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New Zealand To Decriminalize Abortion Through Reform Bill

Abortion to be considered a health issue and not a crime, proposed in new reform bill in New Zealand

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Abortion decriminalised in new zealand
Abortion is a crime in New Zealand till now and the government is working to scrape that law. Pixabay

The New Zealand government on Monday announced a bill to decriminalize abortion so that it can be treated as a health issue, rather than a crime.

The reform bill proposes removing any statutory medical exam for women not more than 20 weeks into their pregnancy and includes the setting up of “safe areas” near abortion facilities to prevent women from being harassed or attacked, Efe news quoted Justice Minister Andrew Little as saying in a statement.

“Safe abortion should be treated and regulated as a health issue; a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body,” Little said.

“Abortion is the only medical procedure that is still a crime in New Zealand. It’s time for this to change.”

New Zealand announces bill to decriminalize abortion
A new bill proposes to decriminalize abortion in New Zealand. Pixabay

The bill, which will have its first reading in the New Zealand parliament on Thursday, also requires a health practitioner to authorize women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant to terminate the pregnancy if it poses a risk to their mental and physical health as well as their wellbeing.

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It also proposes that doctors opposed to providing abortion services on the grounds of conscience must inform pregnant women, who may seek services elsewhere, as well as that women be able to self-refer to a service provider, and health practitioners will advise women of counselling services available.

Currently, abortion is considered a crime in New Zealand, although women can terminate their pregnancies if two doctors consider it advisable for physical and mental health reasons. (IANS)

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New Zealand Passes Zero Carbon Bill Aimed at Combating Climate Change

We in New Zealand are on the right side of history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech at Parliament

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New Zealand, Carbon, Bill
Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy. Pixabay

New Zealand on Thursday passed a bill to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.

“I am really proud to stand in this House today for what is a historic moment… Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy… We in New Zealand are on the right side of history,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech at Parliament.

The law commits New Zealand to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement and marks an important step in the fight against the climate emergency looming over the world according to more than 11,000 scientists worldwide, reports Efe news.

“We’ve led the world before in nuclear free and votes for women, now we are leading again,” Climate Change Minister James Shaw tweeted.

New Zealand, Carbon, Bill
The zero emissions target excludes methane emissions but the law pledges to reduce them gradually. Pixabay

The zero emissions target excludes methane emissions but the law pledges to reduce them gradually.

The law includes the establishment of a green investment fund worth NZ$100 million ($64 million), a carbon trading scheme and inclusion of agriculture in emissions pricing by 2025, and the plantation of one billion trees by 2028, according to a statement by the Ministry of Climate Change.

The law also stipulates suspending the release of new permits for hydrocarbon explorations at sea and supports the production of cheaper electric vehicles apart from setting a goal of 100 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2035.

The legislation aims to cut biological methane emissions from agriculture by 10 per cent until 2030, and targets 24-47 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050.

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Simon Bridges, leader of the opposition and the New Zealand National Party, said that his party supported the bill but would keep trying to introduce changes in the future in order to make it better. (IANS)