A growing number of New Zealand doctors are simply refusing to provide abortions, and are ultimately gaining applause from pro-life activists.
According to a report by The Abortion Supervisory Committee, the annual number of certified consultants- their term for licensed physicians who perform abortions- fell from 196 in 2009 to 175 in 2010, and continues to decline.
It is believed that an increasing number of doctors are disputing the idea that abortion is a necessary part of healthcare, deeming them separate according to Right to Life New Zealand, a pro-life organization based in Christchurch.
In a statement on the organization's website, spokesperson Ken Orr "urges these doctors to promote a culture of life by respecting the right to life of the unborn and to refuse to authorize or execute their killing."
Although under New Zealand law abortion is legal, there are strict regulations that a pregnant woman must adhere to prior to opting to have the elective surgery.
An abortion must be approved by two doctors, one of which must be a gynecologist or an obstetrician, prior to it actually taking place in a licensed institution or hospital.
Right to Life seeks to "vigorously promote the statutory recognition of the unborn child as a human," as stated on its website.
Orr suggests that abortion doctors are well compensated in the Right to Life press release, raising the question as to whether some abortion doctors may be driven by greed.
It was reported that doctors receive approximately "$135 for a 10 to 15 minute face to face consultation" with a woman seeking abortion surgery.
The total consulting fees paid to these doctors last year was approximately $4,551,929, and there is said to be just over 11,000 registered doctors in New Zealand.
The highest recorded salary was $138,915 for approving 1,028 abortions and denying only one.
Orr commended the doctors that she suggested refuse to compromise their values for money: "[They] are faithful to their medical ethics by upholding the right to life of their unborn patients," the website read.
Critics have blasted these doctors suggesting that they are infringing upon women's legal rights and freedom of choice.