Court Rules Abortion Supervisory Committee Redundant

Media Release 1 June 2011
Family First NZ says that a split decision from the Court of Appeal for a case by Right to Life Inc which was challenging the lawfulness of many abortions approved by certifying consultants shows that the role of the Abortion Supervisory Committee is redundant and it is now time for the law to be changed to ensure women are fully informed. 

“The Court of Appeal majority held that it was not up to the ASC to review the role of the certifying consultants, despite their key role in approving abortions. However the dissenting judge rightly said that the ASC should be reviewing the operation of the abortion law,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. 

“If the ASC is not there to review the operation of the law which most NZ’ers would expect them to do, they are simply a ‘rubber stamp’ and should be disbanded. This decision is a timely reminder that for the sake of both the women concerned and the unborn children, a woman’s ‘right to know’ law should be introduced.” 

“This is supported by a recent poll which showed that the majority of New Zealanders think women considering abortion have the right to be fully informed of the medical risks of abortion – and the alternatives.” 

In the poll of 1,000 people in March, respondents were asked Would you support a law that would require a woman considering an abortion to first see a doctor, who is not an abortion provider, to be informed of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?” 64% supported this proposed law, 29% disagreed, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer.   

“The majority of people believe women have the right to the best independent information and advice before making a decision that could impact them later in life. The Court of Appeal has decided that it is not the role of the ASC to enforce that – thereby making the ASC redundant.” 

“It is also concerning that the Court of Appeal believe that the law does not recognize or confer a right to life on the unborn child. This is completely inconsistent with warning messages about prenatal alcohol and drug use, assaults on pregnant women, and even the report released today by Sir Peter Gluckman referring to ‘environmental risks that occur prenatally’. Just when does a child obtain a right to live? 30 weeks? 40 weeks? In the birthing room?” 

“Abortion can harm women – yet groups seeking to decriminalise abortion refuse to acknowledge this, seeing the right to abortion more paramount than the long-term health and welfare of the women.” 

A University of Otago study in 2008 found that women who had an abortion faced a 30% increase in the risk of developing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Other studies have found a link between abortion and psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders. And the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK recommended updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. They said that consent could not be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information. 

“With 98% of abortions in NZ being performed on the basis of the mental health of the mother, it is time that the research on the post-abortion mental health outcomes was given equal weight with the pro-abortion claims.” 

“It is now quite clear that the term ‘abortion supervisory committee’ is an oxymoron,” says Mr McCoskrie.



2 comments for “Court Rules Abortion Supervisory Committee Redundant

  1. Massoud
    3 June 2011 at 12:00 am

    Even to a commmitted believer in abortion as a viable choice like I am, it is no surprise that the ASC merely rubber stamps abortions and blithely states concern over “mental illness” as the prime reason. I know this from the personal experiences of family and friends, and from various anecdotal evidence. After all, we live in a “culture” that sees mental illness in every situation, where we once saw simple eccentricity or melancholy. And, if you were on the ASC, would you want to be the one condemning a girl/women to having an unwanted child?

    I am unsure if Bob McCoskrie and Family First are actually 100% against abortion, like many of the rabid, fundamentalist, firebrand fuddleheads in Christianity or Islam, or if merely they wish there were less of them. Please enlighten. Your web page was not specific, or at least obscurantist.

    The abortion rate was 17,550 in 2009. Declining. Are there 17,550 families, perhaps from Family First’s membership, prepared to adopt? Take in the unwanted children, from mother’s with potentially chronic substance abuse and therefore altered child DNA? From families with generations of, quote, “dysfunctionalism”?

    Or should the mothers be forced to keep them? Of course the men involved can hoof it, scot-free, save perhaps for a pittance of child support. The mothers are left to struggle on, or willingly or unwillingly neglect these poor unwanted and leave society to clean up the mess and carry the can.

    So, do we want a society that recognises many children are conceived obviously mistakenly and not by “Grand Design”, and certainly not wanted, so able to be medically disposed of? Or do we want a society that forces girls/women to carry the responsibility for their mistakes? Do we have a society prepared to aid these mistakes? Somehow, I doubt it.

    As a male, Massoud, I try to avoid pontificating on abortion by females. Let the hysterical, ignorant claimants to “God’s will” like the male Pope, protestant preachers, and Sharia adherents I know to well, do that. I will not be one of them.

  2. Bob
    3 June 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Always interesting that those that support abortion have already been born.

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