June 27, 2022
Māori lag in abortion access
A social scientist says the debate about abortion in Aotearoa is now about access rather than abolition.
Lara Greaves from Ngāpuhi, a senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, says the upending of the Roe vs Wade decision by the US Supreme Court has a worldwide impact because of how the US dominates the media space.
The decision removes access to abortion and other obstetric procedures for millions of American women.
Dr Greaves says in this country abortion is seen as a health rather than a culture war issue.
Research has shown there are differences between Māori and non-Māori in line with other health inequities.
“Wāhine Māori still have restricted access to abortion, whether it’s because they live quite far away from somewhere where you can get one or whether it’s like discrimination in the health care system or just not really feeling they can go for one. That’s another area of health inequity where we need to think about access,” she says.
Dr Greaves says coverage of the Dobbs decision could be triggering for many wāhine who have had abortions, and people should show compassion.