Dear Mr Power
Re Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2008
Our Society is concerned at the withholding of important statistical information by the Abortion Supervisory Committee [ASC] in its report to Parliament for 2008. The Committee has a statutory duty under the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977, section 14. Functions and Powers of Supervisory committee,  [g], To obtain, monitor, analyse, collate, and disseminate information relating to the performance of abortions in New Zealand.
There are ten tables of statistics in the 2008 report, in the 2007 report there were sixteen tables which have been included in the Committee’s reports for many years.
Three of the omitted tables of particular importance are the table listing the reasons for the authorisation of the abortions. This table in previous reports revealed that 98% of abortions were authorised on the grounds of mental health. These statistics were of critical importance in obtaining the judgment of the High Court in the Judicial Review of the performance of the ASC which declared that certifying consultants were using mental health grounds to provide an unlawful abortion on demand in New Zealand. Table seven listing the ethnicity of the women having an abortion has been withheld, as is table 15 which lists the procedures used for abortions. We are also concerned that table eight, Induced Abortions by Previous Abortions has been drastically changed. In the 2007 report it provided information on the number of abortions a woman had had including up to eight abortions, this information was also of importance in our Judicial Review in the High Court. The 2008 report is limited to providing information up to two abortions.
We believe that Parliament and the public of New Zealand have a right to the statistical information withheld. It is the opinion of this Society that the Committee is deliberately withholding statistical information that would indicate that the abortion laws are not working as intended by Parliament and that the human rights of unborn children are given little regard.
We respectfully request that you direct the Committee to produce a supplementary report to Parliament to include the omitted statistics and direct the Committee to include the missing statistics in future annual reports to Parliament.