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ALRANZ: "Right To Life" And Their Media Release

"Right to Life New Zealand may be poorly informed about case law and statute within the context of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act. We would like to clarify the current legal context of New Zealand abortion law." said Mr Craig Young, Research Officer for ALRANZ today.

"Under Wall v Livingston [1982], no third party is entitled to interfere with private medical consultations between a woman and her doctor under procedures within the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act. Regulatory procedure involves distribution of a copy of the medical record to the Abortion Supervisory Committee. Anti-abortion groups have continually queried the number of terminations performed on the basis of mental health criteria in this country."

"One would like to know how they can know for certain about this, given that Wall v Livingston continues to be upheld as case law within New Zealand. In terms of strict interpretation of the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, it appears that Right to Life is living in 1978, when Dr Gerard Wall's "exceptional circumstances" clause was excised from the Crimes Act on advice from medical organisations and the Abortion Supervisory Committee."

"Mr. Goff is under no obligation to listen to an organisation that has an official spokesperson who was involved in illegal trespass activities within Lyndhurst during the last decade."

" As for his attacks on Dr.Christine Forster and her Abortion Supervisory Committee colleagues, ALRANZ would like to respond that we have always found the ASC to be an impartial and objective regulatory agency. However, case law has restricted its functions, and its members seem to feel that its continued existence constitutes a drain on the public purse that could be remedied through abolition, and redeployment of funds into further contraceptive subsidies and sex education, which we support."

Contact: Craig Young 06 3569099 ext 7750 ALRANZ Research Officer

Dr Margaret Sparrow 04 4759886 ALRANZ President

ALRANZ PO Box 28008 Wellington


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