Friday, February 21, 2020

Pardon me, but there's a reason why abortion is in the Crimes Act

(First published in The Dominion Post and on, February 20.)

Ever heard of Ulrich Klopfer? Probably not. Let me fill you in.

Klopfer was a doctor in the state of Indiana who died last year aged 79. Relatives clearing out his garage made a grisly discovery: 71 cardboard boxes filled with 2246 aborted foetuses.

Another 165 foetuses were found in the boot of one of Klopfer’s cars. It sounded like a scene from The Silence of the Lambs.

Klopfer was estimated to have carried out at least 50,000 legal terminations. He took pride in aborting babies with industrial efficiency and no small amount of zeal.

He would compete with a fellow abortionist, Dr Ming Kow Hah, to see who could achieve the higher tally. The two rivals in this grotesque contest would ask clinic staff how many patients the other had operated on that day. A former nurse recalled: “Klopfer would be having a cup of coffee and be on his last sip when he’d jump up and say, ‘I’d better get going or Hah will have the whole recovery room full’.”

Even the most ardent champion of abortion rights might find it difficult to excuse such chillingly casual indifference to human life. It speaks volumes that Klopfer didn’t even have enough respect for the aborted babies to give them the dignity of a proper burial.

Reading about Klopfer’s enthusiasm for his work prompts comparison with the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who took pleasure in selecting inmates for the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Klopfer and Mengele represent different points on a continuum, but probably not so far removed from each other that they wouldn’t recognise a kindred spirit.

The macabre find in Klopfer’s garage happened months ago, but it was in the news again last week when the foetal remains were finally given a proper burial. Meanwhile, in Wellington, a parliamentary select committee delivered its report on a bill that will remove virtually all remaining obstacles to abortion in New Zealand. The multi-party committee waved the bill through with only minor changes, but with a dissenting minority report by National MP Agnes Loheni.

The bill, which will be subject to a conscience vote, has been sold politically on the basis that it’s all about women’s health, but the “health” shtick is a fiction. Pregnancy is not an illness and abortion is decidedly unhealthy for the foetus. It’s really all about ideology.

In essence, the bill will make abortion a matter between a woman and her doctor up until 20 weeks’ gestation – in other words, no impediments.

After 20 weeks, the doctor carrying out the abortion would need to be satisfied that termination was “appropriate in the circumstances, having regard to the woman’s physical and mental health and wellbeing”. It’s a vague, subjective test that will be as open to abuse as the present law.

A curious aspect of the select committee’s report is that committee members were worried at the possibility of abortions being carried out for the purpose of sex selection – that is, by people who want male babies. It seems abortion is okay in all circumstances other than those that offend feminist sensibilities.

Significantly, it seems there will be no upper time limit on the point at which an abortion could be carried out, meaning that theoretically babies could be aborted well past the point where they are capable of survival outside the womb – an issue that concerned Loheni, and which would almost certainly provoke public revulsion if it eventuated.

If passed as expected, the bill will formalise the de facto situation that already exists, under which certifying consultants routinely approve abortion requests. But it will be celebrated as a triumph for women’s rights, because the existing law’s procedural requirements have infuriated abortion activists for decades.

The bill will also satisfy their insistence that abortion be decriminalised – not  that anyone can remember any woman in New Zealand being prosecuted for having one.

On the other side of the debate, liberalisation of the law will be lamented as a victory of doctrinaire feminist ideology over the right to life of the unborn child. In one of the defining ideological battles of our time, the side with the weaker political voice will be the loser.

Overlooked in all the debate is the reason that abortion was placed in the Crimes Act in the first place: because it involves extinguishing a life, which in any other context is regarded as a violation of the most fundamental human right of them all.

Disregard the right to life, and we make possible the monstrous behaviour of men such as Ulrich Klopfer. Because if we accept that a foetus is something inconvenient to be cut out and discarded like a troublesome appendix or a tumour, that's where we risk ultimately ending up. It's only a matter of degree.


Odysseus said...

Agreed. This legislation and the euthanasia bill are signs of this country's increasing moral decay. Anything is possible when such depravity becomes the norm.

Rory said...

Thank you Karl,
An excellent insight into the Abortion debate, if one could call it that.
I did write in a submission to Parliament for the select committee. I think the proportion of not supporting this bill was extremely high, however one felt that you were wasting your time and it was the usual " we will consult etc " so they could say "Oh but we did consult etc ."

My submission was similar to what you have said in your column. It's a little like the song you will recall " in the year 2525 ",

I recall all the "protections" and rhetoric on the safeguards , provisions etc that were loudly lauded when the last bill on abortion was implemented.

Same this time , however my point is " what is deemed acceptable now will be viewed as "old hat" in a few years time and a cry for more change , especially if another country goes that way and the mantra of not been as up to date will be touted as we are falling behind etc. The values of the times will be eroding at a rapid rate to what ? Unbelievable.

I read Verity Johnson's Opinion piece this morning in the Dominion Post

I rest my case, you can see now what i am saying.

She is entitled to her Opinion and I support free speech.

Thank you again for your insight, good Journalism is still alive.......however in diminishing numbers .............alas the problem.

Doug Longmire said...

Thanks Karl.
Abortion is a soft way of saying - killing unborn babies.
Abortion is not a women's health issue, just as infanticide is not a parent's health issue.
Abortion is, quite simply, the deliberate killing of a baby. Full stop.
Where does the nut-house notion that it is the mother's "right" to kill the child come from ?

Bush Apologist said...

Little by little, or should that just be “by Minister Little”,

The Abortion Law reform bill works it’s way through parliament, with an amendment by D Seymour to have the safe zone provision removed, voted down in the house 59-56. Minister Little’s reason this is a good idea?

“Earlier, Justice Minister Andrew Little, who introduced the bill, said the reality was that women had reported feeling harassed outside abortion clinics.He said women should not be subjected to harassment when going to receive a medical procedure.”

One person’s right to freedom of expression is usurped by another “feeling harassed”. And all while we’re discussing the killing of unborn, unique and vulnerable human beings. For every woman that reported (note, not publicly submitted) “feeling harassed”, I could report a testimony of actual gratitude and thankfulness for life, from someone who either survived an abortion or whose mother admitted that they changed their mind at the last minute and chose not to have an abortion. But hey feelz right.?

God, have mercy on us sinners