Media Release 14 March 2020
The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has a duty to inform New Zealand why she misled the disability sector and the community in 2017 by giving an assurance that she would retain legal protection post 20 weeks for the unborn diagnosed with Down syndrome and other disabilities. She has now cruelly betrayed and abandoned these precious unborn by voting to defeat a Supplementary Order Paper, [SOP] and an amendment that was debated in Parliament on Tuesday 10th March at the third reading of her Abortion Legislation Bill.
The community should be aware that the Prime Minister voted against every one of the six SOP’s that sought to provide added protection to women and their unborn children. The community should also be aware that the vast majority of the Labour led government MP;s followed the Prime Minister in betraying women and the unborn by voting against these amendments. Right to Life believes that if this anti-life Bill is passed, an increasing number of children with Down syndrome will be killed.
Right to Life is now formally asking the Prime Minister, do you support the extermination of those with Down syndrome in New Zealand as a health service? We are also going to ask every MP why they voted against the Pro-Life SOP’s which were intended to prevent needless suffering and protection for our unborn children.
Agnes Loheni MP, brought SOP 460, which sought to restrict abortions post 20 weeks to where a women’s life or health is at risk. This measure was shamefully defeated 74 to 43. Greg O’Connor MP, sought an amendment that sought the same restriction, it was defeated by 73 to 45.
If either of these actions had been supported by Parliament, they would have prohibited the killing of the disabled including those with Down syndrome after 20 weeks. It is simply appalling that our Prime minister, the Minister of Justice and 70 other MPs refused to protect the right to life of our most vulnerable unborn children.
Can the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, be trusted? In 2017 she made a promise to the disability community in response to concerns expressed by the Saving Down’s advocacy group that the new abortion bill would remove the current 20 week prohibition and allow abortions up to birth for foetal abnormality. The Prime Minister responded, “They have said till 40 weeks, which is wrong, which is wrong. We have time periods already set out in law, I am not proposing changes to that. I am proposing it comes out of the Crimes Act,” this is simply untrue.
Down syndrome is considered a mild to moderate disability and Right to Life therefore protests at the killing of any of these special children who are gift to the community.
The Down syndrome community are the most persecuted community in New Zealand. According to information provided by the Minister of Health under the Official Information Act. In 2017, there were only 47 children born with Down syndrome. It is estimated that there were 56 babies with Down syndrome who were killed before birth in 2017. Between 2009 and 2017 it is estimated that 694 children with Down syndrome were killed before birth in abortions in New Zealand.
There is an international campaign to eliminate Down syndrome by killing these children before they are born. In Europe many countries have an abortion rate for Down syndrome of 90%; in Iceland it is nearly 100%.
Right to Life