New Zealand judge rules legality of many abortions to be doubtful

New Zealand judge rules legality of many abortions to be doubtful


A High Court judge in New Zealand has questioned the legality of many abortions after Pro-Life New Zealand initiated a review of the country’s Abortion Supervisory Committee, which appoints the consultants who authorize abortions to take place.

According to Radio New Zealand, last week Justice Forrest Miller said there was reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions. In an April hearing, Right to Life New Zealand said that the supervisory committee was not supervising the work of certifying consultants as it should. The pro-life group argued that this neglect of duty had led to abortion on demand.

A registered practitioner may legally perform an abortion in New Zealand only if acting under a certificate approved by two consultants.

A Tuesday press release from Family Life International, New Zealand said the judge’s ruling comes at a time when New Zealand’s abortion numbers are approaching record levels. Statistics New Zealand has reported 450 more abortions in 2007 than in 2006, increasing by 2.5 percent from 17,930 to 18,380.

“If this current trend continues as it has for the last two years, then next year the number of induced abortions in New Zealand will be higher than it has ever been before in our history,” the Family Life International press release said.

“The public debate that has occurred during the last week regarding Justice Miller’s High Court ruling about New Zealand abortions has simply exposed how very little most New Zealanders know about the true harmful effects of abortion, or about how seriously unsound much of the arguments used to support it actually are,” the press release continued.

Family Life International, New Zealand said that the judge’s ruling had prompted remarks from “intolerant and hateful” legalized abortion supporters. The group cited both a Dominion Post editorial that compared pro-lifers to the Taliban and a video posted on YouTube that shows a prominent New Zealand pro-lifer with images of a gun pointed at his head.

“While New Zealand women and their unborn babies continue to pay an unnecessary and horrific price, those who endorse and carry out abortions continue to ignore the harm that their ideology is doing to Kiwi women and their unborn babies, and those who support abortion continue to do so blindly, without properly considering the philosophical and moral validity of their pro-abortion position,” the press release concluded.