Media Release 22nd March 2020
This week the New Zealand Parliament passed the government’s Abortion Legislation Bill which allows for the murder of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome up to birth.
The architect of this murderous legislation was the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern who believes that women have a right to kill their unborn children, including those with Down syndrome up to birth.
Right to Life shares the fears of the Down community that with the passing of the extremist anti-life Abortion Legislation Act that the government’s campaign to eliminate babies before birth with Down syndrome will intensify.
Down syndrome awareness day, the 21 March was instituted by the United Nations in 2012. This year of 2020, the World Down Syndrome Day Theme is focuses on “We Decide”. All people with Down syndrome should have full participation in decision making about matters relating to, or affecting, their lives. Right to Life totally supports the inalienable right of those with Down syndrome to be consulted on what affects their lives. Why then does the government refuse to hear the pleas of the Down community for protection for the lives of those diagnosed with Down syndrome?
Right to Life believes that this government and previous governments instituted a search and destroy mission to eliminate Down syndrome not by remedying the condition but by eliminating the person with Down syndrome. 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.
Prior to the third reading, 1,300 people with Down syndrome and their families sent an open letter entreating the Prime Minister to honour her public commitment to the Down community and the nation to retain the post 20 week prohibition of the termination of babies with Down syndrome. The Prime Minister callously ignored that impassioned plea. The Down syndrome families also created the website Downright Discrimination.
The Abortion Legislation Committee actually made it very clear in their final report on page 28 that they opted to keep this new post-20-weeks provision in place in the Bill so that it could be used for disability-selective abortions up to birth. The Committee had ignored the submissions from the Down community and the 25,000 submissions with 91% being opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion and abortions for disability up to birth. Why did this specially appointed pro-abortion Committee ignore the pleas of the community for protection for the lives of our special Down syndrome children?
Every child is a unique and unrepeatable miracle of God’s creation that is endowed at conception with an inalienable right to life. The community should be outraged at the government’s legislation to permit this targeting and killing of children with Down syndrome up to birth. The Prime Minister and the majority of her caucus opposed an amendment that in the event that a child with Down syndrome is born alive following an abortion it was to be given appropriate medical care. This is a crime against humanity.
Right to Life will not be silent about this great betrayal of women, the unborn child and the disability community. We will not be quiet, we will not abandon the battlefield, nor will we rest until we achieve justice for women, the unborn child and those with Down syndrome.
Right to Life