National Council of Women choose not to protect women and children by passing abortion remit

Pregnant womanOver the weekend the National Council of Women (NCW) passed a remit which called for the government to review New Zealand’s abortion laws ensuring that a “woman’s right to choose” was protected.

An umbrella organisation, the NCW has a variety of organisations affiliated to them.  These include (but not limited to):

• ALRANZ (Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ)
• Girl’s Brigade New Zealand
• Girl Guiding New Zealand
• Family Planning (affiliated to International Planned Parenthood Federation)
• NZ College of Midwives
• NZ Nurses Organisation
• NZ Playcentre Federation
• NZ Post-primary Teachers’ Association
• Royal NZ Plunket Society

There are also a number of faith based organisations affiliated to the NCW including The Salavation Army, the Association of Anglican Women, the Association of Presbyterian Women and the Catholic Women’s League.

It is known that the decision to accept the remit was not unanimous.

The Catholic Women’s League opposed the remit, speaking very strongly about the matter at the Conference.

In February this year, Ethne Wyndham-Smith, the Social Concerns co-ordinator presented a report to their Board stating her concerns over the “quiet but very forceful push for decrininalisation of abortion in this country, particularly from the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRANZ)”.

It was also noted that the NCW publication, Circular, had published articles that were pro-abortion.  It seemed that the power’s that be wished to silence the Catholic’s Women’s League on this issue and after some pressure, a letter from the League was finally published.

The Catholic Women’s League has been very supportive of the work of Family Life International NZ over the years.  We know that there are many who are very upset over the weekend’s developments.

It is clear that ALRANZ, who gloated in a press release about the NCW’s support for the remit, is behind this push.  They, and most likely Family Planning, have used the NCW to push their own agenda to liberalise New Zealand’s abortion laws.

It will be interesting to see which other groups have chosen not to protect women and their preborn children and which have stood on the side of life.

The following is Family Life International’s press release on this issue:

NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN CHOOSE NOT TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN BY PASSING ABORTION REMIT

An organisation that works with pregnant women who are facing unplanned pregnancies is concerned that the National Council of Women passed a remit over the weekend to encourage the government to review New Zealand’s abortion law ensuring a “woman’s right to choose.”

Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centres serve women all over the country who are pregnant and feel that abortion is the only solution to their current situation.  With friendly support and practical assistance many of these women realise that abortion isn’t the answer and they choose life for their preborn child.

The Centres also offer post-abortion support for those who are grieving and who seek healing after abortion.

“We see many women for whom abortion was not the simple solution” says Dame Colleen Bayer, the National Director of the Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centres and its parent organisation Family Life International NZ.

“These women grieve for their lost child and for some there are significant ongoing problems with alcohol and drug abuse and suicidal behaviour.”

Physical complications can arise from the abortion procedure itself.  Information obtained from Statistics New Zealand shows that 67 women suffered significant complications after abortion in the year ended December 2013.  Of those 19 suffere a haemorrhage.

“The National Council of Women has failed to care for women by passing this remit on greater accessibility of abortion.”

Not all organisations voted in favour of the remit and Dame Bayer wanted to acknowledge and thank those member organisations of the National Council of Women who voted against liberalising abortion laws.

“The National Council of Women has chosen not to protect women and children by passing this remit” said Bayer. “Instead they have chosen to push for a procedure that ultimately kills an innocent child and harms women.”

Family Life International NZ runs Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, serving pregnant women throughout New Zealand.  Women facing an unexpected pregnancy who wish to discuss all their options can call 0800 367 5433.

Women who have experienced an abortion and seek healing can call 0800 111 811.

ENDS

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“My Decision” but only if you’re pro-choice

Dr Bernard Nathanson
Dr Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of NARAL and ex-abortionist holds my first-born at a pro-life conference in Auckland, New Zealand.

On Sunday, ALRANZ launched a new website “My Decision” which aims to intimidate and bully pro-life doctors through naming them and publishing women’s stories about their experiences with “hostile or unhelpful health professionals”.

