22 December 1999
DON’T ABORT THE ABORTION LAWS
“Making all GPs certifying consultants will drive a wedge between family doctors and some of their patients,” predicted
Party Leader Graham Capill, commenting on the recommendation of the Abortion Supervisory Committee which has been given
support by the Minister of Justice, Mr Goff.
Mr Capill said, “Pro-life women will not want to see their families cared for by a local GP who is involved in the
abortion industry. If all GP’s get caught up in that, as has been proposed, not only will the health of women be
endangered but so might the health of any other children they may have. Far from giving choice to women, this proposal
actually removes it – the choice to have a pro-life doctor.
“The Minister of Justice is quite wrong in suggesting that the $2.7 million spent on Abortion Certifying Consultants
could be spent on sex education. Someone will have to pay the GPs who, I am sure, will not provide the service as a
charity. Perhaps the Minister is considering making abortions an elective surgery procedure, where patients can expect
to wait at least nine months and miss out!
“The proposal to require all GPs to do the work of the Certifying Consultants will also put some GPs in the invidious
position, being forced to do what they might consider morally repugnant. Whatever happened to freedom of conscience?
“The problem is not the law, but the refusal of the authorities to enforce it. The latest report shows that 98.2% of
abortions were on the grounds that there was a ‘serious danger to (the mother’s) mental health’. If that is so, the
Government must either admit that this is a pseudo-legal ground used to justify social abortions, which amounts to
little more than a cosmetic arrangement in many cases, or start yet another enquiry into mental health!
“To suggest that creating more access to abortion will somehow address the blow-out in the number of abortions, a 300%
increase since 1980, is misguided and confused,” Mr Capill said. “Instead of creating more certifying consultants,
adding to the grounds on which a legal abortion might be performed (the ground of socio-economic factors) and allowing
for abortions past 20 weeks gestation, Mr Goff should ensure that the Ministry of Health booklet on abortion (which is
not a pro-life booklet) is put into the hands of all women contemplating an abortion so that they can make an informed
decision. Anything less will result in many more abortions than we already have.
“Suggestions by Dr Dianna Edwards that the law should be regulated as a health service and not under the Crimes Act,
show how misguided some in the medical profession have become. Some doctors have clearly forgotten that when dealing
with a pregnant woman, they are dealing with two patients, the mother and her child, both of whom have rights. If the
Labour Party is really concerned to stand up for the weak and vulnerable, then it had better have a care for the unborn
child who is the weakest and most vulnerable member of society,” Mr Capill concluded.
Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766