On 24 March 2020, the Abortion Legislation Act 2020 (the Act) came into force in New Zealand. The Act makes a number of changes to the provision of abortion services in New Zealand.

The Act decriminalises abortion by removing certain criminal offences currently in the Crimes Act 1961.

The passage of the Act disestablishes the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) and transfers oversight and monitoring of abortion services from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Health (MoH). Whereby previously doctors would need to apply to the ASC to become a certifying consultant; the Act now removes this requirement. This means anyone now seeking an abortion can access services from a qualified health practitioner.

If you are a health practitioner and have any queries about the disestablishment of the ASC, visit the Ministry of Health’s abortion legislation page(external link) in the first instance, or email alr@health.govt.nz for further information.

For more information about accessing abortion services in New Zealand, visit https://health.govt.nz/abortion(external link) or call the Ministry of Health’s Abortion Information line on 0800 499 500.

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