Media Release 12 November 2021
Right to Life believes that Parliamentary Select Committees repeatedly ignore public opinion in their consideration of important proposed legislation concerning the sanctity of life and human rights.
The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern told the nation, “that she was going to govern for all New Zealanders”. Right to Life assumes that this included those who made submissions to Select Committees.
In 2019 Parliament passed the End of Life Choice Act that violates the sanctity of life and provides for doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
The Justice Select Committee that had the responsibility of considering this bill received 39,159 written submissions. 90% of these submissions were opposed to the passing of the End of Life Choice bill. In spite of this overwhelming public opposition the Select Committee did not recommend to Parliament that the bill not proceed, nor was Parliament influenced to vote against this anti-life bill at its second and third reading.
In 2020 Parliament passed the Abortion Legislation Act, which has removed the killing of unborn children from the Crimes Act. It is now no longer a crime to kill an unborn child as it is not a human being with a right to life until it is born. Abortion is now health care.
In 2020 the Abortion Legislation Select Committee had the responsibility of considering the Abortion Legislation bill which received 25,000 written submissions. 91.6% of these submissions were opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion and the passing of this bill. In spite of this overwhelming public opposition, the Select Committee did not recommend to Parliament that the bill not proceed, nor was Parliament influenced to vote against this extreme anti-life bill at its second and third reading.
In 2021 the Health Select Committee had the responsibility of considering the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion [safe areas] Amendment bill of Louisa Wall. The Committee received 914 written submissions, of which 635 were opposed with 175 in support. In spite of the overwhelming public opposition the Select Committee recommended that the bill proceed. This bill is awaiting its second reading.
Select Committees have a statutory duty to invite the public to make written submissions on bills that have passed their first reading. The Committee also has a duty to consider these submissions in making recommendations on amendments to the bill and on whether the bill should proceed.
The community has a right to believe that we have government for the people by the people and that those who govern do so with the consent of the governed. That Parliament will legislate to protect the lives of every human being from conception to natural death and will uphold our human rights guaranteed by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and by the NZ Bill of Rights. Why then do many Select Committees ignore overwhelming opposition to contentious bills that violate the sanctity of life and our human rights?
Right to Life NZ Inc.