Watch: Kiwi women seeking abortions 'have to basically lie and say they're mentally ill'

Source: 1News

The Prime Minister today again downplayed the impact of his stance against changing New Zealand's abortion laws.

Bill English maintained his vote was one among many when it came to the parliament conscience vote when speaking on this morning's Breakfast programme.

"My view on that isn't that relevant actually," he said, before host Jack Tame called him out on it. 

"Well it is relevant, you are the prime minister," Tame retorted.

Abortion Rights Aotearoa president Terry Bellamak was not discouraged by Mr English's lack of support, saying that people would realise how ridiculous New Zealand's current abortion laws are as time marched on. 

"Abortion is healthcare, and healthcare should prioritise the patient above everything else," Ms Bellamak told Breakfast. 

Under the current laws, two certified consultants need to agree that either a woman's physical or mental health will be endangered if she carries the baby to term. 

At the moment, 97 per cent of people getting abortions get it on the grounds that carrying the baby to term would damage their mental health, Ms Bellamak said. 

"People have to basically lie and say they're mentally ill, or they will be mentally ill if they carry the child to term."

As Tame put it to the Prime Minister, "It's 2017, is it not time that women in New Zealand seeking abortion have it be something between them and their doctors, rather than something under the Crimes Act?" 

To the government and Mr English, it's not a priority.