The Abortion Supervisory Committee has written to licensed abortion facilities advising them that:
"The Committee is of the view that all counselling services and literature should be neutral and that pamphlets that either promote or discourage termination are not appropriate. The Committee asked that each institution review the written material in their institutions accordingly."
Right to Life commends the Committee for its principled action in seeking to ensure that pregnancy counsellors employed by licensed abortion facilities do not coerce vulnerable women into agreeing to have their unborn child killed and that pamphlets coercing them to seek an abortion are withdrawn. Right to Life does not support withholding pamphlets that uphold the right to be fully informed. Pamphlets that provide factual information on the development of the unborn child, information on the potential damage to a woman’s spiritual, physical and psychological health that discourage the killing of the child and alternatives to abortion should not be classified as ‘inappropriate".
The Committee’s action is believed to be unprecedented, it gives tacit acknowledgment that some counsellors are not neutral and that they actively encourage and coerce vulnerable women to kill their unborn. This is a tragedy, a great injustice and a national scandal. Right to Life asks; how many unborn babies have been killed because their mother has been coerced by a counsellor into killing her child?
This conclusion is supported by substantial anecdotal evidence from women in New Zealand who have had an abortion and claim that they were coerced by counsellors to have an abortion. Studies done in the United States by the Elliot Institute reveal that forty per cent of women having an abortion are coerced by others and that eight out of ten women who had an abortion would not have done so, if they had been offered help. These women are experiencing a lifetime of grief and sorrow at the loss of their child. Who will respond to their tears and grief? District Health Boards have failed to ensure that women are offered help and are not being coerced into having an abortion and being made subject to social engineering.
Right to Life was advised by the Committee that the requirement for neutrality, was taken in response to a complaint laid with the Committee in June about a pamphlet that was being given to women at the Lyndhurst abortion clinic in Christchurch and the Level J abortion clinic in Wellington.
Women were up until recently being given a pamphlet entitled, "Women Know". Some of the statements in the pamphlet are:
- "We know when the choice of abortion can prevent the harsh consequences of bringing a child into the world when we are not ready or able to do our child justice."
- "We act out of compassion when we wait to have a child until the time when we can give it the kind of life every child deserves."
- "We act out of love when we consider what we would be taking away from the child or children we already have if we brought another child into our family now."
- "We take care of our spiritual wellbeing each in our own way, trusting our faith to provide: Infinite love, complete understanding, unlimited forgiveness and boundless compassion" (our emphasis)
To use emotive words such as love, compassion to disguise a culture of death and to seduce women into believing that terminating the life of a defenceless and innocent unborn child is an act of love is appalling. It is scandalous that this perverse document should have been given to women who were disturbed and traumatised with an unplanned pregnancy. Commendably, the Committee have had the pamphlet withdrawn.
It is always wrong to kill the innocent. Right to Life requests that District Health Boards accept responsibility for the care of vulnerable women and their precious unborn by ensuring that women considering an abortion are provided with counselling that defends life, provides support, provides factual information on the development of the child in the womb and alternatives to the killing of an innocent and defenceless child.
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