Media personality Brodie Kane has revealed she had an abortion in the hope it will help other women going through what she went through.
She has become the first high-profile Kiwi to speak about undergoing the procedure in light of the Roe v Wade ruling in the US last week which rolled back women's rights by 50 years.
With 13,246 New Zealanders having a termination in 2020, Kane is aiming to reduce the stigma.
"If I have to be the person that everyone knows had an abortion, but it helps women out there feel comfortable and safe and know that they're not alone, then so be it."
Kane, a former TV journalist who recently came runner-up on Dancing with the Stars, was 25 when she fell pregnant. She would get her period at the same time as her flatmates, but when she missed it twice, her mind began racing.
"I was like, 'shit, oh no, no'," she said.
When the pregnancy test came back positive, Kane collapsed on the bathroom floor of her Auckland flat.
"I just remember ... just sobbing for quite some time. Then I rang my best mate who I lived with and she came straight home."
She told her mum Jo Kane and they went to Greenlane Hospital where she had an abortion.
Ten years on, Kane says she's never once regretted the decision – but can remember clearly the weight of the shame that surrounded the situation and the feeling that she had "messed up".
"I want children, but I wasn't ready," she said.
"The decision was never difficult for me, it was the shame and how you felt, the hatred you felt for yourself because you thought you'd done something wrong."
Abortion was the only medical procedure considered a crime in New Zealand before it was officially decriminalised in 2020, allowing for terminations of up to 20 weeks.
Kane said the shame and stigma felt by women seeking an abortion was "disgraceful".
"You can be slut-shamed, you can be shamed by your family, you can be judged, you can be all of these things for making a health decision for you that has nothing to do with the people who offer their opinions upon you."
Several years later, in 2019, Kane was running through Christchurch's Hagley Park when she spotted people holding anti-abortion signs outside the hospital, where termination services are offered.
"I was furious. I was [thinking] 'that is so disgusting. This is a place for sick, vulnerable people and here you are with these awful signs'."
On her way back from the run, she held her phone up while filming, and yelled: "My body, my choice. My womb has nothing to do with you."
She posted the video on social media and says the response was "phenomenal", with thousands of people messaging her, sharing their own abortion stories.
"That, I think, for me was a really pivotal moment."
Time passed, and Kane felt like she needed to do more. On a winter's day in 2020, she made her own sign and stood next to the protesting group. Her sign read: "Ignore these Muppets" in bright pink spray paint.
"I was really nervous. I went down there and I stood there the whole time, stood next to them all morning. I just stood there."
She returned to the protest with her sign a second time – but this time her mum, dad and aunty joined her, as well as people she had never met before who had seen what she was doing on social media.
"We all took signs down and we all outnumbered them. It was a great day. It was a really cool moment. It was about taking back our narrative, taking it away from people it's got nothing to do with."
Earlier this year, Parliament passed the final part of the Government's abortion law reform programme, banning protesting outside abortion clinics. The bill passed 108 votes to 12.
The US Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v Wade last week ended the constitutional right to abortion for women in the US. The ruling – which is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states – was described by the US president Joe Biden as a "sad day for the court and the country".
Following the ruling, locally the spotlight was put back on abortion in New Zealand with politicians' own anti-abortion stances under scrutiny.
On the day of the decision, National's Simon O'Connor posted on social media: "Today is a good day".
The MP went on to say he was "pro-life" and stood by his views but acknowledged that the post was "a misstep" and party leader Christopher Luxon asked O'Connor to remove it.
Luxon has shared his own "pro-life" views. In the days following his election as party leader late last year, when he was asked to confirm if, from his perspective, abortion was tantamount to murder, he said: "That's what a pro-life position is."
Since the ruling, Luxon has said he wanted women to know New Zealand's current abortion laws were not changing.
"You can hold a personal view or a different position but actually represent the interests of all New Zealanders - and that's my job."
Kane shared her abortion experience passionately on a recent episode of her podcast, Girls Uninterrupted, saying: "If me telling my story makes one woman feel okay ... well, then, job done."
She told the Herald on Sunday she struggled to initially comprehend what the ruling meant when she woke up to the news. She felt numb and overwhelmed as the reality sank in throughout the day.
"We all started discussing it amongst friends and everyone was absolutely horrified. Absolutely horrified at how this could happen, in this world, now, in America."
Kane said it would be "naive" to think that "things couldn't go backwards here" regarding abortion.
"The very real thing is you have people who are potentially going to be in a position of power that still hold views that abortion is tantamount to murder.
"We have to absolutely show that that is completely off the table. The people ... have to tell the people in the halls of power 'don't you even think about it'."
Kane said her message for anyone else going through abortion was that it was "your right and what you're doing is okay".