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Abortion Supervisory Committee Ignores Judgment

Right to Life New Zealand Inc.

17 August 2008

Media Release – Abortion Supervisory Committee Ignores High Court Judgment.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee is blatantly ignoring a High Court judgment that put the Committee on notice for failing to fulfil its statutory duties. The Committee has a duty to ensure that the human rights of unborn children and the health and welfare of their mothers are protected. Asked if the Committee was working any differently since the judgment, Professor Linda Holloway chairperson of the Committee said: We are just doing our business as we always have done.”

Justice Forrest Miller in the High Court in Wellington on 9 June stated that “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.” He also stated that “In my opinion, the statistics and the Committee’s comments over the years since the Court of Appeal made that observation do give rise to powerful misgivings about the lawfulness of many abortions. They tend to confirm Dr Christine Forster’s view that New Zealand essentially has abortion on request.”

Justice Miller confirmed that “the Committee does in fact have the power to require certifying consultants to keep records and report on cases they have considered.”
The Committee also had the duty to hold consultants accountable for the lawfulness of the abortions they authorised and for the use of the mental health grounds used to authorise 98% of abortions.

The Committee has advised that they have not changed any of their practices and procedures to comply with the High Court judgment. They have done nothing to ensure that abortions are lawful nor have they taken action to stop the unlawful abortion on demand.

Abortion is violence against vulnerable women and their unborn children.
Since the judgment of the High Court more than 3000 innocent and defenceless unborn New Zealanders have been deprived of their lives. This is an appalling violation of human rights.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee is a statutory body, why are they not complying with the High Court judgment? The community have a right to know why the government and Parliament have taken no action to ensure that the Committee fulfils its statutory duties in accordance with the law. When is the government going to act to protect the unborn the weakest and most defenceless members of our human family by ensuring the requirements of the judgment of the High Court are complied with?


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