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Why Has New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Betrayed the Disability Sector?

Why Has New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Betrayed the Disability Sector?

Reproduced from Media Release 24 August 2019 - Ken Orr, Spokesperson, Right to Life New Zealand

More than half of the unborn children in New Zealand with Down syndrome are killed before they are born. This is a violation of their human rights and a crime against humanity.

Right to Life believes that this is state sponsored genocide disguised as health care against a clearly defined group within our community.

Can the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, be trusted? 


In 2017 she made a promise to the disability community in response to concerns expressed by the Saving Down’s advocacy group that the new abortion bill would remove the current 20 week prohibition and allow abortions up to birth for foetal abnormality.

The Prime Minister responded, “They have said till 40 weeks, which is wrong, which is wrong. We have time periods already set out in law, I am not proposing changes to that. I am proposing it comes out of the Crimes Act.”

Right to Life asks the Prime Minister why she has directed that the Abortion Legislation Bill allow for the killing up to birth of children before birth who may have a disability, including Down syndrome. The current abortion legislation under the Crimes Act allows for the killing of a child before birth up to 20 weeks “where there is a substantial risk that the child, if born, would be so physically or mentally subnormal as to be seriously handicapped.”

Down syndrome is considered a mild to moderate disability and Right to Life therefore protests at the killing of any of these special children who are gift to the community.

Between 2009 and 2017 it is estimated that 694 children with Down syndrome were killed before birth in abortions in New Zealand.    There is an international campaign to eliminate Down syndrome by killing these children before they are born. In Europe many countries have an abortion rate for Down syndrome of 90%, in Iceland it is nearly 100%.

Government funded screening for Down syndrome and other disabilities is offered to all pregnant women in New Zealand. Right to Life believes that this screening is a search and destroy mission that promotes the belief that only the perfect have a right to life.

Those women whose screening reveals a high risk of a baby with Down syndrome are offered an abortion by the government and encouraged to terminate the life of their child, this would contribute to the average annual abortion rate of 62% for Down syndrome.

The Abortion Legislation Bill 2019 driven by the Prime Minister holds that abortion does not kill an unborn child and that the child has no rights until it is born.

The Prime Minister would therefore logically believe that a child with Down syndrome is not a human being and has no right to life. Right to Life asks then, is it your objective to encourage the extermination of children with Down syndrome in New Zealand through their violent termination up to birth? Why are the Churches and the media silent?

(See NZ Parliament website for submissions to the Select Committee closing 19 Sep 2019

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