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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 1. 1967.

Relax abortion laws - Congress

Relax abortion laws - Congress

Curious Cove: The 1967 NZUSA Congress at Curious Cove produced little in the way of informed debate in the once famous Congress forum.

While the usual Congress extra - curricular activities went ahead apace, forum passed only four motions of any note. The students asserted the right of any individual to obtain contraceptives if he so desired, but they were less enthusiastic on the question of relaxing the abortion laws.

By a vote of about 40 per cent to 20 per cent of those present they approved a motion calling for the right to be given to every woman to "freely obtain legal termination of an unwanted pregnancy subject only to the medical and psychiatric considerations of the individual case and the consent of the husband." The other 40 per cent abstained.

Another urging that homosexual acts between consenting adult males be legalised, was also passed.

The only prolonged debate was over the proposition whether an NZBC television team should be admitted to the forum itself. After some recriminations over a Canterbury episode last year the television crew were allowed in.

A motion asserting that the Labour Party was dominated to too great an extent by the trade unions was soundly defeated.

However, the lacklustre achievement of the forum did not carry over into the rest of Congress, especially the social side.