Abortion Supervisory Committee,
Dear Ms Williams
ASC Committee’s Report 2013 – Official Information Act Request
Our Society shares your Committee’s pleasure in the continuing fall in the abortion toll; we are pleased that more women in 2012 chose life for their baby.
Sex Selection Abortions
Our Society is pleased that your Committee has discussed with certifying consultants the possibility of sex selection abortions and received an assurance that this was not an issue. This is good news as we are aware that in Asian countries many abortions are performed on the grounds that a female child was not wanted. It is estimated that there are 100 million women missing in the world because of sex selection abortions, this is appalling discrimination against women. Studies done overseas reveal that wherever there is a sizable Asian population there is the evil of sex selection abortions.
It is contended that it would not be difficult to obtain an abortion in New Zealand for the purpose of sex selection. Gender prediction tests are available for purchase in New Zealand. A women seeking an abortion because the child was female would not need to disclose this motive and could obtain an abortion on mental health grounds. This is the ground that Dr Christine Forster, former chairperson of the Committee advised a Parliamentary Select Committee in 1995 was used by certifying consultants to provide abortion on demand.
The Committee expresses concern at the alleged harassment of those providing abortion services and patients. This issue was also included in the Committee’s report for 2012. Right to Life is opposed to violence against women and their unborn, we are also opposed to threats and intimidation to women and to those involved in abortion. We support the right of people to assemble peacefully outside an abortion facility, to pray for the staff and to offer counselling and support to women seeking an abortion.
Our Society is aware that the prayerful presence of members of the pro-life movement with the offer of assistance to women attending abortion facilities is responsible for many women changing their mind and choosing life for their precious unborn child. Their presence has also been responsible for doctors and staff experiencing a conversion and rejecting abortion. We have been told by the organizers of the vigil prayer group in Hastings that since they commenced praying outside the Hastings Hospital, 25 women have accepted their help and have chosen life for their baby. These women are eternally grateful for the generous offer of assistance in their hour of great need.
Right to Life is concerned at these allegations, the inference is that the pro-life movement is responsible and secondly that they are capable of violence. Are you aware that the group Southlanders for Life have a weekly prayer vigil outside the Southland Hospital. The leader of the group is Dr Norman Maclean, a distinguished member of the medical profession who was, until his retirement, in charge of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Southland Hospital.
Right to Life believes that it is contrary to natural justice to include unsubstantiated accusations that damage the good name and reputation of groups in the pro-life movement. It is ironic that the Committee should be concerned at harassment and the threat of violence outside licensed abortion facilities when from our perspective the violence is inside the facility. Abortion entails violence against women and against innocent and defenceless children in their first nine months of life. It is noted that since the abortion legislation was passed in 1977 the Committee has reported that more than 436,000 children have been legally killed in abortion facilities in New Zealand.
The allegations raise several important questions;
Does the Committee consider prayerful vigils outside an abortion facility as a form of harassment for women considering an abortion and for abortionists and staff?
Does the Committee consider that members of a prayer vigil group offering assistance to a woman considering an abortion is harassment?
In order that Right to Life and the pro-life movement may address the allegations made I wish to request under the Official Information Act the following information;
Details of the type of alleged harassment encountered by certifying consultants, patients and wider public.
The localities of the harassment.
The number of incidents of alleged harassment.
The response of your Committee to the alleged harassment.
Copies of correspondence the Committee has had with the Police Department and its response on the issue of harassment.
Thank you for your assistance with this enquiry.