benevolent interpretation of a rule that nullifies their autonomy".
In New Zealand, approximately 13,000 women were allowed to perform abortions in 2017, or 13.7 abortions per 1,000 births – a similar proportion to France (14.4 per 1000). in 2017, according to the National Institute of Demographic Studies). However, they had to convince two doctors beforehand that their pregnancy endangered them physically or mentally. "Most people in New Zealand think that they have access to abortion, which is true in itself, but they do not know that the law does not reflect the practice. The young generation of Neapolitan girls is shocked to discover the situation, " explains Alison McCulloch, a journalist and author of a book on the fight for the right to abortion in the country (Fighting to Choose: The Struggle Abortion Rights in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, 2013, untranslated).