Posts Tagged ‘Abortion Supervisory Committee’

Doctors get $5m to okay abortions

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Doctors get $5m to okay abortions

The Dominion Post | Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Doctors who approved abortions were paid more than $5 million in the year to June an increase of $1.5 million or more than 30 per cent in four years.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee’s annual report says there were 18,382 abortions in 2007, 448 more than in 2006.

Every abortion must be approved by two doctors, one of whom must be a gynaecologist or obstetrician. In the year to June, the Government paid 196 certifying consultants a total of $5,048,096.

Abortions are legal in New Zealand under certain conditions, including when pregnancy would endanger the mother’s life, her physical or mental health, or if there is a risk of the foetus being handicapped. More than 98 per cent of abortions are authorised on the grounds of risk to mental health.

Earlier, a High Court judicial review found there was reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions and that the committee was wrong to interpret the law as meaning it had no power to review consultants’ decisions.

The committee has appealed against the ruling and the anti-abortion lobby group Right to Life, which brought the High Court challenge, has cross-appealed. The case is likely to be heard early next year.

New Zealand has 19.6 abortions a year per 1000 women aged 15-44.