SPCS MEDIA RELEASE – 23 Sept. 2011
Statistics recently provided by the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) under the Official Information Act and which are not provided by the ASC in their annual report, will shock the majority of New Zealanders.
The Society believes that the public of New Zealand have a right to see the statistical evidence that we have obtained: a copy of evidence that proves New Zealand effectively has abortion on demand with only 2% of women being denied an abortion following a formal application to have one.
The Society contends that the ASC has a statutory duty to hold certifying consultants accountable for the lawfulness of the abortions that they authorise.
The ASC sourced statistics shown in the table below raise the following key points:
The top 20 consultants approved a total of 1,6014 abortions and declined 167, a refusal rate of only 1.4%. This reveals that we effectively have abortion on demand or offer. (The ASC have previously advised that the approval rate from the 200 certifying consultants is 98%.The ground of mental health is used to authorise 98% of abortions in New Zealand).
However, Justice Miller in the High Court in the Judicial Review of the Performance of the ASC stated in his judgment that the law passed by Parliament did NOT provide or allow for for abortion on demand.
It was Dr Christine Forster, previous chair of the ASC, who stated on the front page of the Sunday Star Times, 5 November in 2002 that “she did NOT believe that all these women were in serious danger and that doctors were using the grounds of mental health to provide abortion on demand.” [Emphasis added]
Certifying consultants who interview the women seeking an abortion, receive a fee from the Justice Department of $135 for each interview. It is known that the second consultant has only a cursory interview with the woman to confirm that she does want an abortion. It is the practice in many hospitals and clinics for the second consultant, the abortionist, to speak to the woman on the day of the abortion and sometimes in the operating theatre where the woman is gowned up and waiting for an abortion that has not yet been authorised.
The Society believes that the vast majority of those certifying consultants are the second certifying consultant and the operating surgeon [abortionist]. It also considers the fee of $135 to be exorbitant, given that the consultant spends but a moment with the woman seeking an abortion.
Studies conducted in the USA reveal that 60% of women who seek an abortion are coerced by others to have an abortion, and therefore in these cases, clearly it is not the decision of the woman. In the light of the extremely low refusal rate in New Zealand, why is the ASC not concerned at a high number of women being coerced into having an abortion that they don’t want?