New Zealand Doctor Creates Free, National 0800-ABORTION Hotline


Meanwhile in New Zealand, someone’s trying to make abortion care easier, faster and safer. The New Zealand Herald reports that Wairarapa doctor Simon Snook set up the hotline to help people seeking abortions get quicker access to counseling, arrange medical tests, and make an appointment with an abortion clinic.

Snook told the Herald he was motivated by a 2010 study showing that New Zealand women frequently have to wait an extremely long time after an initial consultation before they can have an abortion: an average of 24.9 days between an initial consultation and the actual procedure. That’s way, way too long: abortion, although it’s a very safe procedure, becomes riskier with advancing gestational age.

So far, only Snook and one other consulting doctor are part of the hotline, but he told the Herald he hopes more will join.

Predictably, Voice for Life, the country’s main anti-abortion group, is unhappy about the hotline and dismisses the research that Snook says motivated him to create it. Voice for Life president Bernard Moran told the Herald that, in the paper words, “speeding up the process was irresponsible, undermined the need to ensure a woman was properly counselled, and could increase the number of abortions.” He also it would “trivialize” the legal process, presumably by making it easier to access.

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