Maryan Street fails to make it back into Parliament

Maryan StreetLabour candidate, Maryan Street, who is a staunch euthanasia and assisted suicide advocate, has failed to make it back into Parliament after the general election on Saturday.

Street, who has been an MP since 2005, had placed the End of Life Choice Bill into the Member’s Ballot in July 2012.

Late last year, Street came under pressure from her party to remove the Bill as it was deemed too controversial a subject to be debating in an election year.

Street withdrew the Bill from the Ballot, vowing to reintroduce it after the election.  However, once again she failed to win the electorate seat of Nelson.  Her position on Labour’s List should have seen her re-enter Parliament for another term, but their support has deteriorated to its lowest since 1922 and they did not gain enough seats for Street to be selected.

Considered by many to be filled with loopholes, the End of Life Choice Bill, if passed, would have legalised physician assisted suicide for those who were suffering from an “irreversible physical or mental medical condition” who were experiencing “unbearable” pain.

Doctors who object to euthanasia and assisted suicide would have been obliged to refer patients to other practitioners who could carry out their wishes.

Most concerning to those against the Bill was the clause granting immunity from civil and criminal liability for any person acting in good faith who failed through act or omission to follow the law.

There are still 300,000 special votes to be counted which could potentially change the situation. However, it is unlikely that Labour will gain another seat, bringing Street back into Parliament.

The possibility that another MP will take up the cause cannot be ruled out.

Voting with the most vulnerable in mind

Vote for LifeWith only a few days to go until New Zealand’s General Election most people have likely made their minds up about who to vote for.

Our children attend a Catholic primary school and it has been interesting to hear the comments they have been making over the last few weeks as the election process has been studied.  Yesterday, two came home with the results of a class election.  Given the children are highly influenced by what is being discussed at home, I suspect the class election results are a close indication of how the parents will be voting this coming Saturday!  Unsurprisingly, for this electorate, Labour won with flying colours.

I wonder if these families understand the implications for preborn New Zealanders if they vote Labour this year?  Do they know that a Labour member (Maryan Street) intends to reintroduce a private member’s bill that will legalise the killing of adults who are terminally ill or find their suffering (whatever that may be) “unbearable”?

And it is not just Labour that we should be wary of.  The Green’s wish to remove abortion from the Crimes Act, making abortion easily accessed while removing the rights of pro-life doctors and nurses to follow their own conscience and not subject their second patient (the preborn child) to death.  Crisis Pregnancy Centres are also a target of the Green’s policy.  Labour and the Greens are joined by Internet Mana and other parties and candidates that do not uphold the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life is handy document to refer to.   It can be perused not only by Catholics, but by all people of good will who wish to ensure the common good of all people is upheld.

In it, we are reminded that:

“In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person.  This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate).  Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.  In the same way, it is necessary to recall the duty to respect and protect the rights of the human embryo.  Analogously, the family needs to be safeguarded and promoted, based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman, and protected in its unity and stability in the face of modern laws on divorce:  in no way can other forms of cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage, nor can they receive legal recognition as such.” (#4)

The people whom we elect on Saturday have the power to further strip the most vulnerable in our society – the preborn and those near the end of life – of their intrinsic dignity.  If we vote well, there will be people in parliament to speak up for the most defenseless.

Not so long ago New Zealand’s Catholic Bishop’s released a statement to all the Catholic faithful.  In it they noted that “protecting the most vulnerable members of society is the responsibility of every one of us.”

Our shepherds also noted that “we are challenged as voters to place first in heart and conscience those whose lives are potentially affected by decisions we make as voters.”

Among the people they listed as needing our attention, the Bishop’s mentioned the preborn children and those nearing the end of life.

As we walk into the polling booths on Saturday, everyone must be aware of the grave situation that lies ahead of us if particular political parties obtain the balance of power.

The lives of even more preborn children are at stake; families are at risk of being further breakdown; and those who suffer from terminal illness (or any condition that one finds burdensome) will be at risk of euthanasia.

