Hon Paula Bennett,
Minister of Social Development and Employment.
Dear Ms Bennett
Thank you for the invitation to contribute to this important debate on child abuse. This submission is made by Right to Life New Zealand Inc. The fundamental object of our Society is to uphold the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death. We commend you and your government for seeking solutions to the abuse of our vulnerable children. It is a cause of national shame that New Zealand has the third highest rate of child abuse in the OECD. We fully support you in the measures that will flow from this discussion document. As a nation we must succeed in protecting our children.
Our Society is disappointed that this discussion document concerns only those children who have been born. Human life commences at conception and the first nine months of the child’s life is critical for the future development of the child. Unborn children are the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family. An abortion is violence against the child. It entails the violent dismemberment of the child. The killing of the unborn child by abortion is the ultimate in child abuse. You advise that New Zealand is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which sets out basic rights for everyone under 18. This Convention in its preamble states; “the child because by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”. It is the view of this Society that to exclude the child before birth in this discussion paper is discrimination. It is disappointing that the violence against unborn children is sanctioned and funded by the government. Professor Philip Ney an eminent child and family psychiatrist of Canada has completed extensive research into the relationship of the violence against the unborn with abortion and the child abuse of the born child. We believe that there is an important link for the following reasons: