Media Release Tuesday 21st March 2017
Dame Linda Holloway, chairperson of the Abortion Supervisory Committee gave the following advice to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee in Parliament on Thursday 16th March. Concerning the annual review of the Committee for 2015-2016 she stated that calls for wider legislative changes, particularly to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and put it under health legislation, were not within the gambit of the Supervisory Committee.
Right to Life fully supports Dame Linda’s statement that the current abortion law legislation should not be overhauled. Those in the community and in Parliament who have been advocating for the removal of abortion from the Crimes Act, should be guided by Dame Linda and withdraw their support for this unjust, ill-advised and life threatening move. Those who claim that having abortion in the Crimes Act makes criminals out of women who have an abortion, are perpetrating a mischievous lie and doing a great disservice to women by inflicting on them unnecessary guilt.
Section 183 of the Crimes Act makes the killing of an unborn child a serious crime that with on conviction an offender may be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 14 years. This section states clearly that the woman or girl may not be charged as a party under this section. This section is there for the protection of mothers and their precious unborn. Section 187A allows a doctor to perform an abortion without liability of prosecution, after full regards of the rights of the unborn child, if he has an honest belief in the limited grounds provided in this section.
It is a serious crime to kill a child in the womb. The mother is not a criminal but the second victim of abortion, who deserves our love and compassion.
Why do those who support a culture of death wish to have the killing of the unborn classified as a health service? It would be a great injustice to women and their unborn to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and make it a health issue. This would be a denial of the humanity of the unborn and a denial of the dignity of women. Why are those who claim to support a woman’s right to choose, strangely silent about promoting the mother’s right to be fully informed and to choose life for their child and to keep it or place it up for adoption?
It is a matter of great concern that Andrew Little, leader of the Labour Party, James Shaw and Metiria Turei, co leaders of the Greens and David Seymour, leader of ACT, are enthusiastic advocates for the decriminalisation of abortion. As legislators, they should be fully aware of why abortion is in the Crimes Act. Have they forgotten that the first duty of Parliament is to legislate for the protection of the right to life of every member of the human family from conception to natural death? There is a general election on 23rd September and we should ensure that those we elect to govern us for the next four years have a profound commitment to defend life.