Mrs Judith Collins,
Minister of Justice,
Dear Mrs Collins
Abortion a Justice Issue
I wish to seek your assistance on an important issue concerning the performance of the Abortion Supervisory Committee. On the 28th December, I wrote to the Committee concerning a statement that appeared in the Committee’s report to Parliament for 2012. A copy is enclosed for your information. On Monday 10th of June I rang the secretary of the Committee to advise her that I had no record of receiving a reply to my letter. She responded that the Committee had decided not to reply. The statement made by the Committee in its report for 2012 was as follows.
“ Although the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 is administered by, and the Committee is supported by , the Ministry of Justice, contraception sterilisation and abortion are health, not justice issues…”
It is with respect that our Society wishes to challenge this conclusion for the following reasons:
- The Royal Commission on Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion in its report to Parliament in 1977, clearly saw the killing of unborn children as a justice issue as they made recommendations that the law governing abortion should be in the Crimes Act.
- Abortion, the killing of an unborn child, is a justice issue. The killing of an unborn child is a serious crime included in Part viii, crimes against the person in the Crimes Act 1961. Under s 182 Killing unborn child a person on conviction, may be sentenced to up to 14 years imprisonment.
- The law providing grounds for abortion to be performed without prosecution is found in s 187A.of the Crimes Act. It was the intention of Parliament in 1977 in passing the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act and amending the Crimes Act that abortion was to be treated as a justice issue.
- There is no known pathology that the killing of an unborn child will remedy. The killing of the unborn is not a legitimate health service. Ninety –eight per cent of abortions are authorised on what is widely believed to be for socio-economic reasons masquerading as psychiatric.
- It is demeaning to women to pretend that it is necessary to kill their children to protect their health. It also devalues the intrinsic dignity of the unique and unrepeatable miracle that every child in the womb represents.
It is of great importance that abortions continue to be recognised as a justice issue and not a health issue. The pro-life movement is aware that the Family Planning Association supports abortion being recognised as a health issue and not a justice issue. The Association seeks to have abortion decriminalised with the killing of unborn children being a private matter between a woman and a doctor of her choosing. A woman could then obtain an abortion for any reason or no reason. Abortion would then become just another form of contraception; this would be to the detriment of women and their unborn. Abortion would then become a part of “reproductive health services.”
The Association seeks to downplay the right of the unborn child to have legal protection for its human rights, the foundation right being an inalienable right to life. Women who are pregnant are vulnerable, they have a right to the protection of the community for their health and wellbeing. They also have a right to protection for their unborn. This is a very important justice issue, it is not just a health issue.
I believe that it would be detrimental to the interest of women and the unborn child if the Committee is permitted to align itself with the pro-abortion movement by changing the parameters of the ongoing debate on the killing of unborn children from being a justice and human rights issue to merely a health issue.
Right to Life recognises that both the CS & A Act and the Crimes Act are subject to the jurisdiction of the Minister of Justice. We therefore respectfully request that you consider advising the Committee that abortion is a justice issue and not primarily a health issue.