A common refrain whenever the abortion issue gets raised in NZ is “but it’s legal here, and no one seems to be having problems getting it, so what’s the fuss?”
Well, (a) no it’s not, (b) on that basis, I’ve never known a guy with erectile dysfunction so let’s stop selling Viagra, shall we? and (c) the fuss is, to quote ALRANZ:
“A woman might see up to five doctors before a decision on whether to approve her abortion is taken”. More doctors to actually have the abortion, of course!
And they have a chart helpfully released under the Official Information Act to show why.
Five doctors. Who are probably pretty busy, who may not even be in the same town or province as you if you’re especially lucky, who all need to be convinced that you fall under the requirements of the law, with whom you have no previous relationship but nevertheless will have to discuss a very personal, possibly traumatic situation with … while time ticks away and your options become increasingly limited to riskier, surgical procedures. (Still a hell of a lot less risky than carrying a pregnancy to term – hey, I’m just trying to provide full information, here.)
I’d like you all to consider what other procedure you could possibly have to find five doctors to sign off on. Get a second opinion of your own free will, maybe – consult with a few specialists to get more detailed information, sure – but to be forced to see up to five doctors in order to exercise a basic choice about your own body?
Yeah, nah. Didn’t think so.
(For the lovely antichoice fuckheads out there: no, actually, this obstacle course presented to pregnant people has not a fucking thing to do with the magical sanctity of pweshus babby feeeetusses, because if it did, abortion wouldn’t be legal under any circumstances. It’s simply there to make the process more difficult for pregnant people – predominantly cis women – who were not trusted by our Parliament to make their own fucking choices. Not my fault your side has a massive lack of internal consistency. And empathy. And tragic tendency to be really, seriously obvious about your misogyny. But I digress.)