Anti-abortion group Right to Life has taken Family Planning to the High Court over the legality of the medical abortion services provided by its Tauranga branch.
The branch is the only Family Planing premises to be granted a licence by the Abortion Supervisory Board.
Right to Life argued in the High Court at Wellington today that the Family Planning centre in Tauranga was unlawful because it only performed medical abortions.
Clinics must offer both surgical and medical abortions in order to be legal, the anti-abortion group said.
Lawyer Peter Mckenzie, QC, told the court abortions must be defined as including both procedures.
He said as a result, clinics could nor operate by offering only one option.
Ahead of today's hearing, Right to Life spokesman Ken Orr told Newstalk ZB the group had been forced to take matters into their own hands following a refusal from the abortion supervisory committee seek clarification on the Act.
"We do know that the family planning association, back in 2010, in a media release, stated that it was their intention to seek licences to do abortions at all 30 clinics," he said.
"We have correspondence with the abortion supervisory committee, we asked them if they have taken legal advice on this matter and they said no, we asked them if they would go to high court and seek clarity on the meaning of the act in relation to the issue of licences and they said they wouldn't so we were obliged to do so and they is what we are doing."
Mr Orr said the Act did not allow for licences solely pertaining to medical abortions to be issued.
"It all revolves around section 21, 2b, which states, quote 'that there are, in the institution, adequate surgical and other facilities and adequate and competent staff for the safe performance of abortions' that was written in 1977 and it relates solely to surgical abortions," he said.
"There is no allowance made in the act for the issuing of exclusively a licence for medical abortions."
Mr Orr said a win would be significant because he did not believe legislation would be amended to allow for medical abortion licences following the trial.
"If we win I would expect that the abortion supervisory committee would communicate with the Minister of Justice and ask that the act be amended," he said.
"I would be surprised if it was. I would believe that the current Government would be reluctant to bring any abortion debates to the house."
The hearing continues.