People gather in Wellington to march for reproductive rights. Photo / Emme McKay

Hundreds have taken to the streets of Wellington calling for easier access to abortion.

The march for reproductive rights has been organised by Organise Aotearoa, ALRANZ, the Victoria University Feminist Organisation, and the Feminist Law Society.

Participants are making their way from Frank Kitts Park to the front steps of Parliament.

Organise Aotearoa spokeswoman Kate McIntyre said the state of abortion rights in New Zealand was embarrassing.

“The law has been stuck in a state of unacceptable compromise since 1977, and has caused significant stress and grief for those seeking abortions.”

In 1977, the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act allowed for abortions to be signed off by two GPs in instances where incest or foetal impairment was involved, or if continuing the pregnancy would significantly danger the mother’s health or mental health.

McIntyre said this had resulted in people having to lie and jump through hoops to receive abortions.

Victoria University Feminist Organisation co-president Tara O’Sullivan said they want to see the Government adopt a choice-based model, that trusts women to make informed decisions about their own health and bodies.

“Believing that we’re intelligent and capable enough to make these decisions for ourselves and that we don’t need to be seen as having a mental illness to have an abortion.

“We want to see pregnant people be able to take control of their bodies and say I’d like to have an abortion because I’d like to have an abortion, and that be the end of it.”

Speakers at Parliament will include Jan Logie from the Green Party, Priyanca Radhakrishnan from the Labour Party, long time women’s-rights advocate Sue Bradford, and sex workers rights advocate Dame Catherine Healy.

Source: NZ Herald

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