The introduction of an abortion service to Tauranga is long overdue, a pro choice supporter says.
Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand executive member and former Bay of Plenty Times Weekend columnist Alison McCulloch said it was time the service was offered in Tauranga .
Ms McCulloch launched her book Fighting to Choose: The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand in Wellington last night.
"It's worth keeping in mind these are very early abortions," she said.
"In New Zealand we actually lag in that regard with ensuring the abortions are carried out as early as possible."
The Tauranga author said it was also important to note the service made no change to legal access.
"It's just providing this particular service closer to home."
Abortion is illegal in New Zealand under the Crimes Act 1961 unless two doctors sign off that a woman has met a series of criteria as set out in a number of laws.
Ms McCulloch said the state and religious groups had no right to force a woman into an unwanted pregnancy and the matter of abortion was a woman's choice.
The plan has been condemned by pro-life supporters.
Voice for Life Bay of Plenty Charitable Trust chairman Don Brebner said there was a strong Christian and humanitarian influence in Tauranga and the move made by Family Planning New Zealand would most likely end up with protest.
The free service will be provided by Tauranga Family Planning clinic in 10th Ave.