So when it comes to the political parties and candidates do you know their policies and what they stand for?  Do you know for sure that they will keep their word and not change tack after being swayed by organisations that promote abortion, contraception, euthanasia and the breakdown of the traditional family?

We need strong people in parliament who will speak up for all people who reside in this beautiful country – God’s own.  We must ensure that the parties we vote for have sound policies that uphold the dignity of all people at every stage of life – from the very moment of conception right through to natural death.

Acknowledging the sacredness and right to life of individuals is the foundation for which we can build a strong society.  We ignore the most vulnerable among us at our own peril.

 

Check out Family First’s website Value Your Vote for more information on the parties and candidates.

Decriminalisation of what?

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Decriminalising’ abortion is in the media again.  It’s not the first time it’s been in the news and it certainly will not be the last time.  This time it looks like it’s going to be an election issue, or at least there is an effort to make it an election issue.  What is being proposed this time is very familiar, and could have come from the wish list of any New Zealand pro-abortion lobby group.

The main proposal is to remove abortion from the Crimes Act.  There is also a desire to reduce the time and complication required before a woman has an abortion.  And there is a desire to keep the status quo for abortions after 20 weeks, (although pre-born children with fetal abnormalities post 20 weeks are targeted).  None of this will happen if abortion is removed from the Crimes Act, unless other legislation is changed too.  Most of the regulations for the two Certifying Consultants are not in the Crimes Act, they are in the Contraception Sterilisation, and Abortion (CSA) act 1977.  So removing abortion from Crimes Act would not streamline the consulting process. And no one has mentioned changing CSA.  Furthermore, the distinction between abortions before 20 weeks and after 20 weeks is in the Crimes Act.  So if abortion was simply removed from the Crimes Act, the likely result would be virtually abortion on demand for the full 40 weeks of pregnancy.

All of this is supposedly to benefit women having abortions and to protect them from the law.  But the Crimes Act specifically protects women from prosecution. It only has legal sanctions against doctors and others involved in preforming abortions.

So this raises the question, is removing abortion from the Crimes Act an attempt to benefit women or is it really a way to move abortion out of the public health system, and create a US style abortion industry with legal protection for doctors to exploit vulnerable women? There are some hints in the usual rhetoric of the recent policy announcement. The issue of consistency of access to abortion across New Zealand and especially in provincial areas is constantly brought up by the pro-abortion movement. People who live far away from major hospitals have a lot of issues accessing timely healthcare and paying for accommodation and travel. It’s big issue in maternity care but somehow abortion promoters forget to talk about that ‘women’s health’ issue.

Removing the oversight of the abortion referral process, and allowing more abortions to take place outside of a hospital setting is going to allow a US or Australian style for profit abortion industry to thrive in New Zealand. I don’t know if our politicians are aware of this, but I know the abortion promoters are. After all, Family Planning did bring in the US$523 616 paid CEO of the United States largest abortion provider to teach them how to bring a ‘reproductive rights’ movement into New Zealand.

And speaking of Cecile Richards, the line about ‘trusting women’ comes straight from her.  Richards’ ‘trust’ of vulnerable women has seen her organisation increase the numbers of abortions it performs during her leadership, as the total number of abortions in the US is declining.

I’ve never met a women at this Centre that I won’t trust. Abortion isn’t, and never has been about trust. Most of these women feel that they don’t have a choice. To say that they ‘trust’ women in crisis circumstances, but then to only offer abortion as a way out, is exploiting women.

It is pleasing to see there is talk of offering more assistance to pregnant women. But government agencies don’t have a great record of catering to the needs of people in crisis. From my own experience they are better at causing stress than they are in relieving it. I’m pleased to work for an organisation that provides practical help for people without them having to have a degree in paperwork. But helping isn’t always wanted by our politicians if they have political issues with us.

So removing abortion from the Crimes Act would seem to benefit doctors and business plans more than women. And removing certifying requirements would allow some of the worst excesses of the Australian and US abortion industry to happen here.

If we are going to change our laws on abortion, shouldn’t we change them to protect women and children, rather than to allow them to be exploited and killed?

