Dr. Fenwicke’s Facebook page explains that she is “standing for selection to be the National Party Candidate for Wellington Central.” Her Twitter account, @rosyforwellcent, also makes it clear she has put herself forward for selection.
Yet, a NZ Herald article published over the weekend states that Fenwicke “refused to confirm” whether she was seeking nomination for the seat.
Wellington Central is a stronghold for the leftist Labour Party. The National Party is currently in government, but is deemed to be center-right. It would seem unlikely that even if Dr. Fenwicke is to be selected as the candidate for Wellington Central, that she would be actually elected into Parliament that way.
Furthering suspicion of Fenwicke’s political aspirations was atweet on March 31 announcing her departure from Wellington Hospital. In it she encourages her coworkers, saying, “Great team doing good work.”
Dr. Fenwicke has been working in the hospital’s Te Mahoe unit, an abortion clinic, as an “operating surgeon” and certifying consultant. Te Mahoe is the second busiest abortion clinic in New Zealand, performing a total of 2,252 abortions in 2012.
NZ Right to Life spokesperson, Ken Orr, who alerted the media to Fenwicke’s intentions, says her position as a certifying consultant and abortionist at the Te Mahoe unit is a conflict of interest.
Mr. Orr pointed out that “the first duty of Parliament is to uphold effective legal protection for the right to life of every person from the moment of conception until natural death.”
“Dr Fenwicke’s advocacy of and involvement in a culture of death disqualifies her from being a Member of our Parliament. … [She] is responsible for the violent killing of many thousands of innocent and defenceless unborn children.”
Mr. Orr also cited Dr. Fenwicke’s past position with the NZ Family Planning Association as another reason why she would be unsuitable as a National candidate. From 1987 to 1990 Fenwicke was the Central Region medical director for the association, which is an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
In addition to her abortion work at Te Mahoe, Fenwicke served on the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) from 2006 to 2009. At the time, her position on the committee was challenged as being a conflict of interest, although this was denied by the authorities.
The ASC oversees New Zealand’s abortion law, ensuring it is carried out correctly. The committee also approves licenses for abortion facilities and appoints certifying consultants.
Due to a push for liberalization of New Zealand’s abortion laws, the practice of abortion is fast becoming a matter of discussion.
Many groups, including the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ), Young Labour, and the NZ Family Planning Association, are laying ground work for public support of a liberalized abortion law. How this would look in practice is yet to be seen, however Alison McCulloch of ALRANZ made it very clear in an interview last year that she believes abortion should be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason at all.
For these groups to have an abortionist in Parliament would be a real coup.