Health and Disability Service Standards and the provision of abortion care
The provision of abortion care in Aotearoa New Zealand is underpinned by the recently published Ngā Paerewa Health and Disability Services Standard NZS 8134:2021 and the New Zealand Aotearoa Abortion Clinical Guideline.
The Ngā Paerewa Health and Disability Services Standard defines and updates the quality and safety requirements of specified health and disability services. The standard comes into effect on 28 February 2022. Primary birthing centres, fertility and abortion service providers are included amongst the health and disability services that must meet the new standard.
The standard is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and provides the foundation for best practice and continuous quality improvement in the delivery of health and disability services. The standard sets out people’s rights when receiving services and describes the responsibilities of service providers with regards to delivering safe outcomes.
The Abortion Law reform in 2020, decriminalised abortion and moved abortion services to sit with the Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health. A national, multi-disciplinary group was established to develop clinical guidance that could support consistent, culturally and clinically safe, abortion care and increase the accessibility of abortion across Aotearoa. The guidance is underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and includes evidence from Aotearoa contexts and international best practice. The New Zealand Aotearoa Abortion Clinical Guidance was published September 2021.