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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 17. 19th July 1972


The following articles are examples of the suffering women undergo when they are forced by the laws against abortion to seek relief from unwanted pregnancies by illegal means. That women must break laws, endure the most degrading and humiliating treatment or resort to near self-destruction in order to control their reproductive lives is one of the greatest crimes committed by this society.

Irene Kennedy's story, which she told at the Abortion Action Day meeting at Victoria on July 1, shows how safe and easy an abortion can be under the right conditions. She was lucky. Safe illegal abortions are not easy to find and cost a great deal of money.

Put yourself in the position of one of these women. Imagine discovering that something is growing inside you, which you cannot stop. Imagine the terror of finding no-one to turn to, no-one who can end your problem. Imagine the scorn you will face for being so "irresponsible" - for bringing a child into the world which has no place to go. Imagine the guilt and pain which will be heaped upon you for having sex and, being female, conceiving.

You don't agree with abortion? Nobody is denying you the right not to have one. The law is denying those women who choose abortion from getting an unwanted pregnancy terminated safely, legally. It is denying women the right to decide.

The Abortion Action Committee is campaigning for the right of every woman to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, whether or not and when to have children. That freedom of choice can only be guaranteed when the abortion laws are repealed, when contraception becomes freely and available, and when easily sterilisation is no longer denied to those who want it.

A march to demand these conditions is being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on July 28. On May 5, over 500 marched in Wellington and Christchurch - let's make July 28 several times as big. This is an issue that the politicians must not be allowed to ignore.