Archive for the ‘Abortion’ category

The Abortion court descison

June 10, 2008

Today, in what was one of the important developments in New Zealand abortion law for the last 19 years (since when in 1989 then Health Minister Helen Clark (now PM) changed the law to allow girls under 16 to have abortions behind their parents backs), the high court has confirmed what we (in the pro-life movement) had always known. That most abortions in this country were illegal. Here are the findings:

“there is reason to doubt the lawfulness of many abortions authorised by the certifying consultants. Indeed the committee has stated that the law is being used more liberally than Parliament intended” (Clause 5c of the judgement). Dead right.

From the NZ Herald: “the committee had failed its statutory duty to review the procedures for abortions and enquire into the circumstances in which consultants authorised abortions on mental health grounds”. So true. mental health has become a blank check for abortion on demand. The judgement cited how in 2005, in Canterbury, 4992 women sought permission to have abortions, and only 27 were declioned. An approval rate of 99.5% (page 20). During the period 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2004, out of 18 280 applications sent to 20 certifying consultants, only 142 (0.8%) were declined. At least some spplications were declined.

“It also sought the committee had failed to in its duty to ensure adequate counselling facilities were available”. I’m not an expert on this area, so I’ll go with what the court said. The court did however, allow counselling in institutions (mostly hospitals) that preform abortions, raising questions about the indepence and neutrality of the counselling.

In another ruling against the pro-life side, the court found that the unborn child (this, and not the fetus, was the term used in the judgement) did not have a right to life under the law, but had a “claim on the conscience of the community, and not merely that of the mother” (page 35).

New Zealand’s present abortion laws are based around the 1977 Abortion, Contraception and Sterilisation Act, which Parliament passed following a Royal Commission on the area. This law clarified New Zealand’s previous ambiguos abortion laws, allowing abortion in “hard cases” such as where continuing the pregnancy would result in serious danger to the life or health (including mental heatlh) of the woman, but banning it in all other circumstances. In 1978 the restrictive prosions of the Act were watered down by deleting the provision for the health risk to be of such nature it cannot be averted by other means. In order for a woman to obtain an abortion legally, she needed the permission of two certifying consultants. The certifying consultants were appointed and overseen by the Abortion Supervisory Committee (the “committee” refered to above), which was given the task of overseeing the practice of abortion in New Zealand, and ensure they were done in accordance with the legislation. The weakness of the legislation was the “mental health” provision, which was interpreted very liberally to allow abortion on demand in practice.

Today’s court descison found that the Abortion Supervisory Committee had failed in its duty, and instead allowed abortion on demand. Indeed the verdict talked about the “wholesale non-compliance by certifying consultants” with the law (I can’t find the quote skim-reading the verdict, but Idiot/Savant has found it somewhere).

The issue is what will happen now. Essentially, the court found that most abortions were illegal, and the Abortion Supervisory Committee had failed to properly oversee the law, but did little else. It refused the request by Right to Life (the group launching the court case) for a mandamus, or court order, forcing the committee to change its ways. But even in the absence of such, the judgement must surely cause the committee to make some changes. However, given the pro-abortion makeup of the committee I would not be the least bit surprised if the committee ducked and turned in every way it could to keep abortion on demand being practiced. But there is still the slim hope that the ruling could lead to significent changes to New Zealand’s abortion law.

If the latter happens, expect “pro-choice” people to demand the law to be changed. Over the last 30 years they have been content to keep the law as it is, because the abuse of the mental health provision enabled them to get what they want- namely abortion on demand. Also, changing the law would reopen the issue, and could have resulted in new restrictions, particularly in the case of late term abortions.

Any new legislation proposed, which Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn is already calling for, would result in abortion on demand in law as well as practice. This would be a defeat for the pro-life side, as women would be able to just walk into a clinic and have an abortion, instaed of going through the time consuming procedure of going through the two certifying consultants to rubber stamp her descison first (in which time she might change her mind). But it would represent an opportunity, as it would reopen the issue, and allow it to get media attention, and for the pro-life side to make New Zealanders rethink their liberal attitudes to abortion. Further, while such a Bill would be likely to pass into law, there could be restrictive amendments to it, at select committee stage, and committee of the whole house stage, which would make it more restrictive than the current practice. The prospect of a more conservative Parliament after the next election, makes this more likely. A likely outcome would allow abortion on demand for early abortions, with a lot of restrictions on late term ones. This would be better than allowing the current practice of abortion on demand.

In any case, we should hope for the best, and keep fighting for a world without abortion. The lives of New Zealands unborn children depend on it.
 

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Obama’s no.1 priority

April 15, 2008

Guess what the first thing Barack Obama wants to do as US President? Pull US troops out of Iraq? No. Help end the economic crisis that the US is suffering at the moment? good guess, but no. Something to do with helping American families out of poverty? No.

The correct answer: Sign into law a bill, to give mothers the right to kill their innocent unborn children (through abortion).

