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WONAAC Asks Anti-Abortion Group to Reveal Funding

Media Release 10 May 2009

Women’s National Abortion Action Campaign

Where’s The Money Coming From, Ken?

The anti-abortion group Right to Life has spent at least $86,000 harassing the women of New Zealand – much of it on a court case that resumes in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday – and the Women’s National Abortion Action Campaign has a simple question: Where’s all that money coming from?

Last July, Right to Life reported that the case, aimed at banning abortion in New Zealand, had already cost it more than $66,000. In October, it announced it had spent $20,000 on a series of anti-abortion TV ads in the run-up to the election.

“A group that’s constantly filing Official Information Act requests and accusing the Abortion Supervisory Committee of secrecy is surely up for being open about who’s bank-rolling its efforts to end New Zealand women’s access to safe abortions,” Wonaac spokeswoman Di Cleary said on Sunday.

“We know who’s had to pay to defend New Zealand women against Right to Life during the four years this case has been dragging on – tax-payers,” she said. “We call on Right to Life’s leader Ken Orr to let those tax-payers know just who it is they are up against.”

The latest hearing in RTL’s case against the Abortion Supervisory Committee is scheduled for this Tuesday and Wednesday in the Court of Appeal in Wellington. The ASC is appealing a ruling made in the High Court last June by Justice Forrest Miller in which he asserted that there was “reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants.”

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Right to Life, meanwhile, argues that the law should give full human rights to fertilized eggs. To quote the group: “The human embryo at conception is a human being and a person endowed by its Creator [Wonaac explanatory note: i.e. God, not its parents] with human rights.”

Wonaac researcher Alison McCulloch said Wonaac hoped the news media would not just help uncover the source of RTL’s funding, but would also make clear the group’s full agenda.

“It’s not just about abortion. It never is,” Ms. McCulloch said. “It’s about a minority morals agenda that opposes sex education, contraception, civil unions and gay marriage. Embryos have human rights, gays and women don’t.”

“Right to Life opposed the Auckland District Health Board’s initiative to provide free emergency contraception, even though the programme has been shown to help reduce the number of abortions,” Ms. McCulloch said. “Why? Because, RTL argued, it promotes promiscuity, undermines respect for human life and might interfere with a fertilized egg.”

For more information on New Zealand’s abortion law, visit:


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