English, Little at loggerheads over abortion law reform

Prime Minister Bill English remains staunch in his belief that New Zealand's abortion laws don't need to be updated. 

A Government committee that oversees abortions in NZ is calling for the law to be updated, saying it would help medical professionals. Source: 1 NEWS

Political editor for 1 NEWS Corin Dann asked Mr English about the issue on TVNZ's current affairs show Q+A this morning. 

Mr Dann mentioned that prime ministers tended to set the tone for conscience vote issues, and said Mr English's vote would be quite significant in an issue like abortion. 

"The Abortion Supervisory Committee has recommended an update of our abortion laws, they're outdated and clumsy," said Mr Dann.

"Would you stand in the way of that, given that you're not in favour of liberalising abortions?

The PM is stern on his views about this issue, but Corin Dann asked Mr English about whether he'd consider a law to modernise current legislation. Source: Q+A

Mr English replied: "That's right, I'm not, and I wouldn't vote for legislation that did".

The Prime Minister went on to say that it would be an issue dealt with in a parliamentary vote, and his would be one vote in 121. He hoped that others would vote with him. 

Abortion is legal in New Zealand with the agreement of two certifying doctors. There is no legal age limit on having an abortion in New Zealand.

It is only legal in the cases of serious danger to the life or mental health of the mother, cases of severe mental or physical handicap of the fetus, incest, or severe mental subnormality of the mother.