Dr. Rosemary "Rosy" Jane Fenwicke of Wellington is a GP, Certifying Consultant and abortionist at the Level J abortion clinic in Wellington Hospital. She is originally from Southland. As at March 2014, Fenwicke is standing for selection to be the National Party Candidate for Wellington Central.
- 1 Personal Life
- 2 Family Planning Association
- 3 Abortionist at Te Mahoe Unit
- 4 Abortion Supervisory Committee
- 5 NZ Democratic Coalition
- 6 Medical Council of NZ
- 7 NZ Federation of Graduate Women
- 8 Other Positions
- 9 Relationship with Annette King
- 10 Opinion Piece in Dominion Post
- 11 Publications
- 12 References
Fenwicke studied at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland between 1975 and 2001. She received an MB ChB, Dip O&G, MRCGP, Dip Occupational Medicine, FRNZCGP, Medicine.
Rosy Fenwicke has three children, Josephine Prudence India Fenwicke, Harry Thomson Clennell Fenwicke and Georgina Janet Fenwicke.
In 2002, Fenwick founded Wonderful World LTD., a skincare company. Up until Oct. 5, 2003, each of the three children had a 10% share in their mother's company. At that time, all shares were returned to Rosy Fenwicke. As at August 2002, Strato Cotsilinis was a representative of the company.
Family Planning Association
Abortionist at Te Mahoe Unit
Fenwicke currently works as an abortionist at the Te Mahoe Unit abortion facility located on Level 3 at the Wellington Regional Hospital. The facility was previously known as Level J Unit, and prior to this, Parkview Clinic. Fenwicke also does IAA and rehabilitation assessments for ACC.
The Te Mahoe Unit is the second busiest abortion facility in New Zealand - it performed 2867 induced abortions in 2008.
Abortion Supervisory Committee
Fenwicke was appointed as a medical member of the Abortion Supervisory Committee in 2007. The Committee oversees abortion law and practise in New Zealand. This includes licensing abortion mills, and appointing certifying consultants. Fenwicke has stated that she was a member of the Committee for three years between 2006 and 2009.
- Labour: 49 (All MPs).
- National: 19 (Chris Auchinvole, David Bennet, Jackie Blue, Jonathan Coleman, Craig Foss, Sandra Goudie, Paul Hutchinson, John Key, Colin King, Murray McCully, Katherine Rich, Katrina Shanks, Lockwood Smith, Lindsay Tisch, Nicky Wagner, Maurice Williamson, Kate Wilkinson, Pansy Wong and Richard Worth)
- NZ First: 3 (Brian Donnelly, Pita Paraone and Doug Woolerton)
- Greens: 6 (All MPs)
- United Future: 1 (Peter Dunne)
- Act: 2 (Rodney Hide and Heather Roy)
Conflict of Interest
In 2010 when the three members of the Committee, Linda Hollowa, Patricia Allen and Fenwicke were up for reappointment, Garth George writing at the NZ Herald pointed out the conflict of interest present in Fenwicke's seat on the committee:
- "There is growing pressure being put on Justice Minister Simon Power, by Right to Life NZ and others, not to reappoint Dr. Fenwicke on the grounds of conflict of interest. One of the duties of the committee is to supervise abortion certifying consultants, who are empowered to authorise the disposal of unborn children, yet Dr. Fenwicke is herself a certifying consultant."
On the 29th July 2009, the Family Planning Association made an application to the Abortion Supervisory Committee for a licence to commit chemical abortions at its Hamilton clinic. It was the expectation that the Association would ultimately apply for abortion licences for its other 29 clinics. Following a request by Right to Life NZ under the Official Information Act, the ASC confirmed that Fenwicke considered this application from Family Planning during her time as a Committee member. It should be noted that Fenwicke worked as Medical Director of the Central Region for the Family Planning Association from 1987 to 1990.
