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UN affirms abortion is a human right

Welcome and support for UN statement.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Media Release

Family Planning welcomes UN statement that abortion is a human right

Family Planning New Zealand welcome and supports the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee affirming that abortion is a human right, that preventable maternal deaths are a violation of the right to life, and that the right to life begins at birth.  

“It is particularly timely that the UN Human Rights Committee has made this statement, given New Zealand’s own journey to removing abortion from the Crimes Act. This vital affirmation defines and enforces abortion as a fundamental human right,” Family Planning Chief Executive Jackie Edmond says.

“This comment on the right to life by the UN provides strong support for those groups across the world calling for governments to provide safe and accessible abortion – to bring down the high rates of death and injury from unsafe abortions around the world”.

“It also gives confidence to New Zealand Parliamentarians when they vote on the issue. Abortion is not a crime, it is a human right. This position is now backed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee”.

The removal of existing policy and structural barriers that prevent women and girls’ effective access to abortion, including abortion being considered a crime, must not be delayed.

The three-year process at the United Nations Human Rights Committee to agree to this comment shows the importance of abortion law reform not just in New Zealand but in other countries. We agree with the Center for Reproductive Rights that “member states and non-government organisations worked together to create critical global human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality and to ensure that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law”.

Read the UN Statement.   


Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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