Abortion was first legalised throughout the United States in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case(several states, including California and New York had passed their own laws legalising abortion before Roe), when some liberal activist judges in the Supreme Court found abortion to be a fundamental right under the US constitution, and legalised abortion up to birth (and during birth with partial birth-abortions), striking down all state laws restricting abortion as unconstitutional. Since that time, the membership of the Supreme Court has changed to include more conservative judges, and the Roe verdict has become diluted, with the court now allowing some restrictions, such as parental notification laws, waiting periods, infromed consent laws, and more recently a ban on partial-birth abortion. Some “pro-choice” advocates have began to worry (with some justification) that Roe might be overturned, and thus each state will be able to choose their own abortion laws, and that some conservative states will pass very restrictive abortion laws.

In order to prevent this happening, the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America are lobbying for Congress to pass a Freedom of Choice Act to codify the Roe verdict into legislation. I have long seen this as a pipe dream, as in order for it to become law, it wil need to pass both houses of congress, including stopping a filibuster in the Senate (and this will require 60 Senators) and a pro-abortion President willing to sign the Bill into law, all at the same time. However, the electoral math facing the Republicans this election is awful, with the Republicans having to defend 23 Senate seats this election (against only 12 for the Democrats), including 5 when the incumbent is retiring, and the Republican Party is in very bad shape in the polls at the moment, thanks to the war in Iraq and the recent economic downturn. And this makes it very likely that the Democrats (who are overwhelmingly “pro-choice”) will not only retain their majority in the House, but significently increase their majority in the Senate as well. And a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate is no longer a pipe-dream, but a serious possibility (although it will still be difficult to achieve). If this occurs, then the Freedom of Choice Bill might actually get to the desk of the next President, and if the next President is Barack Obama, it will become law. This means that in order to overturn Roe v. Wade, conservatives will not only have to stack the Supreme Court, but have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and majority in the House and pro-life President, all willing to vote for a Bill to explicitly remove legal protection for abortion, at the same time. In other words, passage of this Bill will be a massive obstacle to overturning Roe.

But that is not all the Bill will do. It would also re-legalise partial-birth abortion, and remove all the waiting period, parental notification, and informed consent laws in place today. As well as mandating taxpayer funding of abortions. In other words it will effectively reverse everything the pro-life movement has gained over the last thirty years.

If this sounds despairing to you, there is still some good news. Barack Obabma is not President yet, and we might have John McCain as President instead. And McCain has a very solid conservative record on abortion, including publicly stating the Roe “should be overturned” and as President he wants to turn America into “a nation of traditional values that protects the rights of the unbron” (which is the main reason I want him to be President). And at the moment the balance on the Supreme Court is very close, with the new Bush apointees John Roberts and Samuel Alito (both of whom have conservative records on abortion, although it is unclear if they will go as far as overturning Roe) joining the very conservative judges Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to make up a conservative block of 4 judges, and these judges along with conservative leaning swing judge Anthony Kennedy (although he doesn’t go as far as wanting to overturn Roe) has enabled the Supreme Court to support the partial birth abortion ban, as well as several other conservative rulings. And amongst the liberal block of judges two are even older than John McCain (namely John Paul Stevens whose turning 88 this week, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at 75), and it is a safe bet that in the next 8 years at least one, if not both wil die or retire. And if McCain is President, the replacement judge he appoints could be the 5th judge needed to overturn Roe, and what a glorious day that will be. Even if Roe isn’t overturned, the Supreme Court could become a lot more conservative. However, McCain will still need to get his judges past a Senate, which will have a Democratic majority, at least until 2012.

In short this US election could have a big impact on the future of abortion in the United States.

Why Clinton and Obama are unsuitable to be US President

April 14, 2008

Find out right here.

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama confirm what I already knew about them. They both support the legalised murder of innocent unborn children. Frankly, any candidate who supports the legal murder of unborn children for no reason other than inconvenience to the mother is unsuitable for any political office which involves making descisons on the abortion issue, for the same reason that any candidate who wants to gas jews or commit any other form of genocide is unacceptable. Sadly, in many countries of the world, including New Zealand, the pro-abortion culture has become so widespread that pro-life voters have to choose between the lesser of two evils. In the US, most of the Republican Party is still pro-life, and US voters have a real choice between a pro-abortion President (Obama, or if a miracle happens Clinton) and a pro-life one (McCain).

Laughably, both candidates claimed to be christian. They obvioulsy belong to a new christian church of liberalism, in which “thou shalt not kill” means “thou shalt kill the unborn”, and “thou shalt not commit adultery” means “thou shalt allow, and have sex education in schools to encourage, sex outside marriage”.

This is my first blog post on the US election, an issue that I have not blogged about so far because it is too difficult to predict the outcome. But with real clear politics average polls showing Obama within 7 points of Clinton in Pennsylvania, the last big state left to vote, it is increasingly clear he will be the nominee, and that the race will be close (with the averages showing McCain has a tiny 0.4% lead over Obama, and leading Obama in Ohio, Florida, and more narrowly in Pennsylvania, three important swing states). I will blog more on the US election as the race develops.

