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ALRANZ: Comment on the Samuels Affair

ALRANZ: Comment on the Samuels Affair.

"The Samuels Affair is like waltzing through a minefield. However, ALRANZ supports Rape Crisis's condemnation of the inappropriate disclosure of Mr.Samuels' accuser within Parliament. We are not prejudging the outcome of current police investigations, which may yet find Mr. Samuels innocent of these charges."

"This case raises a number of issues. Firstly, Mr. Samuels is not the only one who has violated a woman's medical confidentiality over this issue. This young woman's relatives should also be held accountable. In our view, this reinforces the case for retention of existing clauses within the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act that protect young women from dysfunctional, and potentially abusive, parents. We also condemn this."

"ALRANZ would also like to point out that rape is not recognised within current abortion law as a primary criterion for abortion access, although it can be taken into account in cases that involve current criteria. We would like to make it clear that we are not prejudging the outcome of police investigations in this specific case. However, ALRANZ does support the inclusion of rape as a direct criteria for abortion access."

"Let us assume a hypothetical case where a custodial "caregiver" raped his foster-daughter. If rape was a direct criteria for abortion access, and the young woman disclosed this to an abortion clinic counselor in any counseling session, the counselor might use past work experience in Rape Crisis, or call in counselors from that organisation. If the young woman consented, police could take a biopsy from the embryo or foetus (no matter what her choice), and might be able to use embryonic or foetal DNA within any criminal trial against the rapist. Unfortunately, that did not happen in this situation..."

Contact: Craig Young Research Officer ALRANZ ph 06 3569099 ext 7750

Dr Margaret Sparrow President ALRANZ ph 04 4759886

ALRANZ PO Box 28008 Wellington

===== Craig Young (noun): Doctoral candidate, Massey University School of Sociology and Women's Studies.

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