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Court case reignites abortion law anger

Oct 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Lead Story, News

abortion protest big main

A CROWD of about 100 protesters on the steps of the Court of Appeal in Wellington today spilled onto the streets to demand repeal of abortion laws.

The act governing abortion hasn’t been reviewed since 1977, speakers said during the gathering, held as hearings began into the appeals of a High Court ruling by Right to Life and the Abortion Supervisory Committee.

The protest was organised by Victoria University-based Action for Abortion, Women’s National Abortion Action and the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ).

ALRANZ wants a woman to be able to choose whether to continue an unplanned pregnancy or to seek an abortion.

It also wants safe medical services and programmes to reduce the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

Speakers included ALRANZ national president Dame Margaret Sparrow, the first woman doctor to fight for a woman’s right to have an abortion.

The appeals centre on the degree of oversight required of certified consultants  carrying out abortions in terms of the  Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act.

Dame Margaret said when the law came to be, the politicians didn’t believe women would be capable of making their own decisions.

Young Labour president Analiese Jackson told the crowd she was disappointed with the Government and with her own party for the way the laws were being dealt with.

The crowd chanted, “Hey hey Mr Mr, Keep your laws off my sister.”

The protesters moved from the steps of the Court of Appeals onto Parliament grounds chanting, “Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate.”

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is a Whitireia Journalism student. He started his life in the Wairarapa, moving to Wellington in 2009 to do his journalism training after many years of freelance writing.
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  1. Dame Margaret Sparrow wasn’t the first woman doctor to fight for abortion rights. It was Alice Bush. You can find out all about her on Wikipedia. There is also a book written about her life. The author is Faye. E. Hercock.

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