Story: Abortion

Abortion Supervisory Committee, 1978

Abortion Supervisory Committee, 1978

The first members of the Abortion Supervisory Committee were (from left) Dr Bruce Grieve, Augusta Wallace and Dr Heather Thomson. They appointed the certifying consultants to whom women wanting an abortion went for approval. Women also needed to find a surgeon willing to perform the operation. The system did not work well, and hundreds, possibly thousands, of women travelled to Australia for abortions as a result. In 1978 Parliament amended the legislation.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/15/78
Photograph by Ross Giblin

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Abortion - Controversy: 1974 to 1980s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 December 2023)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Nov 2018