Abortion rights group brings complaint to Human Rights Group over 'discriminatory' laws

Source: 1News

Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) has lodged a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over New Zealand's Abortion laws.

The group said last night in a statement that it believes New Zealand's abortion law discriminates against women and pregnant people on the basis of sex.

The complaint is back by five individual complainants, ALRANZ national president Terry Bellamak said, "whose experiences illustrate the how New Zealand's current abortion laws discriminate against women and other pregnant people, resulting in hurt feelings, loss of dignity, and cruel, degrading, and disproportionately severe treatment.

"These laws also breach the fundamental rights of pregnant people in respect of other rights guaranteed in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990," Ms Bellamak said.

"But the HRC can only consider discrimination cases ... it's not ideal, but it's better than nothing."

The group is arguing that people seeking an abortion are treated differently or worse than people seeking general health care on the follow grounds:

- No one else needs the approval of two certifying consultants to get health care;

- No one else can be denied health care because their reasons for seeking it are not the ones listed in the Crimes Act;

- No one else is forced to lie to their doctors about their mental health status if they want to receive health care;

- No one else is subject to arbitrary and unpredictable withholding of health care;

- Only people seeking abortion referral or contraception can be refused service on the grounds of the provider’s 'conscience' with no warning and no recourse.

The group is calling for reform of New Zealand's laws around abortion, under which two certifying consultants must approve every abortion under a narrow set of grounds set out in the Crimes Act.

The grounds do not include rape, contraception failure or the inability to support a child.