Official Information Act – Request, Alleged Harassment of Certifying Consultants and Medical Staff

Secretary,

Abortion Supervisory Committee,

Dear Ms Cole

Official Information Act – Request, Alleged Harassment of Certifying Consultants and Medical Staff

Our Society is concerned to read in your Committee’s report to Parliament for 2012 that it has come to your attention that harassment of medical staff is taking place at the Southland Hospital.

Right to Life and other organisations are totally opposed to the harassment of staff at the Southland Hospital or any other licenced facility. There is a pro-life group in Southland that has taken the name Southlanders for Life, [S4L]. The group is composed of concerned citizens who are opposed to the killing of defenceless unborn children at the Southland Hospital. They are proud of their Hospital and its cherished reputation for protecting the right to life of all of its patients.

Dr Norman McLean is the leader of Southlanders for Life and was until his retirement head of obstetrics at the Southland Hospital, he is a highly respected member of his community. At no time has S4L threatened staff or property. S4L are a peaceful law abiding group that is opposed to violence against women and their precious unborn children. The group proposes to conduct weekly, silent prayerful vigils outside the Southland Hospital. The group is totally opposed to violence, violence against the unborn and their mothers and violence against those who are involved in performing abortions.

It is deplorable that ALRANZ has been conducting a slanderous campaign to discredit S4L. The object of their campaign is to divert attention away from the real issue which is the violence against women and their unborn children. Dr McLean has the support of local religious leaders, including Bishop Colin Campbell the Catholic Bishop of Dunedin. The group has sought the names of those involved in performing abortions at the Southland Hospital, they have no intention of naming and shaming those involved in performing abortions at the Southland Hospital.

I wish to request under the Official Information Act copies of any correspondence that your Committee has received on this important issue and the Committee’s replies if any.

Our Society is also concerned about distressing reports your Committee has received from certifying consultants alleging harassment of them, their families, patients and wider public. Right to Life is not aware of this alleged harassment. The pro-life movement supports the defence of life and opposition to the killing of unborn children and violence against women but deplores harassment of those involved in abortion. It is assumed that the alleged harassment is associated with a particular licenced facility. Right to Life would be grateful if you were prepared to provide our Society with information on the nature of the alleged harassment and the name of the licenced facility or facilities involved, in order to enable us to investigate this important issue with local members of the pro-life movement.

Yours Sincerely

Ken Orr

Secretary

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