Writing in the Dominion Post, Karl Du Fresne discussed how Fenwicke's resignation came about:
- "Anti-abortionists refused to let the matter rest. They lobbied against the renewal of Dr Fenwicke's appointment and the Government appears to have recognised the force of their argument. Mr Power's statement that Dr Fenwicke had decided not to seek reappointment is usually a coded way of saying she was told it was not in the Government's interests for her to continue. Whether this indicates a change of the political mood on abortion, or is simply an acknowledgment that Dr Fenwicke should never have been appointed in the first place, isn't clear."
NZ Democratic Coalition
The New Zealand Democratic Coalition was a proposed moderate political party intended to contest the 1996 General Election. It would have been led by former Prime Minister Mike Moore and was intended to capture the balance of power on election night. Ultimately it was not registered and Moore stayed with Labour for the 1996 election.
Rosy Fenwicke was involved in the formation of the initiative. Below are excerpts from pages 289-291 of Michael Laws' 1998 book, The Demon Profession documenting the role Fenwicke played:
- "We were collectively gathering the names of 500 financial members for the purpose of legally registering the party with the Electoral Commission... Perhaps the most productive gatherer though was Rosy Fenwicke, who amply demonstrated the desire of many previously non-political middle New Zealanders for something fresh and invigorating."
- "To assist us with our planning a special weekend was set aside in August 1995 and hosted by Michael Moore and Clayton Cosgrove in Christchurch. Apart from the MPs, Rosy Fenwicke and Ron Mark were prominent and vocal contributors..."
- "Rosy was formally appointed the party's secretary general and the weekend concluded with most participants confident that Moore would soon formalise his commitment and lead our band of disparate adventurers into the next election."
In her new role as secretary general for the fledgling party, Rosy, who was a friend of Laws was tasked with forming a document known as "The Aims & Objectives of the New Zealand Democratic Coalition".
Medical Council of NZ
As at 2004, Fenwicke was a member of the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. TheTribunal is a statutory body constituted under section 8 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1995. The Tribunal and its membership are separate from the Medical Council of New Zealand. However the Council provides administrative services and funding for the Tribunal through the disciplinary levy collected from all registered practitioners each year.
NZ Federation of Graduate Women
Comments in Jan. 2014 Newsletter
In the January 2014 newsletter of the NZ Federation of Graduate Women, Fenwicke responded to an article on NZ's abortion law by Ann Pomeroy, President of the federation:
- "I read with interest our President's comments in regards to the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977. I have worked in Family Planning, General Practice, Obstetrics, Sexual Abuse, and Abortion services for most of my career and continue to do so. I was also a member of the Abortion Supervisory Committee charged by the Act with overseeing the implementation of the Act for three years between 2006 and 2009. I would like to make the following comments:
- The law is not perfect but it works reasonably well.
- Access to abortion in small centres has improved remarkably in the last ten years and travel to a clinic to be considered for an abortion and to have the procedure done is less onerous and in some circumstances funding is available but this is less necessary than in the past. The centres in New Zealand where abortion is not available in their local community include: Palmerston North, Wanganui, Timaru, Oamaru and the West Coast. For the smaller centres, it is better women travel the short distances to clinics where there are more experienced, doctors, nurses and counsellors available.
- Panels ceased to exist in the 1980s.
- The whole service from beginning to end is free.
- There are some doctors who exercise their conscience and moral freedom and choose not to provide contraception or referral but they are obliged by the New Zealand Medical council to inform the woman of their views and to refer to a colleague who does not hold their views. The cases of medical 'abuse' of power in this regard are much much less than they were and women have been empowered since 1977 to have a better grasp of their rights than in the 'olden days'. When the law is upheld then it works.
- Abortion requests and procedures have dropped significantly since the introduction of subsidised long acting contraception by the National Government such that there are redundancies in staff at many clinics.
- Waiting times are affected just as often by the preferences of women for the timing of their appointments as by other factors.
- Whatever happens to the law- an abortion is still a medical procedure and requires a full assessment by a trained medical practitioner to ensure patient safety.
- Women have not had to resort to unsafe abortions since the 1977."
