Abortion - a matter of life and death

Late Stage Abortions

The New Zealand Herald (10 April 2006), reporting on the high proportion of later-stage abortions in New Zealand compared to comparable countries, mentioned the following statistics.

Abortions of foetuses older than 10 weeks Abortions of foetuses 8 weeks or younger
New Zealand >67% New Zealand 8%
"Comparable countries" ~33% Britain, Europe and the United States 30%

The article references Wellington Doctor Carol Shand who the article said had explained that "delays were caused by abortion laws, which required women to go through a complex series of steps including numerous medical referrals before they could get an abortion."

This idea that these medical referrals are a bad thing is likely to be used as ammunition in an attempt to loosen this country's abortion laws, a serious concern since most abortions currently performed are probably unlawful.

Carol Shand also mentioned that abortion clinics had staffing shortages. Could that state of affairs be related to abortionists being sued for performing illegal abortions? The NZ Herald reported last year "The anti-abortion group, Right To Life New Zealand, has filed legal action in the High Court at Wellington against the Abortion Supervisory Committee, saying it has misinterpreted the law and allowed too many pregnancy terminations."

Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor - New Zealand Herald, Saturday 1 April 2006:

Medical ethicist Professor Don Evans, commenting on the case of the midwife charged with manslaughter, said "a fetus has no status in law until the birth".

There is no doubt a fetus does have significant legal status before birth. For example, section 182 of the 1961 Crimes Act makes it a criminal offense to kill an unborn child, punishable by a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.

A further example is the legal prohibition against procuring an abortion unless undertaken strictly pursuant to the Crimes Act and the 1977 Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act. The long title of the latter act also expressly recognises the "rights of the unborn child".

In the light of the perceived grey area in the law, now is an appropriate time to classify the scope of the rights of the fetus.

I. C. Bassett
Auckland Central

Illegal Abortions?

Are illegal abortions being performed in New Zealand? From the introduction to an online article on the subject:

The abortion law of New Zealand appears to have been interpreted very liberally over recent years by sectors of the medical profession. Indeed the interpretation of the law appears to have been so liberal that it raises questions as to the lawfulness of many of the abortions carried out in New Zealand. The current practice and application of the abortion law is such that it may expose some medical consultants certifying and performing abortions to criminal proceedings and civil claims.

See the Abortion Law web site for more information.

Newsflash: Ultrasound is audible to unborn babies

See the Audible Ultrasound page.

Sam - Hand of Hope

The incredible photos of an unborn baby holding a surgeon's finger: See the Sam page.


Govt to review law on abortion. 22 December 1999.

Supervising body seeks change to abortion law. 22 December 1999.

Abortion Battle Back. 22 December 1999.

Anti-Abortion Forces Mobilise. 22 December 1999.

Clark backs abortion-law review. 23 December 1999.

It was these events that lead to me making a (really big, easy-to-read) window banner and displaying it across the bottom of my car's rear windscreen on 23 December 1999. It read:

During the six months I had the banner on my car I got a lot more people overtaking me stupidly and needlessly at high revs. Strange... and stupid. I also made this banner, which I haven't used yet:

Click on the banners for a full-size, 150dpi GIF image of the banner.