When is the last time you heard of a woman having an abortion?
In October, a New Zealand woman was told she was not eligible to terminate a pregnancy after a hospital ruled she had anandrology diseases.
The decision sparked an international outcry and a campaign to have her referred to an independent obstetrician, with her doctors’ permission, to carry out the abortion.
But New Zealand law allows women to terminate pregnancies when a woman’s health is in danger, with a medical certificate stating they must be able to safely terminate a pregnancies.
But doctors said the woman was in an advanced stage of ovarian cancer and had been told she could terminate her pregnancy if she could not stop bleeding from the infection in her vagina.
Her doctors said she had a history of miscarriages, which she had been treated for and she was aware of the need for further treatment.
Andrology Hospital New Zealand said the decision was not based on a medical or obstetric opinion but rather on an assessment of the woman’s medical condition and medical needs.
“This was not a matter of a clinical judgement,” the hospital’s chief executive officer, David Dutton, said.
“It was based on the evidence available to the hospital.”
I am confident that the patient would have made the decision that the best option for her was to have an abortion.
“She did not make that decision lightly.”
Andrology spokeswoman Claire Jones said the hospital was working with the woman to get an abortion referral.
“The hospital takes these matters extremely seriously, and we are consulting with the women involved and her family about the circumstances of this case,” she said.
Dr Dutton said the New Zealand system was “uniquely” designed to allow for this kind of decision.
“The decision to terminate an ectopic pregnancy is made by a specialist in a medical centre that is not an abortion centre, and so there is no risk to the woman or her family in the decision to do so,” he said.
In Australia, the Australian Medical Association has called for the Australian Government to review the current legislation and introduce a new system of medical advice and consent for women who want to terminate their pregnancies.