Thursday, December 3, 2020

The curtain of secrecy around abortion

Ken Orr of Right to Life New Zealand, a tireless campaigner for the unborn, has revealed that as a consequence of the radically liberalised abortion law passed this year, information about abortions that was previously required to be publicly disclosed by the Abortion Supervisory Committee (which no longer exists) will now be withheld. 

The oddly named Abortion Legislation Act includes a provision requiring the Director-General of Health to “collect, collate, analyse and publish” information about abortion services, but it’s so loosely worded and non-specific as to be worthless. And the Notification of Abortion form that abortion providers are required to fill out doesn’t include crucial information about why the abortion has been performed. Presumably this is because no justification is required.

Orr points out that the disbanded ASC produced a 30-page annual report with 11 pages of statistics, but under the new regime the curtailment of life in the womb will conveniently be carried out behind a curtain of secrecy. We won’t know, for example, whether babies have been aborted because they have Down’s Syndrome, or for reasons of sex selection. (The Act states that Parliament opposes abortion for the "sole purpose" of sex selection, presumably because it offends feminists, and requires the D-G to conduct a five-yearly review to establish whether there’s any evidence of it happening. But that’s no guarantee of anything, and crucially there appears to be no public disclosure requirement.)

Neither will we know, apparently, whether abortions have been performed because of rape or incest, since abortionists aren't required to provide that information, or how many abortions are carried out at the point in the baby’s gestation when it’s capable of survival outside the womb. It’s not in the government’s interests for us to be told how many babies have been aborted alive, because even people who think abortion is a matter of a woman’s right to choose are likely to be appalled at the thought of living babies callously being left to die (and with no pain relief, because pro-abortion MPs voted against providing it). But it will happen, and we won’t know about it.

The public will thus be unable to assess the impact and consequences of the Act. The purpose can only be, as Orr says, to avoid public scrutiny and debate. The new law thus raises important issues of transparency and freedom of information. But that’s okay, because we’re told the 2020 Act, in the bloodless language of the lawmakers, is simply about “better aligning the regulation of abortion services with other health services” and presumably of no more consequence than a tooth extraction. 


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I made a submission arguing in favour of disability protection for abortion. I don't think abortion is justified at all, but I thought this might be a fruitful line of argument. I still hold out hope for that consolation.

Phil said...

The whole country should be aware of this but once again buried by our compliant media. It feels like sinister forces are at work in New Zealand.

Russell Parkinson said...

I must admit I find the whole abortion issue quite confusing. For some reason the killing of unborn children seems to have morphed into a feminist issue and the right of a woman to decide. The logic of which escapes me. If its the mothers right to kill an unborn child why not at 2 years old or 13? And why not the father? Ah of course we now have the rights of a child which appears to not include the right not to be killed by your mother when you are in the womb and most vulnerable.

And society thinks it ok to kill unborn children and now kill the elderly and terminally ill but blanches at capital punishment. Yet capitol punishment has far more legal safeguards and procedures than abortion or euthanasia.

I am sure in a few hundred year time people will look back with disbelief at our current barbaric ways.

Still like a lot of issues these days its safer just to keep your head down and say nothing so full admiration for those who speak out.

Brendan McNeill said...

The question is this: What does our society presently hold to be sacred?

For some, it's the memory of the ANZAC's sacrifice, for others it might be Maori Taonga or that which is Tapu. Some religions hold their traditions, relics, and sacraments to be sacred.

However, it was only the day before yesterday that New Zealanders used to hold human life to be sacred, from conception to natural death.

Not anymore.

Even though we previously permitted abortion under some circumstances, it was to be safe but rare. However it is true to say we honoured the legislation in the exception with virtually all abortions being conducted to preserve the mental health of the mother.

Of course we are not without our contradictions. Someone may accidentally kill an unborn child and face the charge of manslaughter. However today if a mother intentionally kills her unborn child it is simply a medical procedure to be performed free of charge as part of our health services, indirectly making all taxpayers complicit.

In the book of Proverbs chapter 7 it says:

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

It's difficult to find a more prescient definition of 'innocent blood' than an unborn child.

The present legislation can only be described as shameful, and (to use a Biblical term), cause for lamentation.