Submission to the Abortion Legislation Committee on the Abortion Legislation Bill

20 September 2019, 15:42 UTC |

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion and are funded by the individual giving of our supporters.

This submission is made on behalf of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand (AIANZ). In New Zealand we have approximately 38,000 supporters and work on a wide range of human rights issues of both national and international significance. 

AIANZ has a preference for a regime based on “Model A”, as one of the regimes proposed by the Law Commission, which includes decriminalisation of abortion and regulating abortion services under the existing legal framework on healthcare provision. We believe this model will best ensure that access to safe abortions is effectively available to pregnant people to make their own decisions, free from barriers, delays or restrictions that could violate their human rights, including their reproductive autonomy. 

However, we recognise that the proposed Bill is an improvement on the current framework by seeking to decriminalise abortion, and better aligning the regulation of abortion services with other health services. We therefore support the Bill in principle.

AIANZ thanks the Committee for an opportunity to make a submission on the Abortion Legislation Bill. We call on the New Zealand Government to guarantee the right of women and girls, and all those who can become pregnant, to make decisions about their bodies and to determine the course of their lives in light of their conscience, lived experiences, plans and aspirations.