Down syndrome advocacy group impersonates Jacinda Ardern, makes false claims

Down syndrome advocacy group impersonates Jacinda Ardern, makes false claims
Photo credit: Newshub

A Down syndrome advocacy group has impersonated Jacinda Ardern in a new social media campaign, in an effort to condemn the Labour leader's policy on abortion. 

Saving Downs has been engaged in what has been described as "fake news" by Labour, making false claims under Ms Ardern's image regarding children with disabilities. 

The graphic says "abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities", set with Labour's official branding and slogan "Let's do this".

Down syndrome advocacy group impersonates Jacinda Ardern, makes false claims
Photo credit: Facebook

The false campaign was launched following comments Ms Ardern made at Newshub's leader's debate on Monday where she said abortion should not be in the Crimes Act.

"It shouldn't be in the Crime's Act," she said. "People need to be able to make their own decision. I want women who want access to be able to have it as a right."

On Tuesday she said she would hold a conscience vote on the matter and would involve the Abortion Supervisory Committee and the Ministry of Health in drafting a law change.

"They know which elements aren't working. I've already heard them present at Select Committee saying that they know there are changes that are required to the law because it's not fit for purpose and it needs to be modernised."

In response, Saving Down issued a statement, expressing its concern over Ms Ardern's plans to change abortion law - including false claims that Labour would introduce abortion or disabilities to 40 weeks, or birth.

The Labour Party has since been determined to set things straight, taking to social media to emphasise its stance and ensure there are no mixed messages. 

The party has reached out to Saving Downs head Mike Sullivan via Facebook and Twitter, in an effort to get the post removed.

Mr Sullivan, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, stands by the advocacy group's actions, adding that it would be 'discriminatory' if any future Government did extend late-term abortions for disabilities. 

The posts are yet to be removed. 

Current law in New Zealand says abortion is legal before 20 weeks' gestation if two doctors deem the pregnancy "a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother." Women of any age can consent to or refuse an abortion.

Women can obtain an abortion at under 20 weeks' gestation under the following scenarios:

  • If pregnancy is a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother
  • If there's a substantial risk that the child would be "seriously handicapped"
  • If the child is the result of incest
  • If the woman is "severely subnormal"

Newshub.

 

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