The Ministry of Justice has refused a request under the Official Information Act to provide the names and qualifications of persons appointed by the Abortion Supervisory Committee to a new advisory committee. Right to Life is disappointed that its request for this information has been refused. It represents a serious threat to our civil liberties. The public have a right in a free society to know who are appointed to government bodies and to know what their qualifications are. The secret members of this committee are appointed by the Abortion Supervisory Committee under the authority of the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act. Members are paid for their services from the public purse.
More than two thirds of the women who had an abortion at Lyndhurst and Christchurch Women’s Hospitals in 2006/2007 did not receive counselling at the hospitals before having an abortion. [Read more…]
Media Release 23rd August 2008
The Abortion Supervisory Committee is blatantly ignoring a High Court judgment that put the Committee on notice for failing to fulfil its statutory duties.
Justice Miller in the High Court in Wellington on 9 June stated that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants, we have abortion on request.”
Justice Miller confirmed that “the Committee does in fact have the power to hold certifying consultants accountable for the lawfulness of abortions they authorise and to question them why they are using mental health grounds to authorise 98% of abortions. [Read more…]
Crown counsel acting for the Abortion Supervisory Committee has advised that the Committee had lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal.
This appeal is from the judgment of Justice Forrest Miller delivered on 9 June 2008 at the completion of a Judicial Review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee in the High Court in Wellington.
The judgment found that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended” Justice Miller stated that ; “In my opinion , the statistics and the Committee’s comments over the years since the Court of Appeal made that observation do give rise to powerful misgivings about the lawfulness of many abortions. They tend to confirm Dr Forster’s view that New Zealand essentially has abortion on request.” The Court held that the Committee does in fact have the power to review and scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants and to require them to keep records and question them on the use of the mental health ground to authorise 98% of the abortions in New Zealand.
The first duty of the state is to protect the right to life of every citizen from conception to natural death. The Royal Commission on Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion in its report to Parliament in 1977 stated; “The unborn child as one of the weakest, the most vulnerable, and most defenceless forms of humanity, should receive protection.” The Commission heard evidence from around the world and accepted that life begins at conception. The Commission said the right to life is a sacred principle of civilisation.” For this reason the Commission stated; “The child from implantation has a status which entitles it to preservation and protection.” In 1977 the government implemented the recommendations of the Royal Commission by passing the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act [CS &A Act] to regulate the performance of abortion. The Crimes Act was amended to excuse abortions in rare and clearly defined circumstances. It should be recognised that abortion is a serious crime. The Crimes Act, Section 182 Killing of Unborn Child, which was first enacted in 1893, states that it is an offence punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment to cause the death of an unborn child in a manner that would have been murder had the child been born.
Right to Life applauds the Prime Minister’s announcement at an event in Parliament on Wednesday 10 October 2007. She stated that she is working with other nations to put a resolution to the United Nations seeking the abolition of the death penalty. The Prime Minister states that capital punishment was removed from the statute books in 1961. It is encouraging that she seeks to defend the right to life.
There is however a serious inconsistency, because
The Prime Minister said at the event at Parliament that “Capital punishment is the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” She also said that “The death penalty violates the right to life….it is known to have been inflicted on the innocent.” These statements could be associated with the plight of unborn children. The abortion approval process is conducted by doctors behind closed doors; no witnesses may appear in defence of the child. There is no right of appeal and the death sentence is carried out quickly. Every abortion results in at least two victims, one dead child and a wounded mother.
Between 1842 and 1957 a total of 83 persons were executed in
The killing of our unborn children is a cause of national shame and an intolerable burden on the conscience of this nation.
If the Prime Minister is genuinely concerned with upholding the sanctity of life and promoting a culture of life, she should move with urgency to stop the abortion holocaust by providing effective legal protection for the right to life of all New Zealanders from the moment of conception.
Right to Life also requests that the New Zealand Bill of Rights 1990 be amended to remove the discrimination against the unborn. Section 8 should read; ‘No human being shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.”