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Radical Abortion Bill ignores human rights of children - Family First

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Select Committee report considering the bill resulting from Jacinda Ardern's policy to liberalise abortion laws has come back with their report, and not surprisingly - because of the make-up of the committee and the muzzling of many people who wanted to make oral submissions - the majority have endorsed the radical and extreme bill.

"The focus of this proposed abortion policy shift is entirely on women having a right to an abortion, but completely ignores both the status of the unborn child, and the wellbeing of the mother," says Gina Sunderland, spokesperson for Family First NZ.

"Under the current law, an unborn child is at least afforded some recognition and minimal legal protection. In contrast, these proposals will give the unborn child the same status as an appendix, tonsils or gall bladder - simply tissue removed as part of a ‘health procedure’."

The proposed law would also make late-term abortions considerably more accessible, rather than for exceptional circumstances as currently required under the Crimes Act. The Bill has been drafted in such a way that an abortion can legally be obtained up until the point that a child has been fully born. A baby could be aborted after 20-weeks as long as the health practitioner who intends to perform the abortion considered that the abortion was ‘appropriate in the circumstances’.

Justice Minister Andrew Little has admitted that late-term abortions up to birth can happen under proposed abortion law. Currently the Crimes Act allows for an abortion after 20 weeks gestation only if it is necessary to save the life of the woman or prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health. Official Information Act statistics show that 800 late term abortions have been performed over the last 10 years where there is no danger to the physical health or life of the mother.

The bill will also remove the current 20-week gestational time limit for disability. In 2017, the organisation Saving Down’s highlighted their concerns around Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to change abortion laws, saying that this would introduce abortion through to birth for babies with disabilities. In response, Jacinda Ardern made a commitment to not increase the time limit for disability-selective abortion. In the UK, there are increasing numbers of late term abortions for conditions such as such as cleft lip and palate or club foot.

"The real question we should be debating is at what point does the unborn child become a human being deserving of the same human rights and protections that we all receive and enjoy," says Mrs Sunderland.

"It is also tragic - and ironic - that this report has been delivered on Valentine’s Day. Unborn children will not be feeling the love."

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