Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rant: New Zealand gave women the vote, and then did nothing else (part 2)

My rant on reproductive choice in New Zealand was spawned by an article I read on the state of NZ's abortion laws. Under the law, New Zealand women are not supposed to have abortion-on-demand, even in the very early stages of pregnancy, and so most women who get an abortion in New Zealand most women who have an abortion do so because to have the baby would 'severely adversely affect their mental health', which is patently bollocks. This law also means women have to jump through a number of hoops to get an abortion. The article quotes male experts acknowledging that the law doesn't work, but notes that the government doesn't want to touch abortion law because it pisses people off. This is a law that has not been reviewed since 1977.

New Zealand has a high abortion rate, and a high teen pregnancy rate, and the lawmakers in that article are wringing their hands and claiming that to really solve the abortion problem, we need a unified reproductive strategy. Having been a victim of NZ's present reproductive strategy (I was offered an IUD as my "best option" despite never having had children, wanting them, having a bleeding tendency and having an autoimmune disorder), this made me fume: In New Zealand, birth control options are the pill, the mini-pill, depo-provera (which is seen as being unsafe in many countries) condoms, copper IUD, hormonal IUD (if you pay yourself), and sterilisation. Even if you pay yourself, you cannot get the patch, the implant, the nuvaring, or any of the lower-estrogen pills, and if the pill that works best for you is not one of the ones the government thinks is okay you are going to pay a fortune for it.

continued in the next post

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