The Abortion Legislation Bill passed its third hearing yesterday.
This means that women will no longer have to undergo mental health tests to qualify for abortions.
Justice Minister Andrew Little says that in the past, women have had to lie about their mental health to qualify, “The current framework requires women seeking an abortion to maintain a fiction about their mental health."
He adds that women shouldn’t have to lie about their mental state in order to have an abortion. He says women should be trusted to make the best decision for their own health.
National Party Children's Spokesperson Alfred Ngaro brought a korowai with him to the debate. The korowai was given to him by Louise Kapene Green to remind parliament of the stakes at hand.
Referring to both mother and unborn child, Ngaro says, “Here's the point that we're fighting for: both lives matter.”
Ngaro reminded the house that over 91% of the 25,718 submissions about this bill were in opposition. Little acknowledged these submissions but dismissed them saying the majority of the submissions rejected abortion as a whole.
Little's says they did not, “...deal with the idea about how we make sure we have a legal framework for abortions that reflects 21st century New Zealand values.”