Abortion Law Reform Deeply Flawed & Anti Human Rights
Media Release 23 July 2019
Family First NZ is shocked and dismayed with the Government’s and the Prime Minister’s obsession with life and death issues, and its impending release of attempts to liberalise abortion laws, especially so soon after passionate debate on euthanasia.
“It is disturbing to have this attack on humanity at both the beginning and the end of life. It appears that a culture of death is invading Parliament,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The focus of this proposed abortion policy shift is entirely on the ‘wellbeing’ of women seeking abortion, but completely ignores the status of the foetus and any State interests in preserving life.”
“Under the current law, an unborn child is at least afforded some recognition and (minimal) legal protection. In contrast, these proposals will give the unborn child the same status as an appendix, tonsils or gall bladder – simply tissue removed as part of a ‘health procedure’.”
“The proposed bill means that unborn children older than 20-weeks gestation are no longer protected in any way. That is quite shocking.”
Any of the proposed options for a new abortion law would make late-term abortions considerably more accessible than they are under the current law. Under Model A, a baby could be aborted up until birth. Under Model C, a baby could be aborted without any restrictions up until 22 weeks’ gestation. Under Model B, and Model C after 22 weeks’ gestation, a baby could be aborted as long as the health practitioner who intends to perform the abortion considered that the abortion was ‘appropriate in the circumstances’.
“The abortion statistics published by Stats NZ last week clearly proves that we already have abortion on demand in New Zealand.”
While polling shows general support for abortion from about half of NZers, the independent polling in January also found strong support for the unborn child having human rights and being legally protected once a heartbeat is detected (which can be between 6–12 weeks), and only a small minority thinking that life doesn’t begin until the child is born. Women are far more likely than men to say that life begins at conception.
“While small radical abortion groups want more liberal time limits, polling at the beginning of last year found that only 4% of New Zealanders want more liberal time limits for abortion. The vast majority of New Zealanders also showed strong support for a restrictive legal framework for accessing abortions. This is in stark contrast to calls by groups like Family Planning, ALRANZ and the National Council of Women who are promoting the Law Commission’s Model A which allows abortion for any reason up to birth.”
Family First will be mounting a strong campaign to prevent any removal of the human rights of the unborn child and which reduces the wellbeing of pregnant women.
“New Zealanders love both women and their unborn children. And we want the law to reflect that love.”