Radical organising around abortion rights – Public discussion
7pm, October 6th
Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba Street (Entrance on Arthur St side)
In 1977, parliament passed abortion laws that were intended to severely restrict abortion access in New Zealand. The debate ran all night, and trampled on women’s lives: at 6.30am, a majority of MPs voted against giving women who had been raped the right to an abortion, in case this lead to women lying about being raped to obtain an abortion. Due to relentless feminist organising, New Zealand women now generally have access to abortion, despite those laws. Although the resources that it takes to obtain abortions varies greatly.
Recently Steve Chadwick, a Labour Party MP, was going to put forward a private members bill to amend the laws, but was refused permission to do so by the Labour caucus. Meanwhile Right to Life is challenging the current application of the law in court.
Repealing our current abortion laws would significantly improve women’s control over their own bodies. But where do radicals fit in with this struggle? What links could we be making between abortion rights and other political work? What are the options for organising around this issue? What can we learn from other issues which parliament have treated as conscience votes?
Grace Millar will speak briefly about the history of abortion struggle and abortion law, followed by a discussion. Organised by the Wellington branch of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement.