New Zealand Health Commissioner: Women Should See Ultrasound Before Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
May 7, 2009
Wellington, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — The Health and Disability Commissioner has responded to a complaint from New Zealand Right to Life saying some district health boards are not allowing women a chance to seen an ultrasound before an abortion. When used in pregnancy centers ultrasounds, more than 80 percent of women decide not to have one.
Right to Life conducted a survey of the 13 district health boards and found that those in Auckland, Waikato, Wairarapa and Canterbury did not offer the ultraounds.
Waikato DHB told the pro-life group that it was an "infringement of the patient’s rights" to allow women the right to see images of their unborn child before an abortion so they are fully informed.
Right to Life spokesman Ken Orr says allowing women a chance to receive informed consent by seeing the ultrasounds will help lower the number of abortions.
According to the Dominion Post, health commissioner Commissioner Ron Paterson has written a letter to Waikato District Health board chief executive Craig Climo saying women should have the choice to see an ultraound.
"She needs the information that she has the ability to view the scan to make this choice," he wrote.
Orr says the consent forms women complete should include a space allowing them to sign off on whether they want to see the ultrasound or not. That way they would not be subjected to whether a health board will allow them to see the ultrasound or not.
But Margaret Sparrow, president of the pro-abortion Abortion Law Reform Association claims giving women access to an ultrasound image of their unborn child would "intimidate" them.
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