Through the website ALRANZ wants to take options away from women by publishing the names of these individuals and organisations.  By doing this, it is being inferred that they are archaic, putting their own beliefs over and above good medicine, good science.  But these pro-life health professionals and crisis pregnancy centres are being honest, not only about their beliefs, but the science and medical evidence which shows that human life begins at the moment of fertilization and that some so-called contraceptives are abortifacient.

The irony of the site has not gone unnoticed.  Somehow, in the mixed up world of  “choice” every woman is free to make their own decision regarding “her body” as long as she embraces pro-choice rhetoric.

If she suffers after her abortion – it couldn’t be possible.

If she realises the reality of her decision to abort her child and then speaks out – she must be silenced.

If she approaches a pro-life doctor or a crisis pregnancy centre for help and support – she’s been sucked in to a world of lies and deceit and has been coerced into bringing her preborn child to birth.

If she chooses Natural Fertility methods over artificial birth control and abortifacients – she is seriously backward, and brainwashed by those religious zealots.

ALRANZ says that women must be able to access “reproductive health services” as a right.  They say this because it is critical to the religion of CHOICE.

But what about those of us who are pro-life and want to make our own decisions?

For us real choice does not exist.

It’s pretty hard for the average person to find out which medical professionals are directly involved in abortion in New Zealand.  In 2012, Southlanders for Life attempted to find out which practitioners were working at the newly opened Southland Hospital abortion facility.  ALRANZ were quick to say that this was a “dangerous bullying tactic”.

I think we could use the same words to describe the “My Decision” site.

And how’s this for pro-choice bullying?

I have given birth to seven children.  Each of their births were very difficult and six of my pregnancies were deemed high risk, complicated by gestational diabetes, occasional cholestasis of pregnancy and repeat cesarean sections.

Immediately after the birth of our third child the surgeon told me never to have another child.

Each of my last four pregnancies were difficult times – partly because of my health, but mainly from the outside stress from repeatedly being told by midwives and obstetricians that I MUST have a tubal ligation.

When I say repeatedly, I mean over and over again for each of the four pregnancies.  I have heard stories of women being asked once and then that is it.  That never happened to me.

One of my worse experiences was less than 24 hours after the birth of our fifth child.  I was desperately sick.  I had cried the whole way through that first night, trying to care for my newborn daughter while constantly vomiting and being restricted in my movement because of the cesarean section.

That morning,  the lead midwife (not my LMC), who I saw from time to time, came into my hospital room with the lecture that most people would be afraid to hear while well and happy.  In that lecture she told me that next time I would DIE.  My husband was completely irresponsible – and where was he anyway?  (Um looking after four kids at home while he too was unwell)…  Forget my religion – I could get a dispensation from my Bishop… I just HAD to have a tubal ligation… didn’t I get it?  She was RIGHT and I was WRONG.

Tell me where was MY DECISION in that conversation?  This midwife wanted to strip me of MY CHOICE  because I didn’t fit her pro-choice mold of contracepting and limiting my family size to two or three children.

Had I been a weaker person – and believe me it wouldn’t have taken too much more – I would have agreed with her.  I would have signed that bit of paper and been done with it.

That was not the only time I was spoken to like that in regards to having a tubal ligation, although it was the worst experience.  There were many other times – approximately 15 in all.  Most times my request to refuse the tubal ligation was NOT written in my notes, meaning I was asked over and over again.

I was terrified that one day someone would take matters into their own hands and sterilise me anyway.  Lucky for me, tubal ligation can only be performed with a patient’s permission.

I suspect that at times I was cared for by doctors, midwives and others who were involved in abortion and sterilisation.  It goes without saying that all of them prescribed birth control.  How I wish I could have made the CHOICE not to be treated by those who disregard human life on one hand while rejoicing in it on the other.

It’s a great thing that health professionals that promote and protect life in all it’s stages can stay true to their convictions, and do so with the protection of the law.  They should be able to do it without being bullied by those who want to change the rules to suit themselves.

So as ALRANZ harp on about a woman’s right to make her own decision, maybe they would like to consider that sometimes that decision will be for LIFE.  And that is not a bad thing.

