Te Atatu candidates speak on abortion and euthanasia

Under current New Zealand law abortion is a crime unless certain criteria are met.
123RF.COM

Under current New Zealand law abortion is a crime unless certain criteria are met.

 Te Atatu electorate candidates have strong and different views on abortion and euthanasia.

Phil Twyford from the Labour Party, the incumbent, supported a woman's right to choose and believed abortion should be legal.

He said there should be a government policy available to help support women, or a couple, make that "most painful decision and heartbreaking decision".

The Te Atatu electorate map.
PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY/SUPPLIED

The Te Atatu electorate map.

New electorate candidate Golriz Ghahraman from the Green Party said she wanted a law to "assert the right of women to make decisions about our own health by decriminalising abortion".

ACT candidate Stephen Fletcher said his party believed abortion as an "individual and personal choice".

National Party's Alfred Ngaro, however, had opposing views. He said that his party's policy, and his view, was that abortion should be dealt with as a conscience vote in Parliament.

Alfred Ngaro is National Party's candidate for the Te Atatu electorate.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Alfred Ngaro is National Party's candidate for the Te Atatu electorate.

"My personal view on abortion is that the current law, which provides for its availability in certain, specified, circumstances is appropriate, sets the right safeguards and enables people to access the support they might need," Ngaro said.

On the issue of euthanasia, Ngaro said he wasn't supportive of it.

Twyford said he didn't support the current Euthanasia Bill before parliament and wasn't convinced safeguards proposed would "adequately protect the vulnerable from situations where they might feel pressured into doctor-assisted suicide or euthanasia".

Green Party's Te Atatu electorate candidate Golriz Ghahraman believes abortion should be a personal choice.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Green Party's Te Atatu electorate candidate Golriz Ghahraman believes abortion should be a personal choice.

He said the current system for palliative care and end of life care worked pretty well.

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Fletcher and Ghahraman both said terminally ill individuals should have the right to choose a medically-assisted death.

"I believe individuals suffering a grievous and irremediable illness, and is in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability, and experiencing unbearable suffering should have the choice whether or not to end their life," Fletcher said.

Labour Party's Te Atatu candidate Phil Twyford said the current system for palliative care and end of life care worked ...
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Labour Party's Te Atatu candidate Phil Twyford said the current system for palliative care and end of life care worked pretty well.

Ghahraman said her party did not support euthanasia to people who weren't terminally ill "because we can't be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities."

"We also believe strongly in ethical safeguards that need to be put in place to ensure people making this choice freely and of their own accord."

 - Stuff

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