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New Zealand: Radical law allows abortion up to birth

May 2020

Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern
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Unborn babies in New Zealand may be killed for any reason up to birth, after the country passed a new liberal law.

Abortions will be allowed to take place after 20 weeks if two health professionals think it is appropriate considering the mother’s ‘overall well-being’.

Before the law was changed, abortion was only permitted after 20 weeks where the mother’s life was at risk. The bill passed in the New Zealand parliament by votes 68 to 51.

Pro-life group Voice for Life said the country’s parliament had ‘failed’ in its ‘duty of care to consider the wellbeing and protection of all New Zealanders including the vulnerable’.

Doctors will also no longer need to approve abortions before 20 weeks, allowing mothers to self-refer.

Under the new system, abortion on the grounds of disability, such as Down’s syndrome, will become available up to birth.

Meanwhile, calls to liberalise the abortion law in Gibraltar have been put on hold. A referendum was due to be held on the issue, but this has been postponed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19.