Right to Life is concerned that the Prime Minister,Jacinda Ardern has declined to answer important questions on public policy sent to her by our Society on 15 January 2019.
The principle questions asked were:-
- Is it still your policy to retain a restriction on abortions imposed at 20 weeks gestation in the Crimes Act section 187A in your proposed legislation to decriminalise abortion?
- Is it your policy to accept dismemberment abortions that permit an abortionist to tear the arms, legs and head off an unborn child?
The new coalition government has specifically made a commitment to “strengthen New Zealand’s democracy by increasing public participation, openness, and transparency around official information”. Right to Life believes that the Prime Minister has a duty to lead by example.
The Crimes Act stipulates that the cut – off point for abortions is 20 weeks, The cut-off point in the legislation being drafted by the Minister of Justice is 22 weeks. Mike Munroe, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office advised on 24 January that he was referring our Official Information Request to the Minister of Justice, as he was responsible for “alternative approaches on abortion law.”
At the Newstalk ZB’s Leader’s Breakfast just prior to the election Jacinda Ardern made the following statement:-
“Yes I think abortion should come out of the Crimes Act. That does not mean for a moment that I am proposing what has been claimed, that you should be able to have on-demand abortion to birth. No that is absolutely not what I am saying. We of course must regulate… We have time periods already set out in the law and I am not proposing changes to that. I am proposing it comes out of the Crimes Act.”
This is an important public policy statement concerning abortion. The public have an absolute right to ask the Prime Minister, who believes that killing an unborn child should not be a crime, is relentlessly driving a change in the abortion law to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and to make abortion a “reproductive choice for women”. Will she support retaining the 20 week cut off as she has publicly stated?
The minister of Justice at the direction of the Prime Minister is to bring a bill to Parliament to adopt the Law Commission’s Model C. Under this Model, there would be no statutory test until 22 weeks of a pregnancy. After 22 weeks, the health practitioner who intends to perform an abortion would need to be satisfied that the abortion is appropriate in the circumstances, having regard to the woman’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. Everyone knows what this means, – effectively abortion on demand up to birth.
Curia Market Research an independent pollster released in January 2018, polling of 1,013 persons. Just 9% support the current legal limit for an abortion of 20 weeks. Only 4% believe it should be later than 20 weeks, including up to birth. 50% think the time limit should be shorter than the current 20 weeks, and a further 36% were unsure.
Significantly, 56% of women think the time limit should be less than the current 20 weeks. Incredibly, 53% of those who generally support abortion think the time
limit should be less than the current 20 weeks – 29% of abortion supporters say 10 weeks or less.There is increasing opposition in the United States to the violence and suffering imposed on defenceless unborn children by dismemberment abortions. There are now ten states that have outlawed this horrific violence on the defenceless.
The public have a right to know if the Prime Minister who is herself a loving mother of a young child supports protecting the unborn from this dismemberment violence.
Right to Life