The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) welcomes the Law Commission’s report outlining three alternative legal models for treating abortion as a health issue rather than a criminal one. NZNO, which made a submission on the issue and was part of the Law Commission’s wider health sector consultations, says it’s pleased nurses’ voices have been heard.
NZNO Professional Nursing Advisor Kate Weston says nurses play a huge role in women’s reproductive health and are much more likely to have ongoing relationships with patients than the consultants currently required to approve abortions.
“NZNO’s position is pretty clearly outlined in Model A, which would put decision-making around an abortion in the hands of the pregnant person in consultation with their health practitioner. This would remove red tape and harmful delays and better equip women to take charge of their own health.”
Kate Weston says she would like to see a more humane and sensible approach to abortion become part of an integrated health strategy for women and girls that encompasses all issues related to reproductive health, including fair access to PHARMAC-funded medicines.
“NZNO applauds the Law Commission for its report and looks forward to playing a continuing role in developing legislation that recognises abortion as a health issue and protects women’s reproductive autonomy.”