Yes, there are women out there that don’t buy the pro-choice rhetoric and will stand up to the intimidation and bullying tactics.  I am proudly one of them.

 

 

 

Under fire… Again

target on back

Monday morning, first day back from the holidays and after some prayers, I’m sitting at my desk checking the voicemail. I had a message from a lovely lady who had organised a group of women to knit baby clothes for us. I returned to call to assure her that the box of baby gear had arrived and that we are very thankful for it. She let me know that since she left the voicemail, the ‘thank you’ card from us had arrived. I looked back at the clothes still in the box, and remembered a lead I needed to follow up for some shelving at a price a charity could afford. I knew the little shelf we had was only a stopgap measure, but I didn’t think it would be full to overflowing with clothes donations before I even started asking for them. Pro-life people are so generous.

And then the email arrives. Someone has spotted a blog entry about us. And we are in the pro-abortion gun sights again. Specifically the John Paul II centre for life in Dunedin.

This blog is alleging that we are using bullying, judgemental, scare and deception tactics against the pregnant women who choose to come to us. These charges are completely false. I can say that with authority, because I’m the coordinator of the centre, so I know what happens here. And what chance have we had to do that? We have only just opened!

So what’s all this about? Well, it started last November when a prominent pro-abortion activist and a couple of her supporters visited the centre. They wanted the literature that we give to pregnant women. As I was trying to explain that our 0800 number was still being answered by the centres further north, one of her supporters headed for a table of brochures in our large meeting room, and starts helping herself to them. Why would she do that?

As soon as you have climbed the stairs and come into the centre, you can clearly see our small meeting room. It’s small, comfortable and perfect for two people to have a chat and a cup of coffee. It even has a few brochures. There aren’t many there, the room is mostly for us to listen, and only then see if we can sort out some help. And most of the brochures there are probably available elsewhere in Dunedin. We really don’t use a lot of printed matter for pregnant women.

But this supporter ignored that room and headed straight for our meeting room. Did she really think that we are seeing 20 or 30 pregnant women at a time? We seated about 30 in there for the official opening, with the rest of the crowd standing, in the room, or out in the foyer.

Between that and me trying to telling them that the pregnancy centre side of the centre wasn’t yet fully running, you would think that she would figure out that the brochures she was taking weren’t for pregnant mums. They were for the pro-life people who had been at the official opening of the centre a week before.

The brochures that the support helped herself to must have been given to this blogger, as she spends a lot of time going through them and pointing out how bad they are for pregnant women. And I agree that they aren’t suitable for pregnant women. That’s why we don’t offer them to them. And that’s why we keep them away from rooms where we meet with pregnant women.

The first brochure that the blogger criticises was an old black and white (with a few red headings) one from the US. It was US in its context and very North American in its tone. Pro-lifers can usually figure these things out, and as for the tone of it, I can generally count on their tolerance. This is a brochure that I would never offer to a pregnant women. The details were probably all correct for the time and place of it’s publication. Since then, worse abuses have become public knowledge in the US. The brochure is old and American, it probably isn’t going to be in the centre much longer. If anyone wants a copy, I’m happy for them to come and take one to study. It’s relevant because US abortion providers are trying to bring their agenda to New Zealand. Some of the text (with modifications and omissions) is online here. The blogger cites accurately from it, which is much better that she does for the next brochure she attacks.

This was the “Teen abortion risks fact sheet”. Again, we don’t use it for pregnant women, only for general pro-life education. There is an online version which is an expanded and updated version of our print copies. The blogger starts off citing it accurately, reporting “6x more likely to attempt suicide”. Next she says, “She’ll develop psychological problems and likely end up in a mental hospital”. The brochure actually says “Teens who abort are more likely to develop psychological problems, and are nearly three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than teens in general”

This exaggerating and misrepresenting would be easier to accept if her link to the online version actually worked. Then the reader could actually see something similar to the brochure that she was satirising.

And the mental health issue has been investigated in New Zealand by a pro-abortion researcher, so I don’t think we are being dishonest about it. The bloggers treatment of the rest of the brochure follows the same tactics.

When she is finished with that she launches into an attack of the centre and our work with statements like, “They should not exist”.

