Media Release 1 August 2021
The Crimes Act 1961, section 159, “Killing Unborn Child” perpetuates the legal fiction that an unborn child is not a human being and has no human rights until it is born.
This lethal fiction is used to justify the brutal and violent murder of thousands of children in the safety of their mother’s womb. That they could be poisoned, suctioned from the womb or violently dismembered under the appalling idea that this is “health care”, that is authorised and funded by the government as a core (essential) health service.
This is a fiction that was first formulated in England into common law in 1628 by Sir Edward Coke to differentiate between homicide and abortion.
Little was known in 1628 about the amassing growth and development of the child in the womb. Scientific evidence today provides irrefutable evidence with 3D ultrasound scans and surgery in the womb that the unborn child is truly human and the weakest and most defenceless member of our human family.
This section was used by the Hon. Andrew Little, to justify the killing of unborn children up to twenty weeks for any reason, and up to birth if a doctor considered it appropriate. This was the first time in the history of our New Zealand Parliament that a government argued that the unborn child was not a human being, did not have a right to life and that it was not a crime to kill it.
The Minister stated on 8th August 2019 when presenting the Abortion Legislation bill to Parliament for its first reading
“We will hear extravagant language in the public debate about this referring to “killing” and “murder”.
“I reject those notions. I accept on legal and moral grounds the established jurisprudence in New Zealand that human rights do not accrue until human life is possible, and that the widely accepted human rights that we all understand apply when they are capable of being exercised, which is to say I accept the “born alive” principle that guides our courts today.”
In 1983 the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child successfully gained the support of the Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, to have a Private Members bill titled “Status of Unborn Children bill” presented to Parliament by Hon. Doug Kidd, MP. Sadly, this bill was defeated by 48 to 30 votes at the 1st reading due to the concerted actions of pro-abortion MPs.
It is important to note that there is strong support in the community for recognition of the humanity of the unborn child before birth. A poll conducted by Curia Marketing Research on behalf of Right to Life in September 2019 found the following results.
- 25 % believed that human life began at conception
- 14 % believed life began at implantation of the embryo in the womb
- 26 % believed that human life began between implantation and birth
- 11 % believed that human life began at birth
- 23% of the 1004 people surveyed were unsure or refused to respond
This poll reveals that 65% of those polled believed that the unborn child was a human being before birth. A similar poll with the same questions was conducted in 1997 by Neilsen which revealed that 85% of those polled believed that the unborn child was a human being before birth.
Right to Life is continuing to campaign for the re-introduction of the Status of Unborn Children Bill and will not rest until Parliament gives recognition to the unborn child as a human being from conception endowed by its Creator with an inalienable right to life.
Right to Life