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
Britain, Europe and the United States
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."
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 Heraldreported
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
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'
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
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