Controversial abortionist wants to run for New Zealand Parliament

by Michelle Kaufman
New Zealand Correspondent for LifeSiteNews.com
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com)  Controversy has risen over the news that Wellington abortionist Rosy Fenwicke is seeking to represent the National Party for Wellington Central in New Zealand’s general election, which will be held in September.

Dr. Fenwicke’s Facebook page explains that she is “standing for selection to be the National Party Candidate for Wellington Central.”  Her Twitter account, @rosyforwellcent, also makes it clear she has put herself forward for selection.

Yet, a NZ Herald article published over the weekend states that Fenwicke “refused to confirm” whether she was seeking nomination for the seat.

Wellington Central is a stronghold for the leftist Labour Party. The National Party is currently in government, but is deemed to be center-right.  It would seem unlikely that even if Dr. Fenwicke is to be selected as the candidate for Wellington Central, that she would be actually elected into Parliament that way.

Furthering suspicion of Fenwicke’s political aspirations was atweet on March 31 announcing her departure from Wellington Hospital.  In it she encourages her coworkers, saying, “Great team doing good work.”

Dr. Fenwicke has been working in the hospital’s Te Mahoe unit, an abortion clinic, as an “operating surgeon” and certifying consultant.  Te Mahoe is the second busiest abortion clinic in New Zealand, performing a total of 2,252 abortions in 2012.

NZ Right to Life spokesperson, Ken Orr, who alerted the media to Fenwicke’s intentions, says her position as a certifying consultant and abortionist at the Te Mahoe unit is a conflict of interest.

Mr. Orr pointed out that “the first duty of Parliament is to uphold effective legal protection for the right to life of every person from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“Dr Fenwicke’s advocacy of and involvement in a culture of death disqualifies her from being a Member of our Parliament. … [She] is responsible for the violent killing of many thousands of innocent and defenceless unborn children.”

Mr. Orr also cited Dr. Fenwicke’s past position with the NZ Family Planning Association as another reason why she would be unsuitable as a National candidate.  From 1987 to 1990 Fenwicke was the Central Region medical director for the association, which is an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

In addition to her abortion work at Te Mahoe, Fenwicke served on the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) from 2006 to 2009.  At the time, her position on the committee was challenged as being a conflict of interest, although this was denied by the authorities.

The ASC oversees New Zealand’s abortion law, ensuring it is carried out correctly.  The committee also approves licenses for abortion facilities and appoints certifying consultants.

Due to a push for liberalization of New Zealand’s abortion laws, the practice of abortion is fast becoming a matter of discussion.

Many groups, including the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ), Young Labour, and the NZ Family Planning Association, are laying ground work for public support of a liberalized abortion law.  How this would look in practice is yet to be seen, however Alison McCulloch of ALRANZ made it very clear in an interview last year that she believes abortion should be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason at all.

For these groups to have an abortionist in Parliament would be a real coup.

Same-sex “marriage” and the threat to religious freedom

John-Henry Westen and Rachael Wong outside St Patrick's Cathedral Auckland 14 April 2013The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is due to be read in Parliament for the third and final time tomorrow evening.  If this Bill is passed in the House tomorrow night, it will be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in New Zealand.  No one will have the right to refuse wedding services (such as venues, flowers, catering) based on their views that marriage can not ever be between two people of the same sex.

Out of concern, Family Life International NZ held two talks given by John-Henry Westen (Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews.com) on the topic – one in Wellington last Thursday night, and the other this past Sunday.  Thousands of people have been blessed with the wisdom of John-Henry over the last two weeks, in particular youth.  Canada is John-Henry’s home, and same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2005.  Enough time has elapsed to see just what the ramifications of legalising same-sex marriage has been for Canadian’s.  New Zealand should heed the warnings.

John-Henry Westen spoke about the following cases where legalising same-sex marriage and normalising homosexual behaviour has led to ordinary citizens finding themselves in trouble with the law.