The problem is she hasn’t actually attacked us at all. She has created a caricature of us, probably some pro-life version of Family Planning from a parallel universe. And that is the object of her attack. Her version doesn’t resemble us at all. We are not a professional counselling service, but if a pregnant women needs that, we do have access to professionally qualified counsellors. ‘Peer counselling’ is a better description of what we do, and that’s mostly listening. If we wanted to hide the fact that we are pro-life, why would we called ourselves the John Paul II centre for life? If our pregnant and worried website was about deception, why does it have our logo on it with a link to our main site?

She does admit that she would allow us to exist if we “just distribute factual information, plus provide practical assistance”.

I’ve spent more time on this than it deserves. Those baby clothes behind me still needs a shelf to live on, and I have an appointment to see someone about that. And then there are the prams and car seats that need some storage solutions too. And there is a social worker who runs a birth support group for families of limited means who wants to meet me so we can arrange referrals. If this blogger really does know all about supporting pregnant women, maybe she should contact me directly. I’m always happy to learn.

Gosnell case used by ALRANZ to justify decriminalisation of abortion in New Zealand

Unsurprisingly, the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) has echoed the thoughts of Ilsye Hogue, President of NARAL, using the Gosnell case to justify the need for decriminalization of abortion in New Zealand.

A recent blog post authored by the organisation told readers that the Gosnell case is an “important reminder that restrictive abortion laws open the door for people to prey on desperate women and lead to medical negligence.”

The comment reflects the opinion of Ilyse Hogue who is reported by the Huffington Post to have said

This is exactly what happens when you place undue restrictions and you try to shame women to keep them from exercising their constitutional right to safe and legal abortions… You make them victims to people like Gosnell, because in their desperation they’ll turn anywhere. You want to drive people like Gosnell out of business? Then you actually support medical facilities and the right of women to safe and legal abortion.

Recently, the call for decriminalisation of abortion in New Zealand has gained momentum, with ALRANZ, Family Planning and Young Labour all making noises. Young Labour (the youth arm of New Zealand’s liberal political party) has declared their plan to make decriminalisation of abortion a 2014 election issue.

Abortion in New Zealand is currently regulated in law by two Acts of Parliament, the Crimes Act, 1961 and the Abortion, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, 1977. Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks on the grounds of saving the life of the mother, danger to mental health, disability, and incest. Rape can be taken into account, although is not a ground for abortion in itself. Women must see two certifying consultants prior to the procedure. Abortions can also be done post 20 weeks to save the life of the mother.

In practice New Zealand has abortion on demand, with 97.6% of abortions in 2011 done under the grounds of “danger to mental health”. Late term abortions do occur, especially when a foetal anomaly has been diagnosed. The term “fetocide” is used to describe late-term abortion (usually after 24 weeks) in New Zealand.  It appears that some women are sent to Australia for late-term abortions, while very late term babies who are aborted in New Zealand may have their deaths recorded as “still births”.

The fact that in practise abortion is available on demand is agreed upon by Alison McCulloch, the spokesperson for ALRANZ. In an April radio interview she stated “the anti-abortion side thinks we have abortion on demand. I think we have pretty good abortion access, also I tend to agree with them.” McCulloch also stated in that interview her desire for abortion to be available throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

In an attempt to justify their cause, the ALRANZ post pronounced “further restrictions on abortion will not lead to fewer Gosnell cases, but more.”

Dame Colleen Bayer, National Director of Family Life International NZ countered this claim by saying

 It is madness for ALRANZ to suggest that less restrictions on abortion will ensure New Zealand does not see cases like Gosnell happening. Real care and concern for women would ensure that further restrictions and monitoring were in place, not less.

Even though women cannot be prosecuted for having an abortion, ALRANZ attempts to scare monger by finishing the post with the following:

Looking to our own abortion laws in New Zealand and the continued criminalization of women, it [the Gosnell case] is a stark reminder that safe and legal abortion cannot be assured until it is a choice made freely by the pregnant person with free and easy access to all reproductive health services.

