Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Push to make contraception free for all women

Photo / Tania Webb
Photo / Tania Webb

A remit calling for contraception to be made freely available to all New Zealand women is being put to the vote at this weekend's National Council of Women conference.

The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (Alranz) is throwing its full support behind the remit, and plans to second it at the Dunedin conference.

Alranz president Morgan Healey said their members had long been strong supporters of making contraception more easily available.

Contraceptives were free only to some groups of women, and the Government had proposed providing long-acting reversible contraception to women on benefits and their daughters, Dr Healey said.

"Rather than singling out specific groups, Alranz would much prefer that contraception be made available at no cost to all who want it, both men and women, which is why we're supporting the NCW [National Council of Women] remit."

Dr Healey said if the Government really wanted to see abortion numbers continue their downward trend, it needed to commit to a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health strategy, which must encompass a full array of choices for women.

"This should not be limited to contraception being more easily available, but dovetail onto public education campaigns about contraception and other sexual health issues, universal sexuality education and the decriminalisation of abortion."

- APNZ

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