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ALRANZ Reply To NZ Catholic Article

The Abortion Law Reform Association responded to an article within the New Zealand Catholic (13.2.2000) which set out SPUC's provisional objectives for the forthcoming abortion law review.

ALRANZ slated SPUC for their reliance on the discredited Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion from the mid-seventies. It argued that the Royal Commission relied on secondary media resources, did not cite medical, social scientific and psyhological data that challenged the anti-abortion movement, and did not subject anti-abortion sources to critical scrutiny. It questioned why Parliament should accept a restrictive interpretation of abortion law now when it had removed an exceptional circumstances clause from the Crimes Act in 1978, and had not challenged Wall v Livingston, which protects women's medical confidentiality in the context of abortion decisions, for over seventeen years.

It also questioned SPUC's reliance on "post-abortion syndrome."ALRANZ pointed out that anti-abortionist "research" consisted of small samples, short duration cohorts and unrepresentative populations. It questioned the degree of generalisability and independent corroboration of this alleged condition, which no mainstream New Zealand medical practitioner recognises.

SPUC is correct about one thing, however. We will continue to closely monitor their organisation and media in preparation for law reform.

Craig Young Research Officer ALRANZ 2/353 College St Palmerston North wk- 06 3569099 ext 7750

Dr Margaret Sparrow National President ALRANZ Box 28008, Wellington

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