Right to Life wholeheartedly supports the call of Len Blackerby for legal recognition of the right to life of unborn children. Mr Blackerby is mourning the loss of his wife Anne-Maree and their unborn daughter, Siobena Maree who were killed by an alleged drunk driver. There were two precious human lives killed in this tragic accident. As the child is not recognised in law, the drunk driver cannot be charged with causing the death of the child. All New Zealand will share his grief and hopefully support his appeal to the government for the human rights of unborn children to be recognised and enshrined in law.
The child was 28 weeks old and had reached the age of viability. It was a real human person, much wanted and dearly loved by the parents. It was a member of the family and of our community. The grief of the family is very real and painful. The law is unjust, it fails to recognise that human life begins at conception and is endowed by its Creator with human rights, the foundation right being a right to life and the right to be born. The failure of the law to recognise the existence and the rights of the child adds to the grief of the family.
There are many precedents for legislation that recognises the right to life of unborn children and that a person may be charged with killing an unborn child as a result of homicide or an accident. In the United States there are 38 States that have fetal homicide laws that recognises the unborn child at various stages of gestation as a person endowed with human rights. There are 21 of these States that recognise the humanity of the unborn child from implantation. These States provide legal protection for the human rights of the child at all stages of the pregnancy. A person who takes the life of an unborn child by homicide or as the result of an accident, may be charged in court.
The State has a duty to protect the right to life of every member of our community especially unborn children who are the weakest and most defenceless members of our human family. Right to Life requests that this injustice imposed on unborn children be rectified by the government by bringing legislation to Parliament to recognise unborn children at every stage of pregnancy as human beings endowed with human rights, the foundation right being an inalienable right to life. As a first step in recognition of the right to life of unborn children the government should introduce a fetal homicide law.