A true gen­tle­man

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

I am sorry to hear of Percy (Erceg’s) pass­ing.

I first met him in 1986, when I moved to Kaitaia to set up my tax agency. I find it hard to re­mem­ber any other per­son who made such an im­pres­sion on me at first ac­quain­tance.

I did not know Percy well but I con­cur with ev­ery­thing that has been said of him. RIP a gen­tle­man of the first wa­ter. RICHARD GRAVENOR

By email abor­tion in New Zealand sits within two pieces of leg­is­la­tion. De­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion would take abor­tion out of this leg­is­la­tion and see it man­aged within the health sys­tem.

This would mean that de­ci­sions about end­ing a preg­nancy would be made by a woman and her health provider. These are the peo­ple with all the in­for­ma­tion about the health and well­be­ing of the woman and the state of the preg­nancy.

De­crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion does not mean that preg­nant women across New Zealand will con­spire with their health providers to end preg­nan­cies up un­til mo­ments be­fore birth — that is an ou­tra­geous and egre­gious com­ment, dis­re­spect­ful to women and the health providers who care for them.

Fur­ther, there is no re­search that shows that pro­vid­ing abor­tion ser­vices as a health ser­vice rather than as dic­tated by statute will lead to a rise in the num­ber of abor­tions — at any stage of the preg­nancy.

In­deed, in countries with good health sys­tems women are able to ac­cess abor­tion ser­vices much ear­lier in a preg­nancy.

Fam­ily Plan­ning has been very open about our sup­port for Model A. We sup­port an abor­tion frame­work where de­ci­sions are made by women and by their health providers. Most of the health or­gan­i­sa­tions who sub­mit­ted to the Law Com­mis­sion also sup­port Model A.

At the end of the day, Fam­ily Plan­ning thinks this de­bate should be cen­tred on trust­ing women — we trust them in every other as­pect of their lives to make their own de­ci­sions; we must trust them in this too. That’s our mes­sage for ev­ery­one in this de­bate — we trust women, and you should too. #TrustUsNZ

JACKIE ED­MOND

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Fam­ily Plan­ning NZ

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