A group of Alabamian students visiting Massey on a culture tour of New Zealand say they are concerned about the precedent that the abortion-banning law sets for their country as a whole.
The law puts a total ban on abortion unless carrying the baby to term endangers the mother’s life; there are no exceptions for incest or rape.
“It’s getting really scary to be a female there...we don’t know what’s going to happen. If this is allowed, what’s next?” said Emma Sanders, a 3rd year student at the University of Alabama.
The controversial law that was passed in Alabama was voted into action by 25 state senators – all men, in the state congress, and approved by the female governor Kay Ivey.
Callie Dodd, who grew up in Alabama, said that having this bill signed into law by a female governor was particularly devastating as it felt like a woman who doesn’t care about other women.
“Seeing her sign this bill felt like a really personal betrayal, especially without the exception for rape or incest.”
The students said that their governor is simply doing whatever she has to do to get reelected, calling her actions against women’s rights “disgusting” and“offensive”.
In a group discussion on the Massey Wellington campus, the students said that they hope the younger generation will aspire to change laws like these and empower women and other minority groups,following successful examples such as Greta Thunberg and her Strike for Climate marches.
“I think we have a really good opportunity to affect change and I think we see that all over the nation or all over the world,” said Jenna Merritt, another visiting student.