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The third in a series of occasional Prochoice Highway updates.

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Sept. 28: Prochoice Picnics and Craft Work

September 28, the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, was marked across Aotearoa New Zealand with a Prochoice Picnic (above) in Albert Park, Auckland; another at the Farmers' Market in Dunedin organised by Dunedin Reproductive Justice; and a Choice Work event organised by ALRANZ in Wellington (a photo collection is available at ALRANZ's Facebook Page). Over the two hours of the picnic in Albert Park, about 40 people came and went, sampling the wares and looking over the Prochoice Highway stall.  Thanks so much to the organisers and everyone who took part in all the events. Meanwhile, Family Planning issued a powerful media release on the need for change.

North & South Investigates 

One of the most comprehensive articles on New Zealand's abortion laws  in recent years appears in the October issue of North & South Magazine, by Deputy Editor Joanna Wane. (Buy it! Or click here for a pdf.) What is particularly striking about the piece are the comments by abortion providers on the myriad negative impacts of our criminalised abortion law. If you haven't already, consider a letter to the ed. After all, we know who else will be writing in.

The Prochoice Highway: Back on the Road

The next leg of the Prochoice Highway takes us to Whakatane, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Palmerston North, the Wairarapa and on to Wellington in time for the Family Planning Conference 31 Oct - 2 Nov. We have lots of events planned -- please keep an eye on the events page -- but if you'd like to organise a get-together, please get in touch. A key event is the book launch and author talk/discussion with Alison McCulloch and Dame Margaret Sparrow in Palmerston North Library, Friday 18 October, 5:30- 7pm, to be MC'd by Dr. Deborah Russell. This will link you to a flyer for the event. (Oh, and if you can help keep us on the road, click here!)
Dr. Rex Hunton in his home in Kerikeri.

Interview with Prochoice Pioneer

As part of WONAAC's audio-visual recording of abortion rights history, the Prochoice Highway interviewed Dr. Rex Hunton in his home in Kerikeri. Rex was the first medical director of AMAC, the country's first abortion clinic, which sparked the political battle that ultimately led passage of the current law. Rex talked about why he got involved, and just how tough the 70s political struggle was. Rex and his wife, Valerie, an artist, put the Highway up for a couple of nights: a treat to sleep in a real bed!
On the street in Kawakawa.

Thanks Northland!

The last stop on the two-week first leg of the Prochoice Highway was a bit of street campaigning in Kawakawa, where the response was pretty positive. Several young Pākehā and Māori women stopped to chat, and the Highway met a Twitter follower who happened to be working in a nearby store. The most common reaction is surprise that abortion remains criminalised in New Zealand. 
One of the highlights was the time spent in Whangarei (see previous update, No. 2) where "Fighting to Choose" and the Highway got a write-up in the Saturday 21 Sept issue of the local paper, the Northern Advocate. (Click here to read a pdf.) And big thanks to fellow traveler Nicky H. 

 

On the set of the FaceTV programme, Womenpower, from left, Nikki Whyte, Catriona MacLennan and Alison McCulloch.

Womenpower

Catriona MacLennan's Face TV series, Womenpower, starts this evening, Wednesday 2 October at 7:30 pm, and can be seen in Auckland on Face TV, on Sky Channel 83 and online at Scoop.co.nz. Nikki and Alison were interviewed for an episode on reproductive rights, which won't air for about a month. Issues being covered in the series include Māori women in the media, political representation, being a feminist parent, women and poverty, the gender pay gap and more...

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