- The Situation Today
- How legal abortion came to New Zealand
- Overseas influences
- Media Influences
- Opponents of abortion get organized
- The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child
- Early expansion
- Capital politics
- First clinic licenced
- The tide turns
- Pro-abortion initiatives
- A crucial court decision
- The Status of the Unborn Child Bill
- Seeking urgency
- Counter move
- The Vote
- SPUC moves on
The message was not about seeking abortion on demand, but that a humane society should be able to provide women in the "hard case" category, with access to safe, legal abortion in a designated clinic or hospital.
In New Zealand, a new womenâ€™s magazine "Thursday", was a major cultural influence in making abortion acceptable. Under editor Marcia Russell, Thursday was designed to appeal to the "thinking" woman, and the formula proved a publishing success.
Thursday was committed to social change on abortion, regularly featuring "hard case" stories. In the late 1970s, Marcia Russell was involved with a sympathetic television documentary on the Auckland Medical Aid Trust abortion clinic, which Television NZ showed on an evening prime time slot.
The counsellors were soft-voiced, kindly and gentle, the procedure explained with a diagram of the womb, the baby represented by several dots in the middle - and described as the "contents of the uterus".
A patient was taken into the operating theatre and throughout the operation, the counsellor was seen in close-up, holding her hand and softly offering encouragement. Piped music played Mozart in the background.
In this public relations campaign for hearts and minds, the 'pro-life' group, The Society for Protection of the Unborn Child, believed they were handicapped by one key problem. To actually show a twelve week-old foetus being dismembered and the remains lying in a glass jar, is too grisly to be acceptable for public television, or for newspaper and magazine advertising.