The second in a series of occasional Prochoice Highway updates.
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Warkworth & Whangarei

The Highway set off  for Warkworth and points north on Sunday 15 September. In Warkworth, we set the stall up on the main street, while in Whangarei (above, from left, Alison McCulloch, Moea Armstrong and Nicky Hager) we booked a spot in Cameron Street mall for Suffrage Day. One common reaction from those who stop to talk is surprise that abortion is in the Crimes Act, and that women do not have the right to make the choice themselves. In Whangarei, we were given a place to stay and unbelievable support from Moea Armstrong, whose mother helped out with Sisters Overseas Service in the 1970s in Taranaki. So many surprising, interesting, amazing stories from so many people already. 
At the women’s centre in Warkworth, I met and had a great discussion with Jane Dawson, above, the daughter in law of Family Planning pioneer Jean Dawson. 


One of my all-time heroes, Dr. Rex Hunton, lives in Kerikeri with his wife, Valerie, an artist. Rex, a GP and educator (among his myriad talents), is retired now, but he was the first medical director of the AMAC clinic in Auckland, which opened in 1974 and helped spark the struggles that led to royal commission and 1977 law. I interviewed Rex for "Fighting to Choose" back in 2008, but took the chance to talk to him again on camera as part of WONAAC's audio-visual recording of history. 

North & South

The October issue of North & South magazine, see image at bottom, has a great, in-depth article about abortion by Joanna Wane, starting on p. 58. She talked to activists on both sides, as well as abortion providers, and gives some excellent insight from the front lines of abortion care about some of the negative impact the current law needs to change. The article quickly prompted Right to Life’s Ken Orr to complain to the Abortion Supervisory Committee about provider Dr. Simon Snook, who spoke openly about the law. Here's a quote from the article: “Consultant Simon Snook considers the law offensive to women and believes the protracted approval procedure is also at least partly to blame for the number of relatively late terminations performed here, compared to other Western countries.” The article is one of the best, most comprehensive pieces on the issue that's been published in a long while. 
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