‘State-sponsored backstreet abortion’ in New Zealand

‘State-sponsored backstreet abortion’ in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has launched a new ‘DIY’ abortion scheme that allows women and girls to ‘free-phone’ a number and have abortion pills delivered to them in what has been described as ‘state-sponsored backstreet abortion’.

Following the introduction of one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world, permitting the abortion of babies de facto on demand up to birth, the Labour Government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, launched a nationwide ‘DIY’ abortion scheme called ‘Decide’.

The ‘Decide’ scheme allows women and girls to call a freephone 0800 number and have abortion drugs delivered to them or their nearest pharmacy so that they can carry out a ‘DIY’ medical abortion without in-person medical supervision.

The New Zealand pro-life group, Voice For Life, said “How is this anything other than state-sponsored back street abortion?” 

The group also drew attention to the lack of safeguards and the potential for coercion and abuse asking “Will perpetrators of abortion coercion now have a convenient mechanism which will allow them to literally stand over their pregnant female victims as they force them to order up the DIY abortion drugs over the phone?”

“What happens when a vulnerable minor rings DECIDE asking for abortion drugs to carry out a secret abortion with no one else around?”

“What about victims of sexual abuse who are coerced into using this service by those who have abused them, and who are seeking to hide the evidence of their repugnant acts of victimisation?”

The nationwide availability of ‘DIY’ abortion is the third phase of the New Zealand Government’s abortion expansion scheme. As well as ‘DIY’ abortion, the drug mifepristone, which is used in early medical abortions, will be available as a subsidised prescription.

Scheme run by man who worked for scandal-ridden abortion provider in the UK

Funded by the Ministry of Health in New Zealand, the Decide scheme is being run by Family Planning New Zealand and Magma Healthcare. Magma is headed by Dr Simon Snook who previously ran a now-defunct similar smaller local freephone abortion service called ‘0800-ABORTION’. Dr Snook also owns two of the three private abortion clinics that operate in New Zealand. 

Dr Snook is the director of Istar, a company that imports abortion pills to New Zealand and funds a website advertising abortion in New Zealand. The site ranks highly on Google search for vulnerable women facing a crisis pregnancy.

Dr Snook previously worked for Marie Stopes International (now MSI Reproductive Choices) in the UK, which has been linked to a series of scandals. This includes a damning report from the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) that accused Marie Stopes International of paying staff bonuses for persuading women to have abortions. At all 70 Marie Stopes clinics, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found evidence of a policy that saw staff utilise a high-pressure sales tactic, phoning women who had decided against having an abortion to offer them another appointment.

At one clinic in Maidstone, staff told CQC inspectors that the clinic was like a “cattle market” with a “very target-driven culture”.