Media Release 4 August 2018.
The overall approval rate for abortions has been consistent at 98% since the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 was passed by Parliament. Dr Christine Forster, a previous chairperson of the Abortion Supervisory Committee [ASC] told the Justice Select Committee in 1995 that consultants were using mental health grounds to provide abortion on demand.
Statistics recently released to Right to Life by the Abortion Supervisory Committee, under the Official Information Act for the 20 busiest consultants, indicate that we continue to have abortion on demand. There were 13,285 abortions notified in 2017. There is approximately one abortion for every four live births. The statistics reveal that one certifying consultant approved of the killing of 1452 unborn children; He received fees totalling $227,138.00 for short consultations with the women seeking an abortion. This consultant declined only four requests for an abortion which would include women who changed their mind and chose life for their baby. Another consultant approved 1150 abortions and refused only eight requests for an abortion for fees totalling $159,414.00.
A third consultant approved 838 abortions and declined eighty. This is an unprecedented refusal rate of nearly ten per cent, it raises very important questions. Is this consultant endeavouring to give full regard to the rights of unborn children? If he is, he is to be highly commended.
Is he also endeavouring to administer the law as intended by Parliament so that women are being properly screened to ensure they are not being coerced into having an abortion due to physical and sexual violence inflicted on them?
The Supreme Court in 2012 in its decision in Right to Life V the ASC, directed that the ASC, while they could not enquire about individual cases of abortion, had a duty to enquire of certifying consultants how they were administering the law with requests for abortion.
Right to Life asks what action has the ASC taken to investigate consultants on the continuing unlawful abortion on demand prevailing in New Zealand?
It was the expectation of Parliament in passing this legislation that it would protect the human rights of unborn children and protect the health and welfare of vulnerable women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. This objective was enshrined in the long title of the Act which reads; “…abortions may be authorised only after full regard to the rights of unborn children”
Parliament expected that certifying consultants would be the protectors of innocent and defenceless unborn children and would be eloquent and determined advocates for the right to life of their little patients. It is the greatest human rights tragedy of our era that these noble sentiments have not been met, contrary to the laws of humanity. The statistics reveal that certifying consultants have abdicated their responsibility and their professional ethics to vigorously protect human life from the very moment of conception.
Right to Life New Zealand Inc.