There is something chillingly sinister in the proposal by New Zealand's most spectacularly unsuccessful taxpayer-funded social agency, the Family Planning Council, to be allowed to administer non-surgical abortions.

The council will apply to the Abortion Supervisory Committee for a licence to provide an early medical abortion service, using the controversial RU486 abortion pill, through its network of clinics.

The early abortions (within the first nine weeks) involve the use of pills to cause a miscarriage early in the pregnancy rather than a surgical abortion in which the fetus is removed from the uterus by suction.

What this means, among other things too horrible to contemplate, is that teenage schoolgirls can be given the abortion pill and go through a medical abortion without their parents' permission or knowledge.

And if the parents later find out, there is nothing they can do as Family Planning is protected by law. Even if their daughter suffers subsequent medical or mental health problems, the parents have no right of redress.

Most pregnant schoolgirls are referred to Family Planning by a school counsellor or health clinic nurse. So far, Family Planning has functioned as a referral agency to the nearest abortion clinic, but this proposal seeks a licence to provide medical abortions on its own premises.

According to those who know, if the licence is granted, this is how the process is expected to work. Two certifying consultants are required to approve the abortion and these days some 98 per cent of the 18,000-odd abortions each year are approved on mental health grounds.

The girl would then be given an ultrasound scan to determine that the gestational age of the baby is no more than nine weeks. She then swallows the RU486 pill (known as Mifegyne in New Zealand), which deprives the baby of nutrition from its mother.

Some 36 to 48 hours later, the girl returns to the clinic and takes Cytotec pills which later bring on contractions and she eventually delivers the dead fetus, usually at home.

To those who see the fetus as simply an inconvenient piece of tissue, such as a cancerous tumour, an RU486 medical abortion may seem easy: You take the pills and that's it.

But according to a specialist acquaintance of mine, it is a drawn-out process. And for some who have seen their babies on a scan, it can be terribly distressing. Furthermore, if the abortion is incomplete, a surgical termination is required.

And the most horrific thing of all: A 9-week-old baby, although only 5cm long, has developed male or female organs and arms and legs. In appearance it is a tiny person.

That's bad enough, but there is also a huge question mark over the safety of the RU486 and Cytotec pills. In the United States, the Federal Drug Administration ruled in June 2000 that it would be dangerous for a girl to take those pills unless under strict medical supervision.

But such was the outcry from the abortion industry - which slavered at the possibility of only using nurses to perform abortions - that politicians put pressure on the FDA and it had to back off.

Since then there have been 12 recorded deaths in the United States of women using RU486, resulting from severe infection in the blood and excessive bleeding during labour.

In announcing its proposal, Family Planning president Linda Penno said: "Currently, New Zealand women have inconsistent access to abortion services and in many areas, limited choice about the method of abortion they can access.

"Safe and accessible abortion services are an integral part of good reproductive health care. Applying for this licence is consistent with that philosophy of access and choice."

That is a classic example of Family Planning's Orwellian dissimulation and it takes imagination to realise that she is talking about legalised murder.

For that is what the proposal is about. Sure, there are more than 18,000 surgical abortions carried out every year in hospitals and abortion clinics around the country.

But there is something frighteningly malevolent about this euphemistic Family Planning language. It implies that taking RU486 removes some sort of "thing" - a thing that has no intrinsic value; a thing to be disposed of like rubbish.

And once we, for the sake of convenience, accept that a 9-week-old tiny human baby is simply disposable rubbish, then we succumb to a lie and embrace modern barbarism.

As Bernard Moran, of Voice for Life, says: "The killing may have the sanction of the courts and Parliament, but it is still legalised murder of the innocent - a true culture of death. It cannot be allowed to expand without protest. For that is why we exist."