Right to Life spokesperson Ken Orr articulated the real issue reminding people that

This tragic case is a reminder that abortion is about violence against women and their pre-born. In every abortion a child is killed whether it is in filthy house of horrors killed by a sadistic murderer or in a clean sanitary clinic with a state funded serial killer immaculately dressed in a spotless surgical gown. The result is always the same, death to the innocent and defenceless child and violence inflicted on a helpless woman. There is no such thing as a safe abortion; they are all fatal.

Help for those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in New Zealand can be obtained by phoning the nation-wide Option Line 0800 367 5433 or visiting www.pregnantandworried.org.nz

This article has been slightly modified from the original in regard to late-term abortions in New Zealand.

Alison McCulloch of the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ finds personhood at conception scary

Recently, Alison McCulloch of the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRANZ) gave an interview on radio’s National Programme. In it, she explains her position on abortion and how she would like to see the New Zealand laws around abortion access reformed.

Currently in New Zealand, abortion legislation is in two seperate Acts: The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, and the Crimes Act.

There has been a growing call from both ALRANZ and Family Planning to reform the abortion law, taking away restrictions and taking it out of the Crimes Act.

Alison explains her understanding of what the access to abortion is like in New Zealand by saying:

the anti-abortion side thinks we have abortion on demand.  I think we have pretty good abortion access.  Also I tend to agree with them.  We would like to see it brought into line with practise.  The law brought into line with practise.

When asked by the interviewer, Kim Hill if we have abortion on demand, Alison responded by saying “We have something like it.”

So if New Zealand has something that resembles abortion on demand, why does the law need to be reformed at all in the way Alison suggests?  Women are getting access to abortions without too much trouble, despite the law.  Yes, they have to see two certifying consultants, who will confirm that they are eligible to have an abortion.  But often these consultants are seen on the same day, in the same place.  Sometimes women need to travel to see the consultant.  Sometimes women need to wait.  But surely waiting is a good thing in this instance?  Making decisions quickly can mean the wrong decisions are made.

Even so, Alison wants to see abortion decriminalised.  She wants to see what she calls the “stigma” and “shaming” of abortion removed.  She wants women to be able to go to clinics and their local GP.  She even suggests that a nurse practioner could administer medical abortion.

On a personal note Alison believes in abortion for the full nine months.

I like the idea of what they have done in Victoria which is women’s right up until the 24th week and then you need to, in consultation with some physicians.  But out of the Crimes Act… It’s a really complicated procedure at that point.  So you really need medical go along.

And how does she come to the conclusion that abortion should be able to accessed even after the 24th week?  How does she justify this position when tiny babies are struggling for their lives in NICU at 24 weeks, and sometimes even before?  Alison says:

The woman is the one who attributes to the fetus its status, the value that the fetus has.  And she makes the decision about that fetus.

She then went on to say later in the interview:

I know that there’s this continuum that people want to focus on with respect to the fetus and ignore the location of the fetus, but that is the all important point.

So for Alison, the location of the child is what makes it all right to inflict death upon him or her.

Finally, Alison voices her concerns about saying that life begins at conception.  Concerns about something which of course a scientific fact.  Pro-abortionists can cover-up this truth all they like, but the truth remains that at the moment of conception a new, unrepeatable human being is created, who needs time to grow and develop and have the nurturing comfort of his or her mother’s womb in order to do that.  Yet, Alison, (as do so many other people who believe in “choice”), chooses to ignore this fact in order to defend her position that abortion should be legal and easily accessible for every woman.  Alison says in the interview:

If you go down the road that the questioner would go down and then you say the fetus is a person that would then make it murder. What comes with that?  What comes with you are a person at the moment of conception?  That is pretty scary.

Why is it scary?  Because acknowledging the scientific fact that human life, and begins at conception means that we, as a society, could not condone abortion any more.  Instead the newly conceived human being, who is a person, would be protected in law.  In acknowledging this fact, society could not inflict the worse kind of child abuse on our unborn children.  For our law to acknowledge that life begins at conception would mean that we as a society would need to step up and support women who find themselves facing an unplanned, difficult or crisis pregnancy.  We would need to step up and show women real love.  For society to acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child from the moment of conception, would mean a more humane, a more civilised and a more stable community which would find its true humanity in the service and protection of all.

