Press Release 11 June 2008
Society president John Mills is very angry and says: “In the Silent Screams DVD promoted on our Society’s website (www.spcs.org) an unborn child is torn apart without anaesthetic. Someone needs to be held to account for such brutal murders carried out every day in New Zealand with taxpayers’ funding. By far the most dangerous place to be in New Zealand is inside your mother’s womb. I expect the anti-smacking brigade, who are so opposed to child abuse, would wholeheartedly agree with me on this issue!”
Angry women’s health advocates such as Women’s Health Action Trust director, Jo Fitzpatrick, and Family Planning chief executive, Jackie Edmond, are quoted in today’s NZPA report (Dom Post 11/06), as rejecting anti-abortion lobbyists’ claims that New Zealand effectively has “abortion on demand”. And yet this is exactly what a High Court judge’s ruling, made public yesterday, suggests, and backs up what Dr Christine Forster, Chairperson of the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) has conceded.
“Certifying consultants were using mental health grounds to provide abortion on demand and that she did not believe that all these had a mental health problem”. (Front page article Sunday Star Times in November 2000)
Fitzpatrick says that Dr Foster’s claim, put before the Court by Right to Life in a High Court judicial review of the actions of the ASC, is “ridiculous”. However, Justice Forrest Millar did find that the ASC has a statutory duty to hold consultants accountable for the lawfulness of the approximately 18,000 abortions that they authorise each year, 98% of which are authorised on mental health grounds. He cast doubt on the legality of many of the abortions authorised on such grounds, when he stated:
“There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed, the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended.”
The Society for Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) challenges Edmond and Fitzpatrick and other pro-abortion lobbyists to correct their falsehoods and apologise to the nation for promoting a shocking culture of death (since 1991, the number of 11-14 year olds having an abortion has increased by 144%. The number of abortions for 15-19 year olds has increased by 74%. Each week, almost 80 teenagers have an abortion, and represent almost a quarter of all abortions performed in NZ).
New Zealand’s present abortion laws are based around the 1977 Abortion, Contraception and Sterilisation Act.. This law does not confer or recognise a legal right to life for an unborn child until that child is born and considered a person. Abortions can only be granted on the grounds of serious damage to the mother’s life or health. However, New Zealand has ratified the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) that does recognise the rights of the unborn and the legal obligation of states to protect such individuals.
Millar J. ruled that the ASC had failed to use its powers under the law – powers to review or scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants. The Committee is responsible for reviewing all the provisions of the abortion law, and the operation and effect of those provisions in practice and has failed to fulfil its statutory duties. To try and justify its failures to implement the law, the ASC has been using, what has been determined by the Court to be a misinterpretation of case law on s187a of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, which states an abortion can only be done if it affects the life or health of the women. The Courts have now instructed the ASC that the law must be applied consistently, to the letter of the law, not some liberal interpretation of it. [Ref. 1]
The full judgement of the High Court is here [PDF]
Ref 1. Source. Helpful analysis see.