By KARL DU FRESNE – The Dominion Post 20/07/2010
OPINION: It went unnoticed by the media, but Justice Minister Simon Power recently issued a press statement announcing that Rosemary Fenwicke had decided not to seek reappointment to the Abortion Supervisory Committee. There’s a story behind this. Dr Fenwicke, a member of the three-person committee since 2007, is an abortion certifying consultant who earns fees by approving the termination of pregnancies. She is also a former medical director of the Family Planning Association, a major abortion referral agency. She was nominated for the committee in 2007 by the Labour government of Helen Clark, whose pro-abortion sympathies are well known.
The appointment seemed not only an unconscionable conflict of interest, but a calculated insult to the many New Zealanders who regard abortion as deeply repugnant. Were they really expected to believe the government couldn’t find someone who didn’t have a material stake in the abortion business? (Certifying consultants were paid $5 million in 2008, and even pro-abortionists acknowledge it’s a lucrative business.) The very nature of her professional activity suggested Dr Fenwicke was not neutral on this divisive issue, yet Parliament rejected an attempt by MP Gordon Copeland, a staunch opponent of abortion, to overturn her nomination. (It was supposedly a conscience vote but Labour MPs were instructed to support Dr Fenwicke, meaning her appointment was assured.)