Labour’s Kiri Allan has revealed the racial abuse she’s faced since she announced she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Taking to Twitter, the East Coast MP posted screenshots of a man’s comment on Facebook that said “Māori women will assist their cervical cancer issues by abandoning promiscuity rates”.
“Just ya average day on NZ SM [social media],” Allan wrote.
There is no evidence of differing promiscuity rates by ethnicity. Māori, however, have the lowest immunisation rate against HPV, a virus that is linked to abnormal cell activity in the cervix, which can increase someone’s risk in developing cervical cancer.
Some Māori women may also choose to put off smear tests for cultural reasons.
Another man’s Facebook comment stated: “Get over yourself Kiri. There are 71 people a day diagnosed with cancer and it sickens me to see you paraded in front of the media/by the media … the Labour Party uses other people’s pain and suffering to promote their party.”
Allan’s diagnosis has prompted a renewed push for accessible cervical screening, especially among wāhine Māori.