Friday, September 24, 2021
Great news and a victory for common sense and for people seeking abortion services.
That's the response from Family Planning to a High Court decision today where a group of health professionals opposed to abortion have lost a court case over whether their rights were infringed if they had to tell a woman where to find contact details of abortion providers.
Following law change in March 2020 , a practitioner with a conscientious objection is obliged to tell the woman of their objection, and how to find the contact details of the nearest service provider.
Justice Ellis in the High Court ruled that none of the clinicians rights were infringed or limited in the way alleged. Even if the rights had been limited, Justice Ellis said, the limits could be shown to be justified in a free and democratic society.
"We know many things can make it difficult to access abortion services - cost, travel, stigma. The idea that a clinician can themselves be a barrier is completely unacceptable and I am pleased the court has ruled in this way," Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says.
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.