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US supreme court overturns landmark Roe vs Wade abortion decision


US supreme court overturns landmark Roe vs Wade abortion decision

Jun 25 2022

‘Incredibly upsetting’: Jacinda Ardern responds to US decision on abortion

Jacinda Ardern in August last year (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has issued a statement on today’s US Supreme Court decision repealing the constitutional right to abortion access.

“Watching the removal of a woman’s fundamental right to make decisions over her own body is incredibly upsetting,” Ardern said.

“Here in New Zealand we recently legislated to decriminalise abortion and treat it as a health rather than criminal issue. That change was grounded in the fundamental belief that it’s a woman’s right to choose.

“People are absolutely entitled to have deeply held convictions on this issue. But those personal beliefs should never rob another from making their own decisions. To see that principle now lost in the United States feels like a loss for women everywhere.

“When there are so many issues to tackle, so many challenges that face women and girls, we need progress, not to fight the same fights and move backwards.”

The US Supreme Court today issued a decision overturning Roe vs Wade, the 1973 ruling that enshrined the right to abortion access, thereby handing total power to legislate on abortion access to the nation’s 50 states. The decision has already triggered abortion bans in a number of states, and is set to make abortion illegal in nearly half of them within a matter of weeks.

Jacinda Ardern in August last year (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Covid-19 latest: 24 deaths and 8,638 cases over two days; 316 in hospital

Image: Toby Morris

The Ministry of Health is today reporting 8,638 community cases for the past two days, 316 current hospitalisations, and 24 deaths for the two days. There was no Covid-19 update yesterday from the ministry due to the Matariki holiday.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 4,737. Last Saturday it was 5,154.

Today’s reported deaths include 23 recorded in June and one recorded in May. They take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1,455. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths remains at 12.

Six of those who died were from the Auckland region, three were from Waikato, three were from Hawke’s Bay, one was from Bay of Plenty, three were from Taranaki, one was from Wairarapa, one was from the Wellington region, two were from Nelson-Marlborough, three were from Canterbury, and one was from Southern.

One person was in their 50s, one in their 60s, four were in their 70s, 11 were in their 80s and seven were aged over 90. Thirteen were male and 11 were female.

NZ foreign affairs minister calls supreme court abortion decision ‘draconian’

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta talks to media during a press conference at Parliament on April 22, 2021 in Wellington, (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Nanaia Mahuta, the minister of foreign affairs, has responded to the US supreme court’s decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion.

“The US Supreme Courts overturning of Roe v. Wade is draconian and does not support the right of women to choice,” she tweeted. “How can this happen?”

Mahuta, who voted against abortion law reform in 2020, was among the New Zealand political figures who responded to the US decision which is set to make abortion illegal in nearly half of US states within weeks.

The NZ Green Party called it an “outrage”, while Act leader David Seymour responded with “WTAF America?” and tweeted that those states affected would be “going back a century”.

Sarah Pallett, Labour MP for the Christchurch electorate of Ilam, called it “horrifying news”.

The prime minister’s partner Clarke Gayford, meanwhile – not himself a political figure – alluded to the moon landing, calling the decision to overturn Roe vs Wade “one giant leap backwards for womankind.”