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June 5, 2018 | by  | in News Splash | [ssba]

Ireland Repeals Abortion Ban

Ireland voted by a two-thirds majority in a public referendum to repeal the ban on abortion on 25 May.
For the past 35 years, abortions have been prohibited in Ireland under the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution. The strict Irish law resulted in many women being forced to travel overseas to have access to safe abortion.
Ireland’s law against abortion was among the most restrictive in the world. The only grounds on which abortions were allowed was if continuing the pregnancy posed a danger to the woman’s life. There was a common belief that Ireland would vote against decriminalising abortion, owing to its strong Catholic roots.

Abortion is still in the New Zealand Crimes Act.

For a pregnant person to get access to an abortion in New Zealand under 20 weeks of gestation, their situation must fall into one of the following categories:
• the pregnancy poses a serious risk to their life, health or mental state;
• there is a substantial risk the child, if born, would be “seriously handicapped”;

• the pregnancy is a result of incest; or
• the pregnant person is “severely subnormal”.
Most New Zealanders access abortions on the ground that continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk to a person’s mental health, which requires two doctors agree on the situation.

National Party leader Simon Bridges said in an interview with 1 News that “Overall, I think the regime we have for abortions is working well”.
Bridges publicly stated that he is opposed to removing abortion from the Crimes Act, saying that abortions should be “rare, safe, legal”.
In February Justice Minister Andrew Little stated the Ardern Government’s policy intention is to treat abortion as a health issue, rather than a criminal issue. He asked the Law Commision to provide advice on how this could be done, and a report is expected in October this year.
In a recent Radio New Zealand interview, Little said that he would be surprised if New Zealand does not follow Ireland in reforming abortion law.


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