Thursday, May 13, 2021

That "Safe Areas" bill: hypocrisy on a grand scale

This is a story you can be sure we won’t see in the leftist-dominated mainstream media.

The indefatigable Ken Orr, of the Christchurch-based organisation Right to Life, made an Official Information Act request to New Zealand’s 20 district health boards asking if they had received any complaints of intimidation or harassment from women attending abortion clinics over a two-year period from 2019 to 2021.

Not one had. No complaints from staff, either.

So why is the government pretending that harassment of abortion patients is an issue so pressing that it requires special legislation to protect them – legislation that even the Attorney-General admitted cuts across freedom of speech rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights Act?

An estimated 26,000 women had abortions during the period covered by the OIA request, yet there’s no record of any complaining that they felt intimidated or harassed by anti-abortion protesters, who typically maintain a passive vigil outside clinics.

This explains why Terry Bellamak, the voluble American abortion rights activist who led the charge for the creation of 150-metre “safe zones” around abortion clinics, was forced to resort to evidence from her home country to demonstrate the supposed need for New Zealand abortion patients to be “protected” from right-to-life protesters.

As Orr says, the emotively titled “Safe Areas” Bill seeks to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

Not content with passing one of the world’s most radical abortion laws, the government has followed it up with legislation that curtails the right to protest. How ironic that this is being done by a government laden with people who cut their political teeth in the protest movement and would be outraged if restrictions were imposed on demonstrations in favour of approved left-wing causes, many of which impinge on the rights of others.

The right they claimed for themselves, they now wish to deny others. This is hypocrisy and double standards on a grand scale, and yet another manifestation of the cancel culture flourishing with the government’s tacit and sometimes active (as in this case) approval.

Footnote: Seventeen of New Zealand's 20 DHBs responded to Orr's request. Of the three that didn’t, two don’t perform abortions. Orr says Tairawhiti (Gisborne) is the only board that provides abortions but failed to meet its obligations under the OIA.



Odysseus said...

"Hypocrisy and double standards" don't trouble the Far Left. For them the end fully justifies the means, any means. The only saving grace of this government is its incompetence. It's more than likely they intended to have their "hate speech" law in place before He Puapua became public knowledge. Any questioning of its contents could then have been prosecuted as racism. We have David Seymour to thank for springing that cat from its bag prematurely. With the so-called "safe areas" and proposed "hate speech" legislation we see a government laying the groundwork for full-on State repression.

Alex M said...

Hi Karl, google is flagging you site as unsafe. They make you change security settings before loading your blog page

Karl du Fresne said...

Thanks for that tip. Are you saying that people wanting to access my blog are effectively being warned that the content may be harmful? Has any other reader encountered this? Elaboration would be welcomed.

Trev1 said...

Hi Karl, yes a Google full page red warning alert came up for a while around lunchtime but it seems to have gone now. The same alert also came up for Bowalley Road but it too seems to have ceased. The alert suggested that by accessing your page we were liable to hacking or phishing attempts.

Bush Apologist said...

yes - I got a similar message this morning but can't replicate it to screen grab it for you.

Thanks for following up with the OIA request data. You alluded to this a few weeks ago and it's something I've always been skeptical of. It's worth reading Ms Bellamak's blog posts on ALRANZ to understand her way of thinking a little more - it's just plain weird.
It also surprises me (perhaps it doesn't really - but worth noting) that Ms. Bellamak is the go to person by the media for all things "pro-abortion" in this country. A look through their website and lodged paperwork, ALRANZ appears to be nothing more than her own mouth piece with only a few hundred dollars in subs collected each year. Hardly representative of a wider societal viewpoint.

Karl du Fresne said...

Ah. So - perhaps "unsafe" in a security sense, rather than ideologically. Given the prevalence of cancel culture, That's almost reassuring.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Karl, as and are both owned and run by Google I would be surprised if they were ‘technical’ security warnings. More likely an over zealous algorithm designed to flag ‘unsafe’ content, and subsequently being corrected. Probably means you are on the margins of acceptability.

Johnston said...

Hi Karl, one way to discredit a website is to arrange for multiple reports to be filed about the ip address and domain name associated with the site. Google will warn users if enough reports are made. Someone automatic kicks in, your site gets flagged, and people get directed away from it.

This is not the sort of trouble an ordinary blogger in New Zealand should be having, however. The above implies a degree of organisation and budgeting. This is more likely to happen to someone who has published information deemed to be related to an active security matter or matters by at least one state interest.

Bush Apologist said...

Brendan "you are on the margins of acceptability"

Marinally Acceptable - own it like a badge of honour Karl!

Ross said...

Good on you Karl (and Ken Orr!) for not giving up on this one. ... What stage is the legislation at now?
-- Ross McKerras

Karl du Fresne said...

The Bill passed its first reading and is now before the Health select committee, which is due to report back to Parliament in September.

Unknown said...

Ken Orr said.Thank you Karl for your excellent article exposing the threat that this dangerous bill poses for our human rights of free speech, assembly and communication.We should not forget our right to religion as this bill will allow the government to decide where we may pray. Why is there a deafening silence from the churches?

Jamie said...

Hi Karl, I enjoyed your article and I have noticed a number of issues on both sides where US activists are trying to influence NZ politics using US examples.

Regarding the warnings people received accessing your site this is almost certainly a security warning. It may be a result of people accessing it through an insecure connection (http). You can most likely fix this by going to your blog settings, scrolling down to the HTTPS section and turning on http redirects to https.