New Zealand's abortion law under question: anti-life lobby panics

by intern Andy M. (who hails from New Zealand)

A monumental case is brewing in New Zealand, the biggest development since abortion was legalized in 1977.

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Justice Forrest Miller, High Court judge in the June 2008 case of Right to Life NZ v. The Abortion Supervisory Committee, made a statement which put panic into the complacent members of the anti-life lobby in NZ, while pro-life groups rallied at the official recognition of what they had been saying for so long...

There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed, the [Abortion Supervisory] Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended...

...The [ASC] has misinterpreted its functions and powers under the abortion law, reasoning incorrectly that Wall v Livingston means it may not review or scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants.

98.7% of the 18k+ abortions performed in 2007 were justified on the grounds of the mental health of the mother being at risk. It is patently obvious that 98.7% of pregnant women in NZ are not mentally unfit to give birth to their unborn children. The vast majority of this figure actually represents "convenience abortions."

However NZ law states that an abortion is only justified if it "is immediately necessary to save the life of the patient or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health." The Crimes Act also states that the only exception where an abortion is justified is if it is "in good faith for the preservation of the life of the mother."

Though Justice Miller ruled in favor of RTL, the ASC subsequently appealed the ruling, and so on May 12-13, 2009, RTL will be in the Court of Appeal, opposing the overruling of Justice Miller's original decisions that "there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions...", and that the ASC has misinterpreted its function. With nowhere else to turn, the ASC has (groundlessly) appealed the ruling in a desperate effort to vindicate themselves.

If Miller's ruling is upheld, this will herald a significant shake-up for the application of abortion law in NZ. It will re-establish the precedent that the unborn child has a status that merits protection in law, and that abortion "for reasons of social convenience" is morally wrong. Certifying consultants will be forced to be much more hesitant to approve an abortion on mental-health grounds.

It is imperative that justice prevail and Justice Miller's original ruling be upheld, and to this end we would encourage any Christians reading this to pray for God's blessing on the case.

Those interested can follow the case at Right to Life NZ.


Comments:

Very interesting. It would be great to see the law actually upheld.

Posted by: Lauren at May 4, 2009 6:53 PM


Thanks for making us aware of this Jill. I will pray for pro life to prevail in New Zealand which may lead to the same in other countries.

It's appalling how pro aborts use the excuse of "health" of the mother to justify killing innocent babies. Then you get "doctors" like Tiller who use this as an excuse to abort for any reason because of the "health" of the woman.

A late term abortion can take up to three days. And the later on in pregnancy the more risk to the woman of having complications from abortion. Meanwhile delivering the baby by cesarean section can save the health of the woman as well as save her baby. Babies even three months premature are being saved now thanks to the great advancement of medicine.

Posted by: Joanne at May 4, 2009 6:58 PM


Joanne, do you have any idea how much it costs to have a cesarean section, particularly when the baby is premature? Would you expect a woman to pay for all of that? If she can't afford it, and has no plans to keep the neonate, what resources does she have? As premature babies often have significant neurological and physical complications due to their prematurity, their adoption is unlikely: no parent, it seems, wants a less-than-perfect child.

Any suggestions?

Posted by: Human Abstract at May 4, 2009 9:36 PM


Actually, HA, there are many families who specifically seek to adopt children with special needs. The thing that usually holds people back from adoption is the cost involved, so I think if we wanted adoption to be more accessible, the costs to adopt children should somehow be decreased. That would be a nice start.

Killing the child is not the solution.

Posted by: Kel at May 4, 2009 9:44 PM


Regardless of how different our opinions on abortion are, I wholly agree that adoption should be easier all around. There are people who specifically seek out those with special needs, but they are few and far between.

Posted by: Human Abstract at May 4, 2009 9:53 PM


HA, no neonate's (baby's)life should be judged and terminated by you or any other half-hearted killer just because they are inconvenient. Unfortunately for mankind, that is exactly what has been found to be happening in New Zealand and that is what is happening in the US of A.

Posted by: truthseeker at May 4, 2009 10:56 PM


It's appalling how pro aborts use the excuse of "health" of the mother to justify killing innocent babies.

Posted by: Joanne at May 4, 2009 6:58 PM

Joanne, I actually have a condition (Two in fact) in which if I were to get pregnant, carrying a pregnancy to term would kill me. I choose to be abstinent at this point in life, because of that. If I were to be raped or the like however, there is zero doubt that a pregnancy would kill me. There are people where abortion IS to save the life of the mother. I'm not saying this is everyone of course, but please don't put everyone in the same category.

