Law Commission Wants Removal Of Time Limits For Abortion

Media Release 26 October 2018 
Family First NZ says that the Law Commission has ignored the weight of submissions which supported retaining abortion in the Crimes Act and giving legal rights to the unborn child, and is also recommending the removal of time limits for abortion.

“The Law Commission received almost 3,500 submissions regarding the abortion law review, and of those submissions, just 18% – less than one in five – supported removing abortion from the Crimes Act. A large majority (69%) opposed, with 49% specifically supporting retaining the Crimes Act status for abortion, and a further 20% argued for the legal protection of the unborn child,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Despite that strong voice, the Law Commission is treading on dangerous ground for the unborn child by recommending the repeal of abortion from the Crimes Act, and thereby also removing the time limits.”

“They also recommend that the ‘woman’s physical and mental health and wellbeing’ is only deemed significant for pregnancies of more than 22 weeks gestation. What is the difference between a 21-week pregnant woman and a 22-week pregnant woman? How does the status of the unborn child change between those couple of days?”

It is also disturbing that they are recommending the weakening of many of the safeguards around abortion including:

  • removing the requirement for abortions to be authorised by two specially appointed doctors
  • allowing women to access abortion services directly, rather than having to get a referral from a doctor as they do under the current law.
  • removing the current restrictions around who may perform an abortion and where abortions must be performed.

“The Government should reject this report and listen to the voice of New Zealanders. The submissions to the Law Commission reflect the independent polling of New Zealanders released earlier this year which found significant support for greater time limits on abortion, including from those who generally support abortion. There was surprisingly small support for the current Crimes Act time limit of 20 weeks, and overwhelming rejection of any extension to the limit as lobbied for by pro-abortion group ALRANZ – and now recommended by the Law Commission.”

Other safeguards in the current law are supported by the public. 86% support the current legal requirements of providers and premises having to be licensed. 90% oppose sex selective abortions. 76% support doctors being required to verify a woman seeking an abortion is not under any coercion from a 3rd party.

“Contrary to misrepresentation by pro-abortion groups, New Zealanders are either satisfied with the current regulation of abortion or want it made more restrictive. Women are not made criminals by the current legislative guidelines and protections. To claim otherwise is simply false scaremongering aimed at deceiving people into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand. The existing safeguards are there to protect women from unlicensed premises and coercion.”

“For the unborn little girl or boy, abortion is not a health issue.”

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