In the Media

On this page you will find recent publications and works by CAHRE members. If you have a work to share, let us know at


New Zealand’s abortion anomaly

On the one-year anniversary of the changes to New Zealand’s abortion legislation, Rachel Simon-Kumar and Janine Paynter look at sex selective abortion’s anomaly in this country

A year ago this week, the New Zealand Parliament voted in favour of radical reforms to the Abortion Legislation Act. The amendments were aimed at modernising the legislation, and moving abortion out from under the Crimes Act of 1961 and the Contraceptive, Sterilisation Act of 1977.

One of the more fiercely debated points in the Bill related to ‘sex-selective abortion’ or the termination of female foetuses. Opposition to abortion on grounds of sex selection was bipartisan. Chair of the Abortion Legislation Select Committee, Labour’s Ruth Dyson, who voted for the changes, pointed out during third reading of the Bill: “We expressed opposition to any abortion for the purpose of sex selection.” Simeon Brown of the National Party, who voted against the reform in his speech, noted (erroneously, it is worth adding) that “it is shocking that this law allows for discrimination against unborn baby girls purely on the basis of their sex under the guise of a woman’s right to choose. Who will defend the rights of these unborn girls?” Read more…