Right to Life believes that the government has violated the functions of the Law Commission Act 1985 by actually directing the Commission to comply with a direction from government to produce a report that conforms to government policy. This is the action of a dictatorship and not a Parliamentary democracy.
The government has exploited and manipulated the Law Commission to direct it to produce recommendations on how to take abortion out of the Crimes Act and to make the killing of the unborn a health issue of choice for women.
The government has a duty to protect the human rights of all New Zealanders from conception to natural death. Why then do the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Minister of Justice, Andrew Little maintain a deafening silence in speaking up for the voiceless unborn, who are the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family? Shame on them.
The Minister of Justice in a letter to the President of the Law Commission, Sir Douglas White QC dated 27 February 2018 directed the Commission as follows, … “Accordingly, I am requesting under section 7 of the Law Commission Act 1985 that you prioritise a briefing to me with the Law Commission’s advice . Given our intention to propose a policy shift to treat abortion as a health issue, I would like the Law Commission’s advice on what alternative approaches could be taken in our legal framework to align with a health approach.”
The functions of the Commission are enshrined in section 5 of the Act,
The principle functions of the Act are:
[a] to take and keep under review in a systematic way the law of New Zealand:
[b]to make recommendations for the reform and development of the law of New Zealand.
(1)The Commission shall prepare and submit to the responsible Minister, at least once a year, programmes for the review of appropriate aspects of the law of New Zealand with a view to their reform or development.
(2)The responsible Minister may, at any time, request the Commission to examine any aspect of the law of New Zealand, and the Commission shall review that aspect accordingly, and report to the responsible Minister thereon with its recommendations.
Right to Life believes that the Minister has seriously breached the Act by failing to direct the Commission to review the existing laws on abortion found in the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977.
Because of the serious implications for the unborn child inherent in the government’s intention to demolish the current protective legislation, Right to Life believes that a comprehensive review should have included a review of all the objects of the abortion legislation, particularly those expressed in the long title of the CS & A Act “that abortions should be authorised after full regard to the rights of the unborn child.”
Why did the Minister not call for a full investigation by the Law Commission of why we effectively have abortion on demand, with 98 per cent of abortions being authorised for potentially normal pregnancies on socio-economic grounds masquerading as mental health grounds. This fact was even stated by the chairperson of the ASC, Dr Christine Forster, to a Justice Select Committee hearing in Parliament in 1995. The Minister should have also directed the Commission to investigate why women are not being provided with full information on the development of the unborn child, alternatives to abortion and the potential complications resulting from abortion.
Right to Life believes that Parliament should demand that the government urgently direct the Law Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the laws on abortion in New Zealand.
Right to Life