2 Jun 2015

Pro-life group seeks abortion clarity

5:52 pm on 2 June 2015

Lobby group Right to Life has gone to the High Court at Wellington seeking a declaration on what is required in facilities which carry out only medical rather than surgical abortions.

It follows the Abortion Supervisory Committee's approval of a limited licence enabling Family Planning to perform medical abortions at its Tauranga clinic.

The limited licence said its medical abortions - using pills - were allowed to be performed only within the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

Right to Life lawyer Peter McKenzie, QC, said that was in breach of the Abortion Supervisory Committee's powers to grant licences.

Legally, limited licences could be granted only to institutions which had safe facilities for both surgical and medical abortions, not to facilities which only wished to carry out medical abortions.

Mr McKenzie said his clients were not busybodies but were making an honest attempt, as an interested party, to have the matter clarified.

A lawyer for the Abortion Supervisory Committee questioned whether Right to Life had the legal standing to take court proceedings against the committee.