The Real War on Women is Abortion

prowoman2The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ), yesterday called for abortion to be decriminalised in New Zealand, making access to abortion available to all and without having to meet criteria.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade case in the United States which legalised abortion throughout pregnancy in that country.  ALRANZ has used this anniversary to call for the same decriminalisation here.   ALRANZ claimed that Roe v Wade gave women a right to privacy and access to safe and legal abortions.

If Roe v Wade made abortion safe in the US, why is it that there are so many reports of botched abortions, deaths and dirty clinics with dodgy staff?  The women and girls who suffer terrible complications and even die while under going a so-called safe and legal abortion would speak differently on this.

The attitude towards abortion in the US is changing.  Forty years of legal abortion has shown that the real war on women is abortion.  The negative effect of abortion on women mentally and physically cannot be denied.  Many abortionists and clinic staff are leaving their jobs, realising that they are not helping women, but hurting them.

There are approximately 2,500 Pregnancy Centres in the United States as opposed to 1,800 abortion providers.  Pregnancy Centres care for and support the women they see, looking after their needs so that they can continue their pregnancy without feeling pressured by financial, emotional or practical constraints.  The care women receive from Pregnancy Centres gives them hope.  We see it all the time in our Pregnancy Centres in Auckland and Wellington.  The women thank us for helping them through a really tough patch in their lives, they thank us for being their friend.

On the flip side, we also see women who have had abortions.  We hear their stories of pain and deep grief for the child they have lost.  Often times these women have lost all hope.

This Friday 800,000 people are expected to congregate at the National Mall in Washington DC to March for Life.  On Saturday, thousands are expected to congregate in San Francisco for the annual Walk for Life.  Women who have had abortions will speak from the heart.  There is nothing more powerful than the testimony of one who has been there.

Yes, 40 years after Roe v Wade, and 35 years after the last reform of New Zealand’s abortion law, it is time for a re-think.  It is time to treat women with the dignity and respect they deserve.  It is time to end the war on women that is abortion.

Free Contraception a Bad Idea

jadelleThere have been calls from Rotorua youth doctor, Tania Pinfold for free and easily accessible contraception in order to reduce unintended pregnancies.  ALRANZ supports this idea, along with more education programmes.  In this way, it is believed the abortion rate, in particular among youth, would decline.

While Family Life International NZ is fully for an end to all abortions, we do not believe the way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies is through free contraception and increased sex education.

In 2010 just under half of all abortions were carried out on women and girls who had been using some form of contraception.  ALRANZ and other abortion supporters know this and so they are working hard to promote long-acting contraception among women and youth, using such devices as “Jadelle”, a second generation implant banned in countries like the United States.

But those who are promoting free and accesible contraception are not really being pro-woman.  If they were they would realise the use of such contraceptive devices as Jadelle, Depo Provera and the IUD, only serves to promote riskier sexual behaviour in the targetted under 25 year old group, and increases the chances of them contracting sexually transmitted infections.  There is also the issue of hormones floating around a women’s body for such an extended period of time and the side effects that will have on them.

Combining free contraception with more sex education in this under 25 year old group will only serve to increase sexual behaviour.  Many a study has shown that graphic sex education with the underlying belief that teenagers will engage in sexual intercourse anyway, increases the likelihood of both male and female students engaging in earlier sexual behaviour.

Family Life International NZ provides a service to those who find themselves experiencing an unintended pregnancy.  Through our Family Life Crisis Pregnancy Centre we offer women and girls factual information regarding their pregnancy.  We discuss the options of parenting, adoption and abortion thoroughly and accurately.  We find that most abortion-minded women who come to us are really seeking solutions for the situations they find themselves in, not an end to the pregnancy per se.

We encourage women to have self-respect and to take charge of their lives, to make something of themselves.  And we offer them the support they need to do that.  This I believe is the real long-term answer to lowering the abortion rate.  Not pumping females with chemicals and treating their fertility as a disease.