Moving Beyond the Crimes Act - abortion as a health issue

21 March 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Lecture Room 301, Kirk Building, Victoria University of Wellington

Panellists:

Dame Margaret Sparrow, doctor, author and reproductive rights activist
John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner
Wendy Aldred, barrister and health law expert
Niamh McMahon, lawyer and Honorary Consul General for Ireland
Jackie Edmond, chief executive, Family Planning

Moderator:

Linda Clark

Format:

Each panellist will speak for 6-7 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated conversation with pre-submitted questions and questions from the floor.

Submit your questions at national@familyplanning.org.nz

Biographies:

Dame Margaret Sparrow, doctor, author and reproductive rights activist

Dame Margaret began her career working in student health at Victoria University of Wellington. She worked at Wellington hospital as a venereologist and held many roles at Family Planning over close to four decades. She was president of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (twice) and is an icon of New Zealand's reproductive rights movement.

John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner

John Edwards was appointed to the position of Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand in February 2014 after a more than 20 year career practicing law. He has degrees in law (LLB) and public policy (MPP) from Victoria University of Wellington and has advised and represented a wide range of clients from the public and private sector. He chaired the New Zealand Law Society Privacy and Human Rights Committee, and was Contributing Editor of Brookers Human Rights Law and Practice, and has published widely on human rights and privacy matters. In addition to a practice specialty in the field of information and privacy law, he held warrants as a district inspector for mental health, and as district inspector for intellectual disability services and has provided legal services to the Kingdom of Tonga.

In October 2014 John was elected as Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners and completed his 3 year term in October 2017.

Wendy Aldred, barrister and health law expert

Wendy Aldred is a Wellington barrister specialising in public law, commercial litigation and health law and is based at Stout Street Chambers. She was admitted in 1996 and joined the independent Bar in 2007. Wendy’s areas of particular interest include abortion law and the law relating to assisted reproductive technologies. Over the last 13 years she has represented the Abortion Supervisory Committee in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and before Select Committees.

Niamh McMahon, lawyer and honorary Irish Consul General

Niamh McMahon is a partner with Auckland law firm McMahon Butterworth Thompson. Niamh was born Dublin and grew up in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. She is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and has been in private practice since 1987. She has a long history of reproductive rights activism in Ireland and has been an expert commentator on last year's landmark referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution.

Jackie Edmond, chief executive Family Planning

Jackie Edmond has been chief executive of Family Planning since September 2006. She has a background in mental health nursing and health administration. Jackie was chief executive of Family Planning when it became a provider of early medical abortion services at its Tauranga Clinic and has regularly fronted media interviews advocating for law change.

 

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