Media Release 16 September 2022
Right to Life believes that applications for safe areas around killing centres are being supported by an orchestrated litany of lies. It is a travesty of justice for the government not to allow the community to be heard in defence of free speech, assembly and communication threatened by abortion safe areas. The only ones to be heard are abortion providers and those complaining of alleged harassment and intimidation of women and staff at abortion facilities. This is a violation of human rights.
Right to Life is disappointed that the Ministry of Health has declined to provide information under the Official Information Act concerning applications from abortion providers for “safe areas” around their facilities.
The Ministry replied on 13th September to our request of 13th August that, “Any decisions on future Safe Areas around abortion facilities are part of an active legislative process, where decisions are still to be made. Once any Safe Area is granted this information will be publicly available”.
Right to Life challenges the decision of the Ministry of Health and has lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman and the Minister of Health.
Right to Life asked the Ministry of Health under the Official Information Act for;–
- The names of the abortion providers who have made application for a “safe area” around their abortion facilities.
- The names of the abortion facilities subject to an application for a “safe area” designation.
- A copy of the grounds and alleged violations of harassment and intimidation supporting the above applications for a “safe area”.
Right to Life challenges this decision that it is in the public interest to maintain secrecy. We believe that the Safe Areas Act was passed on the pretext that women and staff were being harassed and intimidated at abortion facilities. We reject these claims. It is contended that there was an orchestrated litany of lies presented to demonise peaceful law abiding citizens who gathered to pray peacefully outside abortion facilities.
The select committee dealing with this controversial bill received more than 19,000 submissions. A total of 91.6% of the submissions were opposed to the bill, with only 7% in support. The government dominated select committee chose to ignore these submissions.
Prior to the passing of the bill, Right to Life lodged an Official Information Act request with 20 District Health Boards asking them if they had a record of written or oral complaints of women and staff being harassed or intimidated during the previous two years. The response from all DHBs was that there was no record of any complaints. The select committee dealing with the bill saw fit to ignore this information.
The provision of “safe areas” is being driven not by abortion providers but by the government and the pro-abortion movement. The real purpose of “safe areas” is to distract from the real violence against women and their unborn which is inflicted on them in the abortion facility, not out in the street. It also violates the right of women coerced into having an abortion from seeking help and advice from those praying outside the abortion facility.
Right to Life N.Z. Inc.