The Minister of Justice in a letter to Right to Life dated 16 March 2018 stated that “this government believes that abortion is a health issue, that is a reproductive choice” and “the government and I do not believe that abortion should be a crime.”
The inconvenient truth for Andrew Little is that human life begins at conception and the child is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is entitled to the protection of the law.
Protection for the right to life of the unborn child has been in the Crimes Act since 1856. Abortion entails the killing of the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family. It has always been a crime to kill an unborn child. Right to Life believes that the Minister of Justice has a duty to explain to the community why he and his government now believe that it should no longer a crime to kill an unborn child.
The Minister claims that “New Zealand generally adheres to the born alive rule and thus prior to birth a foetus does not hold status as a legal person.” The Minister would be aware that section 159 of the Crimes Act Killing of a child, states, “A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not and whether the naval string is severed or not.”
While this is what the law states it should be recognised that this is a legal fiction used to differentiate homicide from the killing of an unborn child. When formulating this law it was never the intention of Parliament to deny the personhood of the unborn child. It is noteworthy that this section refers to the child in utero as a child, not a fetus as quoted by the Minister which is the language of the Family Planning Association. This association seeks to dehumanise the child by refusing to call the unborn a child or a baby. It would be a grave injustice for the Minister to now seek to exploit this section in order to deny the humanity of the unborn child and claim that we do no harm when we kill an unborn child and that it is not a crime because the child has no rights. [Read more…]