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Attempt by ALRANZ to Influence The Court of Appeal

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
Media Release 10 May 2009

Attempt by ALRANZ to Influence The Court of Appeal Deplored

The National President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand [ALRANZ], has issued a media release, 10 May 2009. The National President of this small pro-abortion lobby group, Dr Margaret Sparrow, and its National Executive member Dr Jim Hefford, have “called on Members of Parliament to publicly support the Abortion Supervisory Committee in its court battle against Right to Life… [that] will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at the Court of Appeal in Wellington.”

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. deplores this blatant and unlawful attempt by ALRANZ and by extension the pro-abortion lobby, to exert pressure on the Court of Appeal, to pervert the course of justice. It believes that it is a shameful attempt to use Parliament to exert political pressure to interfere in the course of justice. ALRANZ’s press release headline was “MPs Must Oppose Anti-Abortion Legal Challenge” [Emphasis added].

In a democratic society it is a constant and mandatory requirement that the Judiciary should be free from political pressure and interference. Parliament must resist every attempt to pervert the course of justice. The Abortion Supervisory has a statutory duty to uphold the rule of law by ensuring that the abortion laws are complied with.

The matters before the Court of Appeal concern an appeal by the Abortion Supervisory Committee against the judgment of Justice Miller in the High Court in Wellington in June 2008. The Justice said that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants.” Justice Miller concluded that the Committee has “misinterpreted its functions and powers under the abortion law.” The Committee has incorrectly reasoned that the judgment in Wall v Livingston means it “ may not review or scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants.”

The media has correctly reported on the facts: Right to Life has cross appealed and is representing its case for legal recognition of the unborn child as a human being and a person endowed by its Creator with human rights, the foundation right being a right to life. The child, the weakest and most defenceless member of the human family, would then have the protection of the New Zealand Bill of Rights. Section 8 states that, “no person shall be deprived of life except on such grounds as are established by law and are consistent with the principles of fundamental justice.” Right to Life is also seeking abortion counselling, independent from abortion providers

These matters are matters of law and ALRANZ should allow the judicial process to proceed unimpeded, in the expectation that the law, as intended by parliament, will be upheld and that justice will be done for the protection of women and their unborn children. Right to Life has acknowledged that ALRANZ genuinely believes that it is acting in the best interests of vulnerable women facing an unplanned pregnancy, tragically they are mistaken. However, it has argued that we do not help women by killing their children. A truly compassionate society will extend compassion and practical assistance for women by providing assistance to them to bring their children to birth. This assistance will save the lives of women from a lifetime of sorrow and psychological damage and their unborn babies from destruction.


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