New Zealand Right to Life Comments on Supreme Court Decision

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2011   |   7:15PM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand Right to Life is commenting on the recent decision by the nation’s Supreme Court allowing it to intervene in a case following up on a New Zealand Court of Appeal decision saying unborn children have no legal rights.
It also ruled on whether the Abortion Supervisory Committee was improperly approving abortions on mental health grounds. Previously New Zealand Right to Life sued the Abortion Supervisory Committee 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.

Judge Miller also issued a decision saying unborn children have no legal rights in New Zealand and Right to Life challenged that portion of the decision. But the appeals court upheld Miller’s ruling in a 2-1 decision.

Court of Appeal bench of Justices Robert Chambers, Terence Arnold and Lyn Stevens heard the appeal. Concerning the ASC-approved abortions, the appeals court said, according to The Dominion Post, that two judges on the panel, Justices Chambers and Stevens, said it should seek more information in such abortions to ensure the national law is being complied with in those abortion cases.

“We consider that the appropriate channels of investigation would involve either a complaint by a patient or potentially by the committee itself, in which case the health and disability commissioner would become involved,” the court said. “Alternatively, there might be a complaint to the police, in which case the police would investigate the matter.”

Justice Arnold dissented in part and said he would have dismissed the ASC appeal and upheld Miller’s ruling.

Now, Right to Life has released the following comments:


Right to Life is disappointed that the Supreme Court is not prepared to consider our submissions on the humanity of unborn children and their inalienable right to life. Right to Life is committed to continue being a voice for our precious children, the voiceless unborn who are the weakest and most defenseless members of our human family. Right to Life will now take our case for the humanity of the unborn child to Parliament, the defender of human rights, the highest court in the land. The right to life of the unborn should be the most important justice issue at this year’s general election.

Right is pleased that the Supreme Court has given the Society leave to present our case for the judicial duty of the Abortion Supervisory Committee to scrutinise the decisions of certifying consultants and form its own view about the lawfulness of their decisions to authorise abortions and whether the High Court had jurisdiction to finding that “there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by certifying consultants”.Right to Life asks, Why are the Churches silent in defence of God’s children. Their deafening silence is being construed as consent.

The humanity of the unborn child is an inconvenient truth, for  acceptance of the humanity of the unborn child would be an impediment to the killing of innocent human beings. The High Court found that “The rule according human rights only at birth is founded on convenience rather than medical or moral grounds.” “A legal right to life would be incongruous in such a law, for it would treat the unborn child as a separate legal person, possessing a status fundamentally incompatible with induced abortion, far from modifying the born alive rule. The abortion law rests on it.”

It is self evident that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is endowed at conception by its Creator with human rights, the foundation right being the right to life. It is always wrong to kill the innocent and unborn children  are entitled to the protection of the law for their human rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

The denial of the humanity of the unborn is also an affront to the dignity of women who are the bearers of new life. How does society enhance the status of women by denying that her child in the womb is not a human being until it is born? Why are women silent in not seeking recognition of their unborn children as human beings.

Right to Life is disappointed that the Abortion Law Reform Association continues to seek to undermine the abortion laws. The Association  rejoices in the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case for the humanity of the unborn child, their unprincipled stance is insulting to women. The Association which has a national membership of less than 200, continues to promote a woman’s so called right to kill her baby in the womb under the guise of “reproductive health”. The Association’s advocacy is a threat to the lives of the unborn and to the health and welfare of women. The Association is at the forefront in promoting a culture of death.