Abortion racism

March 11, 2008

Those who know much about the history of Planned Parenthood may about the beliefs of its founder, Margaret Sanger. She was a nazi-style rascist bigot who endorsed genocide and was quoted once as saying she wanted to “exterminate the negro population” of America.

A few months ago, a pro-life student magazine, in order to see if Sangers rascism still existed in Planned Parenthood, did several fake phone calls to Planned Parenthood pretending to be a rascist donor, with money offered to encourage African-American women to have abortions in order to “lower the number of black people”. Each branch of Planned Parenthood contacted agreed to accept the money, and in no case was concern about the rascist motives expressed.

Unlike the student magazine and black genocide, much as I’d hate to side with Planned Parenthood in any debate, I don’t think Planned parenthood is rascist today. They want to kill unborn children, whatever their colour. The fact that black women are overepresented in abortion statistics is probably due more to their low income (and thus less financial ability to support another child) than their skin colour. The incident does show that Planned Parenthood is willing to pander to rascists in order to exterminate unborn children.

Backstreet abortion lies

February 27, 2008

One of the common lies advanced by “pro-choice” groups to legalise the murder of unborn children, is the argument that abortions happen anyway. they just occur, instead of at safe, legal “clinics”, in dangerous backstreet alleys, posing a threat to the life and health of the woman. Of course in any society crime occurs, and if abortion were illegal some illegal abortion would probably occur. But in order to advance their case they greatly exaggerate the numbers of illegal abortions. In 2001, when Portugal was one of the few European countries with reasonably restrictive abortion law, Planned Parenthood advanced the 20 000 to 40 000 figure on number of illegal abortions, and 10 000 women each year needed hospital treatment for the number of legal abortions.

Sadly, there is now a way we can see how accurate these figures are. In 2007, a referndum was held, with the loaded question Are you in agreement with the decrinimalization of the voluntary interuption of pregnancy, if carried out, by the womens choice, in the first ten weeks in a legally authorized health institution?. A fairer question would be “Should abortion be legal in all circumstances when a women consents to it, during the firsat ten weeks of pregnancy?”. Given the loaded question, the 59% yes vote should come as no surprise.If there really were 20 000 to 40 000 backstreet abortions when abortion was illegal, we would expect 20 000 to 40 000 legal abortions now. However the number is only 25 per day, average 9000 per year. The number is fewer than the number of women Planned parenthood claimed to have been hospitalized due to illegal abortions. This leaves three possibilities:
1) That thousands of Portugese women are choosing to have dangerous backstreet abortions, despite there being a safe legal alternative availiable (unlikely)
2) That there a re fewer pregnancies in Portugal now, or that more Portugese women are choosing to keep their babies than abort them (given such a massive decrease in such a short period of time, unlikely)
3) Palnned Parenthood was wrong (the obvious answer)

Death Penalty

October 12, 2007

Two days ago was “world day against the death penalty“. I’m not keen on the death penalty myself, largely on philosophical grounds that human life should not be taken, except as a last resort. While one can argue that it is a just punishement for crime, two wrongs do not make a right. Killing a murderer will not bring the victim back to life. Helen Clark has made her opposition to the death penalty (for adults) clear.

I commend her for this. But the Polish Government and Whaleoil have a good point. We still have the death penalty, and Helen Clark supports it. We only don’t apply it to adults, only children, whose only crime is to exist and pose a serious threat to the mental health inconveniance to the mother.

 Update (14/10): No Right Turn blogs on how Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) considers reinstating the death penalty as an option for the future. Although I support the SST on a lot of issues, I disagree with them here. The death penalty has few advantages, but compromises the sanctity of life. Whatever their position on the issue, I really can’t see any future NZ Governemnt hanging people.

Response to its my body, its my right arguement

August 27, 2007

One arguement used by supporters of leglized abortion is that the fetus unborn child isn’t really a person, its part of its mother’s body, and therefore the mother has the right to kill it. A similar arguement was expressed on this blog in response to this post by bumblewumble, who says “Golly, I’d hate to be a woman. People telling me what I can and cannot do with my body all the time”. The simple reality is that the unborn child is not part of the mothers body, but a seperate living person. Yes- it may be located within the mothers body, but it has its own seperate DNA right from the moment of conception, and at 12 weeks it has a functioning brain, a beating heart, can “breath” amnoitic fluid, and has all its internal organs in place. It has a nervous system, and this has led some to argue it can feel pain. The only things it relies on its mother for is food, oxygen and water, so it is just as much part of its mothers body as a person on life support needing an oxygen machine is part of that machine. By 20 weeks the unborn child can recognize its mothers voice. A good timeline of fetal development is availiable here.

Now this may not convince you of the pro-life position.This might. In 1999, a spinal bifida operation was preformed on a twenty-one week old unborn child (now born, called Samuel) in Nashville, Tenessee. Samuel reached his arm out of the womb and grabbed the finger of the doctor. To be fair to the supporters of legal abortion, there are conflicting stories about the incident, but there is not doubt about the fact that by 21 weeks a unborn child can make descisons to move around the womb, and thus the events could theoritically happen. See the film showing it (and what you want to kill if you support legal abortion) here. A true miracle that everybody should see.