Why ignore Royal Commission?

Ken Orr, Right to Life spokesman

COLUMN

Minister of Justice Andrew Little proposes to introduce a government bill to remove women and the unborn from the protection of the Crimes Act; this is an unprecedented attack on the right to life of the unborn. The Crimes Act Part VIII, Crimes against the Person, provides legal protection for the lives of every human being from implantation to natural death. The Act recognises that abortion is violence against women and the unborn, and that it is a serious crime to kill an unborn child by abortion.

The Minister seeks to make the killing of the unborn a reproductive health choice for women. It would no longer be a crime to kill an unborn child up to birth and the State would have no interest in protecting the lives of New Zealanders in the first nine months of life.

The Minister has a serious duty to tell the nation why he considers that his opinion, devoid of any evidence, should override the following important and authoritative conclusions of a Royal Commission established by the Right Hon Bill Rowling, prime minister of the third Labour government.

The Minister advised Right to Life in March that he did not consider the Royal Commission’s report relevant today, having been written in 1975.

The Minister of Justice is not serving the best interests of women and the unborn by ignoring the learned findings of the Royal Commission on Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion, which made the following conclusions in its report to Parliament in 1977:

• “The unborn child as one of the weakest, the most vulnerable and most defenceless forms of humanity, should receive protection.”

• “From a biological point of view there is no argument as to when life begins. Evidence was given to us by eminent scientists from all over the world. None of them suggested that human life begins at any other time than at conception.”

• “From implantation to birth, changes which take place in the unborn child are of a developmental nature only. There are no changes of a qualitative nature. The three events suggested as being of significance, namely quickening, viability and brain development are no more than stages in that development and are not indicative of any qualitative changes in the developing fetus which would make it non-human.”

• In rejecting the argument that some degree of development should be reached before the unborn child be accorded status, the Commission said, “If some stage of physical or mental development has to be accepted as indicating whether or not human life is in being, so a stage may be reached at the other end of life where a person who has become senile or has lost consciousness may be disposed of.”

• The Commission rejected abortion at the request of the mother, as it would then accord to the unborn child only that status which the individual woman herself chose to give it.

• The Commission recognised that abortion was violence against women and the unborn and supported the retention of section 182, Killing of Unborn Child in the Crimes Act, stating that it was necessary to differentiate between homicide and the crime of abortion.

Right to Life asks the Minister: “What evidence do you have that the findings of the Royal Commission were wrong or are not relevant in 2018?”

Does the ill-informed opinion of the Minister now override justice? If the Minister succeeds in acceptance of the killing of the unborn as a health issue of choice it will soon become a duty to terminate the life of the unborn, deemed unwanted by the State.

Minister of Justice Andrew Little proposes to introduce a government bill to remove women and the unborn from the protection of the Crimes Act; this is an unprecedented attack on the right to life of the unborn. The Crimes Act Part VIII, Crimes against the Person, provides legal protection for the lives of every human being from implantation to natural death. The Act recognises that abortion is violence against women and the unborn, and that it is a serious crime to kill an unborn child by abortion.

The Minister seeks to make the killing of the unborn a reproductive health choice for women. It would no longer be a crime to kill an unborn child up to birth and the State would have no interest in protecting the lives of New Zealanders in the first nine months of life.

The Minister has a serious duty to tell the nation why he considers that his opinion, devoid of any evidence, should override the following important and authoritative conclusions of a Royal Commission established by the Right Hon Bill Rowling, prime minister of the third Labour government.

The Minister advised Right to Life in March that he did not consider the Royal Commission’s report relevant today, having been written in 1975.

The Minister of Justice is not serving the best interests of women and the unborn by ignoring the learned findings of the Royal Commission on Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion, which made the following conclusions in its report to Parliament in 1977:

• “The unborn child as one of the weakest, the most vulnerable and most defenceless forms of humanity, should receive protection.”

• “From a biological point of view there is no argument as to when life begins. Evidence was given to us by eminent scientists from all over the world. None of them suggested that human life begins at any other time than at conception.”

• “From implantation to birth, changes which take place in the unborn child are of a developmental nature only. There are no changes of a qualitative nature. The three events suggested as being of significance, namely quickening, viability and brain development are no more than stages in that development and are not indicative of any qualitative changes in the developing fetus which would make it non-human.”

• In rejecting the argument that some degree of development should be reached before the unborn child be accorded status, the Commission said, “If some stage of physical or mental development has to be accepted as indicating whether or not human life is in being, so a stage may be reached at the other end of life where a person who has become senile or has lost consciousness may be disposed of.”

• The Commission rejected abortion at the request of the mother, as it would then accord to the unborn child only that status which the individual woman herself chose to give it.

• The Commission recognised that abortion was violence against women and the unborn and supported the retention of section 182, Killing of Unborn Child in the Crimes Act, stating that it was necessary to differentiate between homicide and the crime of abortion.

Right to Life asks the Minister: “What evidence do you have that the findings of the Royal Commission were wrong or are not relevant in 2018?”

Does the ill-informed opinion of the Minister now override justice? If the Minister succeeds in acceptance of the killing of the unborn as a health issue of choice it will soon become a duty to terminate the life of the unborn, deemed unwanted by the State.

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