New Zealand Right to Life Responds to New Report on Women’s Abortion Delays

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 27, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Zealand Right to Life Responds to New Report on Women’s Abortion Delays

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 27
, 2010

Wellington, New Zealand ( — The following statement comes from Right to Life of New Zealand:

A study was made in 2009 into the delays experienced by women seeking an abortion. The study was conducted at 9 abortion facilities and included 2150 women. The study was conducted by Dr Martha Silva and two associates from the University of Auckland. The study found that the average delay from the time of referral at the clinic to the abortion was 25 days.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee recommended that the delay should not exceed 2 weeks. Studies done overseas had revealed that women who have made a decision to terminate the life of their child suffer stress, anxiety and a diminished quality of life if they are required to wait for an abortion. The study promotes a culture of death. It is appalling that Dr Silva wants to have a debate about the best time to kill the child.

Dr Silva states that “abortion is a safe procedure and should be carried out at the earliest gestation possible” Abortion is promoted by abortion providers as a safe procedure and of benefit to women. They say every effort must be made to ensure that women have access to safe and speedy abortion services. Right to Life challenges this assumption.

Human life begins at conception and the human embryo should be accorded the respect that is due to the human person. At 10 weeks the child in the womb has a beating heart with its organs – brain, liver, kidneys and stomach functioning, it is recognizably human , with a head, face, body and tiny arms, legs, fingers and toes. It is an unique unrepeatable miracle of God’s loving creation. It is not a lump of cells nor is it the products of conception. It is the weakest and most defenseless member of the human family, it deserves our respect and protection.

Abortion is never safe for the unborn child whose destruction is sought. It is also not safe for the mother who may experience a lifetime of sorrow regret and psychological damage.

The debate that the community should be having is not when abortions should be performed but whether they should be done at all. The fact that we have state funded and sanctioned abortions is an indictment on a society that has failed to provide vulnerable women and their unborn children with the care and protection that they desperately need and deserve.

We should also be debating the lawfulness of these abortions. It was Justice Miller in the High Court in Wellington in June 2008 who declared in his judgment on the Judicial Review of the performance of the Abortion Supervisory Committee,”There is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorized by certifying consultants. Indeed the Committee itself has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended.”

That damming conclusion raises the question, how many of the abortions included in the study of Dr Silva were lawful and were children deprived of their lives unlawfully?

There is a legal requirement that women seeking an abortion be offered counseling. It is of serious concern that 3.1% of the women participating in this study were not offered counseling. It is noted that 37.95% of women in the study believed that the delay was too long, 54.7% of women said it was just right or that they did not mind waiting as it gave them more time to consider.

It is a disservice to women to put pressure on them to make a quick decision to kill their child in the first trimester when many women are ambivalent about their pregnancy. With more time women bond with their child and choose life for the child and avoid a lifetime of sorrow, regret and psychological damage.


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