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Certifying Consultant Challenges Abortion Law

Certifying Consultant Challenges Abortion Law Intended to Protect Mothers and Their Precious Unborn

Media Release 12th July 2017

Right to Life is disappointed that Doctor Helen Paterson (pictured left), an Abortion Certifying Consultant of Dunedin has repudiated her commitment to uphold New Zealand’s abortion law which is intended to protect the health and welfare of women and protect the right to life of the unborn child. When Doctor Paterson applied for appointment as a certifying consultant to the Abortion Supervisory Committee, she made a commitment to uphold the law and to give full consideration to the rights of the unborn child before authorising an abortion.

Dr Paterson believes that abortion should be a matter for a woman and a doctor. Dr Paterson in advising the Abortion Supervisory Committee that she challenges the provisions of Section 30 of the CS & A Act 1977 and in our view holds the law in contempt and has now violated the terms of her appointment.

This is totally incompatible with the signed declaration she made when applying to become an Abortion Certifying Consultant. Right to Life calls on her to resign immediately and if she does not do so we will call on the Abortion Supervisory Committee to terminate her appointment. Certifying Consultants do not dictate the terms upon which they are employed and must uphold the law.

The Royal Commission on Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion in its report to Parliament in 1977 stated that the Commission opposed this proposal as it was not in the interest of women as it left the status of the unborn child to the woman and the doctor, it would also lead to abortion on demand.

Dr Paterson is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in the Department of Women and Children’s Health. Her training has equipped her to recognise that the unborn child is her patient and the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family. As a doctor she knows that human life begins at conception. At that moment this life is endowed with human rights, the foundation right being a right to life. Every child is a unique and unrepeatable miracle of God’s loving creation, it is her patient that needs loving care and protection. In our view Dr Paterson is violating the ethics of her profession and is engaged in a violence against women and unborn children?

ALRANZ does not represent the women of New Zealand. Right to Life is disappointed that ALRANZ National President Terry Bellamak, an American from Arizona, salutes and supports Dr Paterson for adopting this unlawful position which is contrary to the authentic interest of women. Ms Bellamak is critical of the abortion law which prohibits abortion on socio-economic grounds, which includes contraceptive failure and an inability to raise a child.

Abortion the killing of an unborn child is not part of family planning and we don’t solve poverty by killing the children of the poor.

Ken Orr

Spokesperson,

Right to Life


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