22 July 2016
Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Dear Mr McCully
Official Information Act –Request
Right to Life is concerned at the increasing pressure that is being exerted on the General Assembly of the United Nations to declare that abortion is a human right. Right to Life makes no apology for speaking up in defence of the human rights of the unborn child. We believe that at conception we are “endowed by our Creator” with an inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed upon..We also support the human rights of women; today the most dangerous place for a female child is in her mother’s womb.
We are aware that in October 2012, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva inched closer to asserting abortion as a human right when it passed a resolution endorsing a controversial new set of guidelines on maternal mortality. The guidelines were crafted with input from abortion advocates and reflect a view rejected by nations at the UN General Assembly.
The resolution, sponsored by New Zealand, Burkina Faso, and Colombia, endorsed a “technical guidance” paper by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that includes abortion under the term “sexual and reproductive health rights.”While the resolution was adopted without a vote, 20 of the 47 council members submitted written opposition to accompany the text when the UN General Assembly considered it for adoption.
The support of the New Zealand government for this resolution raises several important questions.
I therefore wish to request under the Official Information Act the following information:
- Does the New Zealand government accept that it was concluded at the Beijing International Conference on Population and Development in 1995 that abortion was not accepted as being included in the term “reproductive health services”
- Does the New Zealand government support or oppose abortion being recognised as a human right?
- Does the government support the International Campaign for Women’s right to safe abortion?
- Does the government vote in the General Assembly to oppose abortion as a human right and not a part of “reproductive health services”?
PO Box 10879,
Dear Mrs Major
Formal Complaint – Dompost
I wish to lay a formal complaint against the Dompost for an opinion article written by Jackie Edmond, CEO of the New Zealand Family Planning Association.[FPA] I have enclosed a copy of my letter of complaint to the Dompost and the Editors response.
In response to the Editor’s letter I wish to state that Jacki Edmund is a registered nurse who has been in the employment of the FPA for 14 years and was appointed as CEO in September 2007. The web site of the FPA states that Ms Edmund,” has extensive knowledge of sexual and reproductive health”As the FPA is the major abortion referral agency in New Zealand readers have the right to expect that she is fully conversant with the abortion laws in New Zealand.
It is contended that because of Ms Edmund’s position as CEO of the FPA a higher standard should be demanded from her as she speaks with authority. Material facts on which she bases her opinion should be accurate. Her statement that our abortion laws are broken and need to be replaced is a very important statement, however, it is not substantiated with evidence.
The Editor claims that the writer’s reference to the 1960 abortion laws was in respect to the Crimes Act 1961.which contains the acceptable grounds for an abortion. This response is misleading, as the grounds for abortion are found in Part v of the Crimes Act under section 187A. This section was passed in December 1977 and it is misleading for the writer to infer that it is a 1960s law. I do not accept that there is no need for correction.
The Editor claims that the writer was mistaken in stating that rape is notably absent from our law as a reason to permit an abortion. Readers of Dompost have a right to expect that when the CEO of the FPA writes an article considering the killing of the unborn she has a proper understanding of the law and why it is in the Crimes Act.
I believe that it is remiss of the Editor to dismiss most of my complaint on the grounds that it was clearly opinion. Principle 4 of the Press Council clearly states that material facts on which an opinion is based should be accurate.
I believe that it is important for the Council to understand the agenda of the FPA and its objective to have the law changed to remove all legal protection for the right to life of the unborn child.We all have a duty to protect life, especially the lives of the unborn, the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family.
16 July 2016
Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Dear Mr McCully,
I wish to express concern that the New Zealand government has made a grant of $6 million in 2015, which is being managed by the United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA] on behalf of the Pacific Sub-Regional Office on behalf of the New Zealand Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, which will implement the programme in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Governments and civil society organizations of Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa.
It is understood that activities will be aligned to country national health plans and/or reproductive health policies and strategies. The fund has supported an initial needs assessment and baseline survey related to sexual and reproductive health in the five countries to ensure an informed, country-specific and targeted programming of activities.
Dr Laurent Zessler UNFPA Pacific Director stated last year that;
“The linkages between poverty reduction, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and population do not appear to be fully appreciated, as reflected in the low contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) being below 50 per cent and less than 33 per cent for some countries.”
Right to Life believes that the promotion of contraceptives is not the solution to reduce poverty in the Island nations. The promotion of contraceptives results in promiscuity, teenage pregnancies and abortions. UNFPA supports abortion as a backup to failed contraceptives. The killing of unborn children, the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family is a violation of human rights and violence against women.
Right to Life believes that the just solution to resolve poverty in the Pacific nations is the promotion of abstinence sexuality education in schools which encourages teenagers to be chaste and abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage.
This programme would result in improved health for teenagers and increased respect for young women. New Zealand should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The UNFPA, the IPPF and the New Zealand Family Planning Association are at the forefront in promoting a culture of death with contraception, sterilisation and abortion. We could be doing so much more for our neighbours in the Pacific.by promoting a culture of life.
We are aware that the five Pacific nations have restrictive laws protecting the lives of its unborn children. We are also aware and concerned that pressure is being exerted on Kiribati which prohibits the killing of children in the womb, to remove this protection to allow for the killing of unborn children.
I would be grateful if you would advise me:-
· What efforts are being made by the New Zealand government to promote abstinence education in schools in Pacific nations?
· Why is the government promoting contraception as the solution to poverty in Pacific nations?
· Is the government involved in supporting pressure on Pacific nations to change their abortion laws?