12 Apr 2011

Abortion committee member appointed despite opposition

6:45 am on 12 April 2011

Hamilton Doctor Tangimoana Habib, from Ngati Tuwharetoa, will be appointed to the Abortion Supervisory Committee despite a late challenge that threatened to upset the process.

The Maori Party backed Dr Habib for the role, but co-leader Tariana Turia, unsuccessfully moved an amendment to replace sitting member Patricia Allan, a Christchurch Methodist minister.

She wanted Ata Moala, a Tongan doctor who has chaired anti-abortion events, on the committee.

Mrs Turia says abortions have become far too common rather than happening only in exceptional circumstances as the law originally envisaged.

"I don't mind anybody knowing that I'm totally opposed to the taking of life," she told Waatea News.

Mr Turia said she is pleased there is Maori representation on the Abortion Supervisory Committee given the huge number of Maori, Pacific and Asian women who undergo the procedure.