As an on-call doctor for the New Zealand Police and CYFS she assessed victims of sexual abuse. She was also a medical officer at Victoria University’s Student Health Services. She also developed a general practice clinic at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt. She In 2005/2006 she was the National Medical Officer for the New Zealand Fire Service.
Fenwicke has various "medical appointments" in Wellington including working two mornings a week at Ngaio Medical Centre in Wellington. She has an interest in women's health and occupational medicine (in which she has postgraduate qualifications). She worked in Eastbourne for many years delivering a vast number of babies before moving to Hastings and later returning to Wellington. She is the author of the book ‘In Practice' (Random House 2004) which gives an account of women in medicine, the proceeds of which, assist women medical students. Both parents were doctors. Her mother, Heather Thompson, was recently awarded an honour for services to medicine. Rosy has two daughters and a son. She has recently launched a skin care product for exercising women.
In 1993 Fenwicke worked in Hawkes Bay in general practice and community health throughout the region. This work included providing adolescent sexual health care, abortion services and forensic sexual abuse examinations for children and adolescents. Dr Fenwicke undertook a survey of the sexual experiences of 952 Hawkes Bay high school students in 1998, data from which was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal in 2000.
Relationship with Annette King
In 2000, the Parkview Clinic abortion business was moved into the Grace Neill Block at Wellington Women's Hospital and was renamed the Level J Unit. The new location was opened on 18 July, 2000 by Labour Party MP Annette King.
Opinion Piece in Dominion Post
On 22 July, 2010, Fenwicke wrote an opinion piece for the Dominion Post entitled "The only abortion conspiracy is in the Right to Lifers' fantasies". Interestingly the article refers to Fenwicke as a certifying consultant, but never admits the fact that she is an abortionist.
- "In Practice: The Lives of New Zealand Women Doctors in the 21st Century" (editor), published by Random House in 2004. Then-Minister of health, Labor Party MP Annette King launched the book on July 21, 2004.
- The sexual activity of 654 fourth form Hawkes Bay students, with G. Purdie, N Z Med J 2001 Jul 27;114(1136):345
- Prevalence of genital human papillomavirus infection in Wellington women, with G. E. Meekin, M. Tobias and Margaret Sparrow, Genitourin Med. Aug 1992; 68(4): 228–232. (Click here to read)
- Rosemary Fenwicke's LinkedIn profile (accessed on March 11, 2014)
- Business.govt.nz: Wonderful World Limited - Particulars of Share Parcel Changes document, Oct. 5, 2003 (accessed on March 11, 2014)
- Business.govt.nz: Wonderful World Company Limited - Change of Company Name Form, Aug. 26, 2002 (accessed on March 11, 2014)
- Beehive website: Speech by Mark Burton, MP, 14 June, 2007 (accessed on 22 July, 2010)
- NZ Herald: Garth George: Murder of innocents behind closed doors, July 1, 2010 (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women: December 2013 – January 2014 Newsletter (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- Nicholas Kane's blog: Abortion supervisory comittee: How your MPs voted, July 20, 2007 (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- Right to Life NZ: Substantial Conflict of Interest Abortion Supervisory Committee and Dr Rosemary Fenwicke, Oct. 23, 2010 (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- The Dominion Post: A reminder that the administration of the abortion law is a travesty , July 20, 2010 (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- Laws, Michael. The Demon Profession. Auckland, Harper Collins (New Zealand), 1998. ISBN 1-86950-257-4
- Medical Council of New Zealand: 2004 Annual Report (accessed on March 12, 2014)
- NZ Federation of Graduate Women: Newsletter March 2012 (accessed on March 11, 2014)
- Ngaio Medical Centre website: Profiles (accessed on 22 July, 2010)
- Family Violence Clearinghouse website: Pre Teen Sexual Activity In Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (accessed on 23 July, 2010)
- Abortion.gen.nz website: Abortion in Wellington (accessed on 26 July, 2010)
- ASC Meeting Minutes, 29 May, 2000
- Beehive.govt.nz: Launch of Dr Rosy Fenwicke’s book ‘In Practice’, July 21, 2004 (accessed on March 12, 2014)