Abortion law reform under the guise of a health issue is a high priority on the Government’s agenda with Andrew Little sending a letter today to the Law Commission.

The urgency is such that Mr Little has requested that existing projects be put aside so that the Law Commission can carry out its review and report back within eight months.

Little asks for advice on alternative approaches within the legal framework to ensure New Zealand’s abortion laws treat abortion as a health issue.

Review of the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 is expected.

Significantly, the offence of killing an unborn child in the Crimes Act 1961 does not need to be reviewed, although he recognises that adjustments may need to be made because of proposals.

The clause Little is referring to is 182 of the Crimes Act.  That clause states:

Killing unborn child

(1)  Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who causes the death of any child that has not become a human being in such a manner that he or she would have been guilty of murder if the child had become a human being.

(2)  No one is guilty of any offence who before or during the birth of any child causes its death by means employed in good faith for the preservation of the life of the mother.

It is expected that the Law Commission will work with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health and that health professionals and public views will be taken into consideration.


Family Life International’s Statement

Those advocating the reform of New Zealand’s law to provide greater access to abortion under the guise of a “health issue” are seriously letting women and pre-born children down.

“Healthcare is about providing the medical needs of patients,” says Michelle Kaufman, Director of Family Life International “Health care does not end the life of one for the convenience of the other.”

“Abortion is not health care, it kills one person.  That is violence against someone incredibly vulnerable and at the mercy of another who has more power.”

The organisation believes that women deserve better as do their pre-born children.

Family Life International is concerned that the government wish to make abortion law reform a top priority.

“Asking that existing projects should be put aside to ensure that abortion law can be reviewed and reported on within eight months shows their desire to make abortion more widely available as soon as possible.”

Family Life International provides practical help and support to mothers who may believe that abortion is their only option.  They also assist with medical care for pregnant women and offer support to women and families suffering the after-effects of abortion.

“Too many pre-born lives have been lost.  Too many women have been harmed.  Too many families suffer the effects.  Violence is never a solution to life’s problems, it just creates more” says Kaufman.

Family Life International is asking that the government protects pre-born children from abortion and truly care for the health and social needs of pregnant mothers through effective life-affirming assistance and excellent maternity care.

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