David Preest wrote (Letters March 16) that women should have no right to decide what they do with their own body. As is typical with the ongoing abortion debate, it is yet again a man telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body.

Up until the end of the 19th century, the state gave women status as chattel of their husbands and therefore the right for men to command women to act as they pleased. Thankfully these abhorrent days are behind us. However, as if yearning for yesteryear, the state still restricts women's autonomy over their own bodies.

As it stands, abortion is still technically an offence in New Zealand under the Crimes Act (1961). In order for a woman to have an abortion she must gain approval after consultations with two doctors.

Typically the most commonly used justification is that continuing a pregnancy would cause serious danger to the mental health of the woman. In my view, to have to claim mental suffering to two doctors in order to have an abortion is paternalistic and downright condescending.


Sadly, our conservative Catholic Prime Minister thinks that the current law is a-okay, meaning giving women autonomy over their own bodies seems but a distant ideal.

In my view, it is time that our abortion laws, and the malevolent desires of some men, caught up with the majority of New Zealanders who support a woman's right to choose.


Pay us for water
It is our water; there is no doubt about it. This water falls on our lovely unpolluted country; it is unpolluted because of the care and husbandry of the people of New Zealand - we Kiwis.

If China wants our water - because their water is so filthy - then let them pay for it - not pay the company that bottles it - pay us - Kiwis, for this water!

Why is this Government so ready to give away the things that we own; the things that we have nurtured all these years? Sell it - yes, by all means, but let the money received go to the people who own it - Kiwis!


Super at 65
I wish to respond to your correspondent Jim Adams (Letters March 9).

Many New Zealanders are fortunate enough to have attained the educational qualifications to enable then to work in white collar jobs. However, such people should not, in my view, be self congratulatory.

Mr Adams fails to acknowledge the huge numbers of New Zealanders working in such fields as the construction industry, farming, forestry, etc for whom years of heavy physical work have led to a deterioration in their health. For such men and women, superannuation at the age of 65 is vital.

I agree with your correspondent, Rod Petterson (Letters March 10), in his contention that "this Government has looked after the rich, causing the poor and downtrodden to become more numerous".