The tide turns

The end of 1977 marks the highpoint of SPUC's success as a pressure group. It's lobbying skills and influence were widely acknowledged. The NZ Listener in February, 1978, ran a profile by journalist Warwick Roger, entitled "SPUC: a seven-year success story". But over the next years, a series of court decisions would nullify the gains and ironically place certifying consultants and the clinics beyond the reach of the law.

Abortion was increasingly seen as a liberal, compassionate, "women's issue". As Roger notes: "When SPUC held a media forum in Wellington in 1976, 40 journalists were expected, most of them from the parliamentary press gallery. 16 turned up, none of them from the press gallery."