Winston Peters: Withdraw your extreme abortion up-to-birth bill
Ahead of the 2017 election, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, made it clear to voters that his New Zealand First Party would not ‘decriminalise’ abortion (introduce an extreme abortion law allowing abortion up to birth) and that they would support a change to the law to states that the unborn child has a right to life; to improve informed consent during the abortion process, and to implement parental notification for girls aged 15 and under seeking abortions. This reinforced a clear long-standing position which had been communicated to voters over a number of years.
This position was popular with many pro-life and ‘values’ voters who voted for Winston Peters’ NZ First Party because of their clear position on this issue.
Now that he is in a coalition Government, Winston Peters has betrayed these voters and done the opposite.
He has introduced the most extreme abortion legislation in the world - which would allow abortion, for any reason, up to birth - to the New Zealand Parliament.
This Bill is very much his bill. He had his MP, Tracey Martin, work on co-writing the Bill, along with the Justice Minister, over an eight-month period. Then his cabinet, in which he is the number two ranked minister, signed off on the Bill.
The Bill would introduce the most extreme abortion up-to-birth law in the world to New Zealand. This includes:
Legalising abortion, for any reason, up to birth.
The current 20-week limit for disability-selective abortion will be scrapped, introducing abortion up-to-birth for any disability including Down syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.
Sex-selective abortion will be legalised.
There would be no legal requirement that two doctors must certify an abortion.
A doctor would not be required to perform an abortion - nurses, midwives and pharmacists could carry out abortions without a trained doctor present in the case of a complication.
Winston Peters has hidden behind claims that he will introduce a referendum amendment at Committee stage of the Bill to give New Zealanders a say on whether this extreme Bill becomes law. He knows full well that this amendment has no chance of passing if introduced at that stage. If he was serious about letting the New Zealand public have a say on whether this Bill becomes law, he would have insisted that his Government include a provision guaranteeing a referendum on this issue in the body of the original Bill. He hasn’t done that.
This Bill has no place in a humane New Zealand society - polling from Curia research shows only 4% of the New Zealand population support introducing abortion up to birth. This is a Bill designed to appeal to a tiny minority of abortion zealots, not the vast majority of sensible New Zealanders who find the idea of late-term abortions inhumane and barbaric.
Winston Peters’ Government is in control of the passage of this Bill and has the power to withdraw the Bill.
Please sign this petition calling on Winston Peters to immediately withdraw his Government’s Abortion Legislation Bill. It is not too late for him to do the right thing here.