The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child

The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child was launched on 8th March 1970. Within two months there were 1000 members, after nine months 12,000, with membership increasing by about 250 a week.

Dr Pat Dunn and Sir William addressed 400 people on a cold, wet night in the Auckland Town Hall. Half way through his presentation on the humanity of the unborn child, Sir William called for silence while he played a tape of the amplified heartbeat of a 10-week old foetus. The rapid, swishing, thumping sound echoing around the vast Town Hall, had a galvanizing effect on the audience.

The Society had three aims:
  1. To uphold the inherent value of human life
  2. To uphold and protect the rights of unborn children from conception
  3. To maintain and improve legal, social and medical safeguards for protecting and preserving the rights of unborn children
At that Auckland meeting, support for the Society was given by Councillor E.P.Salmon (representing the Mayor), Norman Douglas, Labour MP for Auckland Central, Rabbi Astor of the Jewish community, and Brigadier Goffin from the Salvation Army.

Over the next weeks, Dr Pat accompanied by his wife June, embarked on a whistlestop lecture tour of towns and cities throughout New Zealand. Volunteers were recruited after these meetings to set up local branches.

Sir William's personal prestige ensured a packed Wellington Town Hall, followed by another public meeting for those who couldn't get into the first. He and Dr Dunn provided leadership and a fledgling organization to thousands of people deeply concerned about the issue, but unsure how to act.