Posted by: Ash at May 4, 2009 11:13 PM


Opps, forgot to add to that, that I have a bleeding disorder where I have to cycle a specific high-dose estrogen BCP continuously because getting a period also puts me at risk for major issues, even death depending upon how much I bleed. I had breakthrough bleeding once and ended up hospitalized in need of a transfusion. So there are some people too, that HAVE to take the BCP for health reasons. You didn't mention that, but its come up a lot here so thought I'd add that too.

Posted by: Ash at May 4, 2009 11:16 PM


Ash, I'm sorry to hear of your disorder. That sounds really scary! Just know, however, that there is a vast difference between trying to perserve the most life in a situation where pregnancy would cause the death of both the mother and the child, and just killing the child for no legitimate reason.

I don't think anyone would oppose an abortion in a situation where the mother's life is in real danger. Our issue is when doctors put "depression" down in the medical records to justify a 27 week abortion for a perfectly healthy woman.

Posted by: Lauren at May 5, 2009 12:19 AM


There are several families I know that seek to adopt children with special needs. They are on waiting lists and also receive financial help from church groups and special funds set aside. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong but the cost for adoption of some children that are medically fragile is paid for by social services.

The above paragraph flies in the face of those that seek to kill less-than-perfect children doesn't it?

Posted by: Carla at May 5, 2009 6:56 AM


Ash,

No disrespect intended but it sounds like a PP talking point.

I wish I could tell you how many times the same sad story
has been told in front of the the mills.


Posted by: Leslie Hanks at May 5, 2009 6:58 AM


There are several families I know that seek to adopt children with special needs. They are on waiting lists and also receive financial help from church groups and special funds set aside. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong but the cost for adoption of some children that are medically fragile is paid for by social services.

Posted by: Carla at May 5, 2009 6:56 AM
*******************************************

Yes, Carla, you are correct. I know a homeschooling family here who have adopted more than three of their children from other countries and they are all special needs (physical abnormalities). Last I heard, they were picking up another little gravely ill girl from China. There is no way they could get all these kids without help from social services.

They have to be one of the neatest families I've ever met.

Posted by: Kel at May 5, 2009 9:18 AM


God bless them, Kel!! What selfless love!!

Posted by: Carla at May 5, 2009 10:01 AM


Ash,

No disrespect intended but it sounds like a PP talking point.

I wish I could tell you how many times the same sad story
has been told in front of the the mills.

Posted by: Leslie Hanks at May 5, 2009 6:58 AM

Leslie I'm sorry but I take that VERY disrespectfully because this is my my LIFE. I live it every day and I will never be able to have children because of my health issues. My life is not a "PP talking point," it is simply my life. Please do not lump everyone into the same pile, that was my entire point, which you seemed to have missed.

Posted by: Ash at May 5, 2009 1:19 PM


HA:

I hereby offer to fund a caesarian section and pay for any medical care that the baby may need, for prematurity or other reasons, if that will keep an abortion from occuring.

I might run out of money, but there are a lot of people who would be willing to do the same.

And I would adopt any one of those children--every one if I could. There are no unadoptable babies in the US (check out CHASK, for instance).

Ash, I am glad that you are doing the responsible thing by not having sex. Good job. I don't have any problem with people who are not having sex using a "birth control" pill for other medical reasons. It can't kill children if the woman taking the pill is not having sex.

I hope that someday a more permanent cure for your situation can be found.

I don't think anyone really thinks that abortion should be illegal when the mother's life is in real danger and the baby is not yet viable. We just realize that "health" exceptions are used as a catch-all to justify killing babies.

Posted by: YCW at May 5, 2009 1:28 PM


I don't think anyone would oppose an abortion in a situation where the mother's life is in real danger. Our issue is when doctors put "depression" down in the medical records to justify a 27 week abortion for a perfectly healthy woman.

Posted by: Lauren at May 5, 2009 12:19 AM

Maybe you'd better talk to those Braziian bishops, Lauren.

Posted by: regikylous at May 5, 2009 2:44 PM


Ash,
Thank you for sharing something that must be so difficult for you. I am so sorry. God bless.

Posted by: Carla at May 6, 2009 7:33 AM