Abortion is a Human Right and Health Issue: Disabled People’s Experiences of Abortion Services in Aotearoa New Zealand

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He aha te kaupapa o taua nei rakahau?  What is this research about?                                            

This research seeks to understand disabled people’s access to, and experiences of, a wide range of abortion services in Aotearoa New Zealand. The findings from the research will help the government and healthcare providers to address matters of disability rights, and deliver more equitable, inclusive and accessible abortion services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The findings will also feed into the New Zealand Government's 5-year review of the Abortion Legislation Act 2020.


Ko wai mātou?  Who is doing this research?

A group of disability researchers from the Donald Beasley Institute are working on this research. Some of the researchers identify as disabled, and others have worked with disabled people in research for many years.

  • Prof. Brigit Mirfin-Veitch (Kaiwhakahaere/Director)
  • Dr Kelly Tikao (Kairakahau Māori/Senior Māori Researcher)
  • Dr Robbie Francis Watene (Kairakahau Matua/Senior Researcher)
  • Dr Solmaz Nazari (Kairakahau/Researcher)
  • Umi Asaka (Paewai Rakahau Teina/Junior Research Fellow)
  • Eden Tuisaula (Kairakahau/Researcher)
  • Lydie Schmidt (Kairakahau/Researcher)
  • Jacinta Tevaga (Kairuruku/Research Assistant)
  • Ash Beales (Kairuruku/Research Assistant)

This research is funded by Manatū Hauora (Ministry of Health) and is hosted by the Donald Beasley Institute, an independent disability research institute that is based in Ōtepoti Dunedin.


Mā wai e whakauru i taua nei rakahau? Who can participate in this research?

In this project, we are looking for 20 people to answer a questionnaire.

We also want to interview 12 people who answered the questionnaire and showed interest in doing a follow-up interview with one of our researchers. 

All participants must be 18 or over and be able to provide informed consent to participate. 
We would like to hear from people who have accessed abortion services or have thought about using abortion services since 2020. 

The questions will be about your experiences of using or thinking about using:

  • abortion services,
  • abortion-related mental health support or assessment,
  • counselling, and
  • contraception services.

Family, whānau, aiga and/or close supporters of disabled people who have engaged with abortion services, but who cannot provide informed consent on their own behalf, are also invited to respond to the questionnaire or take part in an interview. Whānau and close supporter participants will be asked to share their own personal reflections on the abortion service interaction (and not speak on the disabled person’s behalf). 


What will I do if I take part in the questionnaire?

To take part in the questionnaire, please begin by reading the participant information sheet below. 
If you’d like to take part, you can fill out the questionnaire using this online form:


Accessible formats of the questionnaire are found in the tab below as well. 

The questionnaire will take approximately 20 minutes - 1 hour to complete, depending on how much you want to share with us.

At the end of the questionnaire, we will ask you if you would like to speak to one of our researchers about

  • your experiences,
  • if you need further support, or
  • if you’d like to be kept updated about the research project.

Any information you give will be used for this research only and will not be used for any other purpose.


Who do I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Lydie Schmidt (Kairakahau / Researcher)
Waea mai / Free phone: 0800 878 839
Īmēra mai / Email: lschmidt@donaldbeasley.org.nz

Wāhi Mahi / Postal Address:  Suite 4, Level 2
                                            248 Cumberland Street
                                            Dunedin 9016, New Zealand


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