Money and abortion are very important matters for women and often interconnected.
Our ridiculous and restrictive abortion laws annually waste taxpayers’ money to the tune of $5-6 million dollars a year (consultants fees, endless court costs, lawyers fees, and administration costs of Abortion Supervisory Committee).
The highly controversial asset sales, with polling suggesting up to 70% of us are opposed to, are estimated to to reap between $5-7 billion but we may lose money from the overall outcome.
So how will National aka John Key, who promised to govern in accord with the spirit of MMP, handle this? In theory MMP means he will not rely on raw executive power to ram through highly controversial policies. However he claims mandate – on what basis other than raw power – we are not told.
On the other hand he will not initiate legislation to decriminalise abortion. It is doubtful, were another MP to initiate legislation, that his party would even vote as a party on this issue. MPs have freedom of conscience on abortion. This may appear to be in accord with MMP but was, and still will be, a strategy to ensure party survival and their own jobs. Women don’t get freedom of conscience, or even the fact that we might have a conscience, acknowledged however.
Historically the polling showed anti-abortionists, pro-choicers and liberals split loosely into three camps in the seventies. Liberals were the most muddled and their position unsustainable in law and practice. Most will have moved to the choice and decriminalisation position.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for the non-mandated, degrading and costly abortion laws to be repealed.