Right to Life struggle after losing court case

CHRISTCHURCH — Right to Life may be wound up, after losing a
long-running court battle and facing huge costs that is it is struggling to pay.
The Abortion Supervisory Committee, which Right to Life took
a case against, starting about nine years ago, insists they be paid the full amount of their costs, amounting to
Right to Life struggle after losing court case Right to Life spokesperson Ken Orr said his group has proposed the payment of $50,000 upfront and for the balance to be paid in instalments,
but this offer was rejected.
“Our counsel said they could petition the court to have us wound
up. They haven’t actually made that threat, but he believes that’s what is on their minds,” he said.
Mr Orr explained that they would have to sell all their assets to cover the remaining amount.The proceeds will go to the ASC.
“It’s a very real threat. They don’t like us because we are always writing to them and . . . bringing information to
them about the damage done to women’s health through abortion,” he said.
The cost stemmed from the legal case filed by the group against
the ASC which argued that many abortions were wrongly approved,
based on mental health grounds.
The group asked for a judicial review of the committee’s assertion that it has no oversight of the individual decisions
made by certifying consultants who approve abortions.
Although the High Court ruled in favour of Right to Life in 2008, the Court of Appeal overturned this in 2010, and awarded costs to the committee.
In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s
Mr Orr said their organisation needs the support of those who believe in their cause.
“We’ve spent $120,000 on going to courts for eight years from 2005 to 2012. We’ve only been able to do this because of the generous support of our members and the Catholic community,” he
“We can’t take these actions unless we have support,” he said.

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Rowena Orejana

Reader Interactions


  1. Sarah says

    I am heavily involved with another NZ based pro-life organisation, but have been following the work of Ken Orr and Right to Life for many years now.

    It was very sad to see them loose this case after the success they had earlier.

    But remember this is only a small part of their role in New Zealand.

    Among other activities, their ongoing and relentless work has kept the Abortion Supervisory Committee and the abortion industry operating as close to the law as possible.

    This a very important role and one that is not covered by other pro-life organisations here in New Zealand.

    It would be a great loss if they were not around.

    I encourage everyone to donate to them so they can get this bill paid and continue their great work.

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