Media Release 27 July 2018
Right to life is concerned that this UN Committee continues to unlawfully pressurise the New Zealand government and other governments to decriminalise abortion. It is abhorrent that the CEDAW Committee has hijacked the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The ultimate discrimination of women is to be violently killed before birth in their mother’s womb.
Jan Logie, the Under Secretary for Justice led the government delegation at the 8th Periodic Review by the CEDAW Committee at Geneva on 12 July 2018. Members representing NGOs, the New Zealand Family Planning Association and the Abortion Law Reform Association NZ also attended the Review and made a joint submission supporting the decriminalisation of abortion.
It is disappointing that the government colludes with the UN Committees in hijacking the Convention in support of the government’s determination to decriminalise abortion in New Zealand. Right to Life fully supports the Convention as originally drafted and signed by the New Zealand government in 1980.The UN Committee unlawfully continues to interpret Article 12 of the Convention to include abortion as part of family planning services, contrary to the intentions of the General Assembly that has repeatedly rejected abortion as part of family planning services.
Clearly, the intent of Article 12 was to protect women, especially during or after pregnancy or lactation, by ensuring adequate health care to protect mother and child. Nowhere in Article 12 or in any other provision of CEDAW is there a so called “right” to abortion or abortifacients. “Family planning” and “health care services” are mentioned, but not abortion. Right to Life requests that the government cease using the unlawful interpretation of the CEDAW Convention to promote discrimination against women through its proposal to decriminalise the killing of the unborn and to make abortion a health issue of choice for women. The government should uphold the Convention by opposing the ultimate discrimination of women, the killing of women before birth.
Right to Life