New Zealand Press Council,
Re: Complaint against Auckland Now – “A Woman’s right to choose.”
Right to Life New Zealand Inc wish to make a complaint against an article written by Richard Boock, that was published by Stuff on the website “Auckland Now” on 8th December 2011. The title of the article was “A woman’s right to choose,” a copy of which is enclosed. Our complaint is that the article contravened the Principles of the Press Council, specifically Principle 1, 3 and 6.
Richard Boock in his article has made statements about people with Down syndrome that are deeply offensive and devalue their lives and implies that they have lives unworthy of living. His views are eugenic and promote the dangerous philosophy that only the perfect have a right to be born. This is an important issue. It is a well documented fact that the notorious T4 programme introduced in Nazi Germany in 1939, prior to the Second World War sought to eliminate “undesirables” and to achieve racial purity, commenced with the murder of those with Down syndrome and other disabilities and culminated with the “final solution” of the murder of 6 million Jews in concentration camps. The media played an important role in conditioning the German nation to accept the eugenic cleansing of the population. It is contended that the article written by Richard Boock is perhaps unwittingly assisting in encouraging the public into accepting the need for the elimination before birth of those with Down syndrome. The article directly expresses the view that such a practice is a “woman’s right” It is important that we learn from history lest we repeat the same human tragedies.