Southland Times 4 August 2012
A senior paediatrician who put in his letter of resignation in response to abortion services being offered at Southland Hospital has retracted the letter on the promise that negotiations to reduce abortions will continue. Dr Vili Sotutu, who has been employed with the Southern District Health Board for four years, declined to speak with The Southland Times yesterday. However his wife, Ray Sotutu, confirmed Dr Sotutu put in his resignation last Thursday, but said his resignation had not been accepted.
Last night, Mrs Sotutu said that after a 5pm meeting with management, her husband had retracted his resignation on the basis that the hospital work to help reduce the number of abortions performed. Mrs Sotutu, who is the rugby administrator at James Hargest College, said that she “absolutely” supported her husband’s decision, even if it had meant leaving Invercargill. She understood other doctors at Southland Hospital did not want to perform abortions, but none had put in a letter of resignation, she said. The couple were “very much” pro-life and she said the health board’s lack of consultation with the community over abortion services since it applied for a licence to perform abortions was disturbing.