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Protection of Conscience Project

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New Zealand

Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act

1977 112 Commenced: 16 Dec 1977

5. Supply of contraceptives to rape complainants---

(1) Where any person makes a complaint of rape to any member of the Police and that member, or any other member of the Police, calls a registered medical practitioner to examine the complainant, it shall be the duty of that medical practitioner (unless the complainant expresses a contrary wish)---

(a) To advise the complainant of a contraceptive precaution she may take in order to avoid the risk of pregnancy, and to supply to her or authorise the supply to her of any contraceptive for that purpose: or

(b) To advise her of her right to obtain such service from another registered medical practitioner or a family planning clinic.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1) of this section, where any patient complains of rape to any registered medical practitioner (whether or not she also lays a complaint of rape with the Police), it shall be the duty of that medical practitioner to comply with the terms of that subsection.

(3) Without limiting section 43 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1968, every registered medical practitioner who fails to comply with subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section is guilty of professional misconduct and shall be dealt with under subsection (2) of that section accordingly.

46. Conscientious objection---

(1) Notwithstanding anything in any other enactment, or any rule of law, or the terms of any oath or of any contract (whether of employment or otherwise), no registered medical practitioner, registered nurse, or other person shall be under any obligation---

(a) To perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or any operation undertaken or to be undertaken for the purpose of rendering the patient sterile:

(b) To fit or assist in the fitting, or supply or administer or assist in the supply or administering, of any contraceptive, or to offer or give any advice relating to contraception,---

if he objects to doing so on grounds of conscience.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any employer---

(a) To deny to any employee or prospective employee any employment, accommodation, goods, service, right, title, privilege, or benefit merely because that grounds of conscience to do any act referred to in subsection (1) of this section; or employee or prospective employee objects on

(b) To make the provision or grant to any employee or prospective employee of any employment, accommodation, goods, service, right, title, privilege, or benefit conditional upon that other person doing or agreeing to do any thing referred to in that subsection.

(3) Every person who suffers any loss by reason of any act or omission rendered unlawful by subsection (2) of this section shall be entitled to recover damages from the person responsible for the act or omission.

(4) Nothing in this section shall limit or affect the provisions of section 5 of this Act or section 43A of the Medical Practitioners Act 1968 (as inserted by section 2 of the Medical Practitioners Amendment Act 1977).

[Full Text]


Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003

174. Duty of health practitioners in respect of reproductive health services

(1) This section applies whenever -

(a) a person requests a health practitioner to provide a service (including, without limitation, advice) with respect to contraception, sterilisation, or other reproductive health services; and

(b) the health practitioner objects on the ground of conscience to providing the service.

(2) When this section applies, the health practitioner must inform the person who requests the service that he or she can obtain the service from another health practitioner or from a family planning clinic.

[Full Text]