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Violence against Women

Violence against Women

Right to Life fully supports the call of the Abortion Supervisory Committee [ASC] for research in New Zealand on the relationship of domestic violence and abortion. The Committee's call is made in its annual report to Parliament for 2009, recently tabled in Parliament.

The Committee reports that information provided by the Epsom Day Unit reveals that one third of women seeking an abortion at the Unit are subject to domestic violence. Right to Life believes that the incidence of domestic violence is actually much higher, as it believes that many women are too afraid and ashamed to admit that they are victims of domestic violence.

Epsom Day Unit is the busiest Abortion Clinic in New Zealand. In 2009 it reported the performing of 5,380 abortions. We believe that the level of violence against women at Espom Day Clinic is likely reflective of what is happening to women at all of the nation's abortion clinics and hospitals.

Studies done in the United States reveal that 64 per cent of women having an abortion are being coerced by others, and that there is often violence inflicted on these woman. Many of these women want their baby to live. Homicide is the leading cause of death in the United States of pregnant women.

Right to life is opposed to all violence against women. Abortion is the ultimate in violence against women and their unborn children. It is intolerable that women should have violence inflicted on them. It is even more intolerable that they should have violence inflicted on them for refusing to have an abortion.

Information was obtained by Right to Life, from the Committee on 8 October 2010, under the Official Information Act. The information on the domestic violence reported at Epsom was contained in a report from the Committee's Counselling Advisor, in a report to the Committee dated 3 November 2007.

This information raises very important questions concerning the actions of the Committee in acting to protect women from violence;

The Committee was aware at the latest in 2007, that there was a serious problem at the Epsom Day Unit with women being subjected to domestic violence. Why has the Committee taken three years to report this serious problem to Parliament?

As the Abortion legislation was passed in 1977, for how long has it been known that a high number of women seeking an abortion at Epsom, are subject to domestic violence? Why is the appalling issue of domestic violence only being reported now?

The Committee advised Right to Life in October 2010 that a distance taught course, would become available to pregnancy counsellors which would include addressing issues of domestic violence. The Committee had written to District Health Boards advising them of this and encouraging them to recommend the course to key staff. Why has it taken three years to

What action has the Committee taken to protect women from an abortion when they are coerced and subject to violence for refusing to have an abortion?

Does the new course specifically deal with the matter of coercion violence?

Does the Committee approve of abortion operating surgeons, authorising and performing abortions on women who are threatened with domestic violence if they don't have an abortion?

Ken Orr


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