New Zealand court ruling on abortion.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Abortion (Laws, regulations and rules)
Pub Date: 11/01/2009
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2009 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 34
Topic: Event Code: 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime; 970 Government domestic functions Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Government regulation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Name: New Zealand; New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 225074420
Full Text: In New Zealand, the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act of 1977 permits abortion in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy for risk to the woman's life, serious fetal abnormality, incest or sexual relations with a guardian, or if the woman is severely mentally "subnormal". The approval of two consultants is required. Right to Life New Zealand sought judicial review of the legal status of the fetus and the functions of the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC), which they claimed was not fulfilling its duties by holding consultants accountable for certifying abortions. The court said there is no right to life before birth, bur there is a claim on the conscience of the community and the woman. The ASC was told it was authorised to review or scrutinise decisions of certifying consultants and has the authority to require consultants to maintain records and reports on cases considered. Other functions of the ASC were review of the abortion law and reporting to parliament on its operation, ongoing review of the procedure for authorising abortions, and appointing and removing consultants to do so. (1)

(1.) Cusack S. Right to Life New Zealand Inc. v. Abortion Supervisory Committee, HC WN CIV 2005-485-999 (High Court of New Zealand, 9 June 2008). International Reproductive & Sexual Health Law Listserve, Center for Reproductive Rights, 17 June 2008.
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