Abortion is both a health and a justice issue Bishops say


The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference  (NZCBC) and its centre of bioethics, The Nathaniel Centre say that abortion is both a health and a justice issue and it should continue to be treated by the law as such.

Their concern is that that making abortion purely a health issue would limit or remove the rights of the unborn child that the current law acknowledges.

In their joint submission to the Law Commission, made last Friday the NZCBC and the and the Nathaniel Centre argue that the State has a responsibility to protect and care for all human life, born and unborn.

They say it would an abdication of this responsibility to make abortion solely a matter between a woman and her doctor.

Justice Minister, Andrew Little has, in previous comments, indicated that a full review of the abortion laws would take place.

But a press release from the Bishops Conference expresses the view that the brief given to the Law Commission falls far short of this.

It says the minister has, instead, indicated the government wants abortion to be treated as “a health issue”, rather than a criminal one.

As a result, the Law Commission now has the task of providing an alternative legal framework to facilitate this change.

The NZCBC President, Bishop Patrick Dunn, said that the changes they are proposing in their submission would ensure continued consideration of the rights of the unborn child.

They would also and promote the well-being of women, including better processes to ensure adequate informed consent, especially independent counselling.”

The submission also calls for a parallel review of the social support structures, familial, financial, emotional and social, that our society offers to women who are pregnant.

“A decision for an abortion can only be described as a truly ‘free’ choice’ if the woman knows there is tangible support that enables her to choose to keep the child,” said Dunn.

Ko te Huinga Pīhopa o te Hāhi Katorika o Aotearoa (NZCBC) te kāhui whakahaere o ngā mahi whakapono a-motu me ngā rōpū minita o te Hāhi Katorika. Otirā ngā rōpū mātauranga, tika me te pono, kaitohutohu Māori, whakapaoho whakawhiti whakaaro me te toro atu ki te iwi nui tonu, ritenga o te Hāhi, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Hāhi, matatika koiora, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā whakapono, mahi minita ki ngā whareherehere me ngā hohipera, oti atu.

Read the Submission


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

Tags: , , , ,