New Zealand Pro-Life Group Gets Day in Court To Stop Disputed Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Zealand Pro-Life Group Gets Day in Court To Stop Disputed Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 20
, 2009

Wellington, New Zealand ( — A New Zealand pro-life group got its day in court on its lawsuit to stop the Abortion Supervisory Committee from allowing abortions for unlawful reasons. New Zealand Right to Life sued saying ASC is allowing abortions on alleged mental health grounds that are not necessary for women’s health.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee is contesting a June 2008 ruling from High Court Judge Forrest Miller saying that there was “reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorized by certifying consultants."

The committee appealed the ruling and filed papers with the appeals court saying there is no evidence to justify Judge Miller’s conclusion.

The Court of Appeal said the case was outside its jurisdiction and the parties must return to the High Court for a declaration on the powers of the ASC as intended by Parliament.

Justice Miller questioned the need yesterday to make any orders. He said Parliament supervised the committee and it had to look at how the committee operated. He reserved his decision.

While the court did not issue a decision, a pro-abortion group, the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRANZ) issued a press release blasting the costs associated with the lawsuit.

The Abortion Supervisory Council (ASC) reports that the cost of the case to date is $280,000.

“While ALRANZ is accusing Right to Life of causing this huge bill to the tax-payer, the reverse is true,” Pro-Life New Zealand director Andy Moore told “Justice Miller has made it clear that a large number of abortions performed in New Zealand may be unlawful – therefore it is the Crown that must be held accountable.”

“That the case has been so drawn-out is evidence that Right to Life is onto something. If the ASC had been doing its job there would have been no need for this lengthy and costly court case," he said.

Judge Miller, in his ruling, noted that 98.9% of the abortions were approved on mental health grounds. That is despite worldwide research — and studies in New Zealand — showing abortions cause women a plethora of mental health problems.

"Each abortion is a tragedy for the unborn child that is destroyed and for the mother who is the second victim of abortion," Ken Orr of Right to Life of New Zealand, told at the time.

"Abortion is the ultimate in domestic violence and in child abuse; women will not be safe until the law effectively protects them and their unborn," he added. "Often it is not women who choose abortion, it is often a decision made by others."

The latest statistics from the New Zealand government show the number of abortions increased. The ASC report shows the government spending more than $5 million in taxpayer funds on abortions and consultations from abortion practitioners.

The government agency’s report indicates there were 18,382 abortions in 2007, which is an increase of 448 from the 2006 figures. The report showed the country having 19.6 abortions a year per 1000 women aged 15-44.

Related web sites:
Right to Life of New Zealand –

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