Political Key Issues - Abortion

Abortion on Demand

Under the New Zealand Crimes Act and the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act of 1977, abortion is only permitted after two certifying consultants have agreed that a woman meets the conditions under which abortion can be legally carried out. Despite this, 98% of the abortions in New Zealand are permitted on the "spurious" grounds of mental health.

Government Funding

Tax-payer funded abortions is a contentious issue not only for those who are opposed to abortion. As healthcare costs rise and some services are being cut or limited, critics point out that the millions of dollars used to pay for elective abortions could be better spent in other health areas. Opponents to abortion object to their tax dollars being spent on a procedure that they regard as abhorrent.

Parental Notification

The New Zealand government defeated an amendment to legislation that would have required doctors to encourage under-age patients to inform their parents they were pregnant and seeking an abortion despite heavy support of the Clause from parents. There are concerns that under-age girls are at risk of abortion being used to cover up sexual abuse by hiding the evidence, and allowing the abuse to continue. In some other countries, abortion facilities are being sued with violating notification laws.

Alternatives to Abortion

The high cost of modern living, which often requires two incomes, leads to some couples resorting to abortion so they can continue to meet mortgage payments. With falling birthrates, many governments are looking at ways to get more women out of the home and into the workforce, while others are offering incentives for women to have more children.


Many people are concerned about New Zealand's high annual abortion figures. A study found that the overwhelming majority of women aborting were ethic Chinese, mostly young, non-resident women in New Zealand as students, or recent immigrants. These young women use abortion as a means of birth control.

Tertiary Daycare

Strong peer pressure is often brought to bear as well as counselling that abortion is in the student's best interest. The implication is that continuing with a pregnancy would hamper a women's chances of graduating. There is a real need for subsidised daycare facilities to enable women to continue their education if they do not choose abortion.