Abortion supervisory comittee problems

The Abortion Supervisory Committee was established in 1977 to regulate the preformance of abortion in New Zealand. Since then it has become a rubber stamp allowing for abortions due to mental health grounds, as many as 18 000 a year suposedbly because the woman faces a “serious danger” to her mental health “not normally atendent upon childbirth” (section 187A of the 1977 Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act) . However the committee no longer has any members, thus leading to a situation by which abortions are preformed unsupervised which may be illegal. Mark Burton has placed an item on Parliaments order paper to put new people on to the committee. I won’t be suprised if they continue to have the comittee not operate under the law. What will be more interesting is if there will be any accountibility for what could be technically illegal abortions during the time all positions on the committee were vacant.

 I have e-mailed Justice Minister Mark Burton on this issue. it will be interesting to see his reply.

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