Media Release 30 July 2018
Right to Life believes that Jacinda Ardern is in breach of Article Three of the Treaty of Waitangi. Jacinda Ardern proposes that abortion, the killing of the unborn, should be taken out of the Crimes Act and treated as a “reproductive issue of choice for women”. It is her belief and that of her government that the killing of children before birth should not be a crime, this includes Maori children.
When the Treaty was signed in 1840, the Crown gave an assurance that Maori would have the Queen’s protection. It is believed that that protection was to include protection for the right to life of Maori from implantation to natural death, which was provided by the common law of England and carried on in the New Zealand Crimes Act since 1856.
The Crimes Act section 182. “Killing Unborn Child” provides protection for the life of the unborn including Maori. It is a serious crime to kill an unborn child and on conviction a person may be imprisoned for a term up to 14 years. Section 183. “Procuring abortion by any means” prohibits unlawful abortion, this is also a serious crime and every one on conviction, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years. This section also states that; “the woman or girl shall not be charged as a party to an offence against this section.” This legal protection for the lives of unborn children has been in the Crimes Act since 1856.It would be a great injustice for the government to remove this protection.
Why does Jacinda Ardern believe that it should not be a crime to kill an innocent and defenceless Maori unborn child?
It is the government’s intention to make it no longer a crime to kill an unborn child in an abortion. Those children who are classified as unwanted will be taken out of the Crimes Act in order that they may be killed as a health service and as a “reproductive choice for women” These children will effectively lose the protection of the Crown. The children who are wanted will retain the protection of the Crimes Act and the protection of the Crown.
The decriminalisation of abortion would be a violation of the human rights of all unborn children including Maori and an attack on the dignity of Maori mothers, it would be a statement from the state that we have no interest in protecting the life of your child or protecting you from the violence of abortion, the child is your property and it is your choice whether the child lives or is killed. If we followed the Victorian model, abortion for any reason, is available up to 24 weeks if a doctor agrees. Abortion from 25 weeks to birth is available for any reason if two doctors believe that an abortion is desirable. Victoria effectively has abortion on demand up to birth.
The abortion rate for Maori is disturbing. In 2017 there were 13,285 abortions reported in New Zealand, 3,111 of these abortions were on Maori women. I believe that if abortion is decriminalised it will result in more pressure and coercion imposed on Maori women to terminate the life of their child by the fathers of the child who threaten to abandon the mother if she does not have an abortion.
Right to Life