Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2009

Media Release

Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2009

The Abortion Supervisory Committee’s [ASC] report was tabled in Parliament on 8th December. The Committee reported 17,940 abortions in New Zealand 2008.

This is a reduction of 440 on the 2007 year figure of 18,380. While encouraging, Right to Life reminds New Zealanders that each life is unique and irreplaceable. Hopefully one reason for the decrease is the increasing recognition in the community that abortion not only destroys innocent defenceless unborn children, it also harms the physical and mental health of women and their families.

Right to Life is concerned about the unlawful abortions authorised in 2008.

The statistics for 2008 reveal that 98% of abortions performed were authorised on the grounds of serious danger to the mental health of the mother. This statistic has been constant since 1977. Justice Miller’s judgement in the High Court in Wellington, (date) in the judicial review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee, supported the conclusion that many of these abortions are unlawful.

Justice Miller stated that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants. Indeed the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended.”

“In my opinion, the statistics and the committee’s comments since the Court of Appeal made that observation, do give rise to powerful misgivings about the lawfulness of many abortions. They tend to confirm Dr Forster’s view that New Zealand has abortion on request” Dr Christine Forster was previously chairperson of the ASC from June 1993 to August 2001, a period of nearly eight years.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee’s response is tragic. They are seeking to provide even greater access to chemical abortion by supporting the wider use of the toxic chemical Mifegyne RU486. This use of RU486, a ‘human pesticide’, in a pill form imposes an incredible psychological trauma on women, often leaving the mother to cope with aborted body parts from their baby.

The report reveals that 140 disabled unborn children were killed in 2008 – how is this justified? It is deplorable that only the perfect are permitted to be born. A child does not forfeit its right to life because it has a disability.

Right to Life believes that many innocent healthy unborn children have been deprived of their life unlawfully; this is a grave injustice – a violation of their right to life. It also permits the exploitation and abandonment of women. This is the justice issue of our era.

Right to Life is gravely concerned at the increase in repeat abortions in 2008. Of the 17,940 abortions performed,

  • 11,312, (63%) of the total abortions were a woman’s first abortion.
  • 6628, (37%) were repeat abortions, an increase of 2% on 2007 figures
  • 4,469 women in 2008 were having their second abortion,
  • 1490 were having their third abortion,
  • 461 were having their fourth abortion,
  • 143 their fifth,
  • 40 their sixth and
  • 25 their seventh or more abortion.

These statistics are scandalous and indicate that abortion is being used as a back up for failed contraception. The abortion laws do not provide for failed contraception as grounds for abortion.

Right to Life asks why the Committee is not taking action to address this critical problem.

The report reveals that:

  • 8,041 women were using contraceptives at the time their child was conceived.

Of these women,

  • 4,898 were using condoms
  • 2,901 were using contraceptives.
  • These statistics show that contraceptives have a high failure rate. It is a tragedy that innocent unborn children are being killed in order to provide for another’s so called sexual freedom. The Committee suggested  in its report that because of New Zealand’s high abortion rate (in comparison with other countries) that we need more long acting contraceptives and that the government should consider reducing financial barriers to their use. If the Committee was serious about reducing our high abortion rate they would ask the government to:
  • promote abstinence before marriage
  • adoption in preference to terminating the lives of healthy unborn children
  • promote child/teen protection from sexual exploitation and sexualizing by the media and advertising agencies

The Committee reports that “Over the past year the ASC has become conscious that workforce issues will need to be addressed in coming years to ensure continuity of abortion services in future.” The ASC is aware that there are very few operating doctors in New Zealand under the age of 50. Right to Life commends those doctors who faithful to the Hippocratic traditions of their healing profession have the utmost respect for the right to life of every child from the moment of conception and refuse to have any part in the killing of innocent and defenceless unborn children. Right to Life is opposed to any efforts that the Abortion Supervisory Committee  might make to subvert the ethics of good doctors by encouraging them to become involved in the killing of unborn babies.

Right to Life believes that a nation that kills its own children does not have a future and earnestly requests that:

  • The government promote a culture of life by promoting adoption as a loving life affirming option.
  • Hold the Abortion Supervisory Committee accountable for “pseudo-legal” abortions in this country.

This is preferable to life destroying abortion which promotes a culture of death.

Ken Orr


Right to Life New Zealand Inc.

Phone 03 3856111


One response to “Abortion Supervisory Committee Report 2009”

  1. I am always against abortion because it is a sin to kill an innocent child.”`”

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