  • A couple who ran a bed and breakfast refused to let a room to a homosexual couple and kindly asked them to find another bed and breakfast.  As a result the Christian couple were sued and their business was shut down.
  • A printer in a district where there were numerous printing businesses was approached by a customer wishing to have homosexual activist material printed.  The printer, explaining that he disagreed with the material, asked respectfully for the customer to choose another printing company.  Because he refused the printing job, the man was sued and lost his home trying to defend himself.
  • A teacher in Alberta wrote a letter to the editor in support of traditional marriage (note it had nothing to do with what he said in the classroom), and was fired by the school because of his views.
  • A well-known Canadian sportscaster from Toronto was fired after he sent a tweet supporting traditional marriage. He lodged a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, however, it has just been reported that it was dismissed.
  • When same-sex marriage was introduced, marriage commissioners were fired if they were not in support of the legislation.
  • The Knights of Columbus were sued when they refused to hire out a hall in their ownership to a lesbian couple who were wishing to celebrate their union.
  • A Bishop in Calgary was sued $100,000.00 when he wrote the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in the newspaper.
  • In Ontario, a parish priest allowed a same-sex couple to serve at Mass.  There were 15 parishioners who felt that this was not on, given the Church’s teaching about chastity, marriage and homosexuality.  The parishioners wrote to the Bishop expressing their concern.  The Bishop then wrote to the parish priest explaining that it was unacceptable, only to be sued by one of the homosexual men who were serving for $25,000.00.  Each of the parishioners were also sued for $20,000.00.  Thankfully, it was all settled and the charges were dropped.

Each of these concrete examples of persecution because of religious beliefs are shocking.  It is truely concerning when we realise that this is just the beginning.   John-Henry explained the thinking of the gay lobby that is so desperate to transform what is ‘normal’ saying

“The very first and most important point is to stamp out this opposition.  Remember when I said it was likely conscience driven?  Guess what?  Once you pass same sex marriage your conscience is still there.   But then, the thinking goes ‘but that’s because these kind of people exist in society, we’ve got to stamp out this type of racism…’ “Well these catholics these christians they keep raising up this kind of prejudice in their children so we’ve got to get to the children.’ They do it through schools”

The evidence is so shocking of the indoctrination of school children that it will leave your blood running cold.

  • One province has a curriculum which is to be taught in all public schools, all Catholic schools, all private schools and most schockingly, by all home schooling families. The programme teaches relativism of all religious groups and equality of all types of families.  One family, sure that they could not be told what to teach in their home, took a case to the Supreme Court and lost on a technicality.
  • Catholic schools in Ontario have been forced to teach about anti-gay bulling, but are not allowed to educate the children about Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
  • The Education Minister of Yucon has just recently said that Catholic schools are not allowed to teach against homosexuality because it is against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is a Charter for all of Canada.

However, John-Henry reminded us that the troubles are worst for those inclined to homosexuality.  He explained that our greatest call and duty as Christians is to love our neighbour citing he Matthew 25:35-40 .

“My brothers and sisters, you have to know that you are called to love… Our brothers and sisters who are inclined to homosexuality are now facing a massive threat with the government stamping approval on this behaviour which they need to know is deadly and we are called to suffer.  And we are called to tell them that it is dangerous for them.  And what about the question ‘when I was inclined to grave sin that would cause my body harm and my soul’s eternal home you didn’t tell me?’  We must love enough to stop same-sex marriage.  We must love enough to tell our brothers and sisters inclined to homosexuality and every other sexual sin that it harms your body and it harms your soul.”

The talk on Sunday, which also included a Prayer Vigil and Procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland was concluded by a short synopsis of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill by an Auckland lawyer, Rachael Wong, Rachael explained that the clause inserted to protect religious ministers in the Bill is very narrow, and questionable.  She is also concerned about children and the changes the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill will make to adoption legislation.  She explains that

“a consequential effect of the bill will be to allow same-sex couples to adopt children by giving them status of spouses… This consequential change to our adoption laws clearly impacts children.  And parliament’s failure to consider the best interests of children throughout the entire legislative process is in contravention of its obligations under the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.”

If New Zealand’s politicians truely have the best interests of all our citizens at heart, they will choose to put this Bill to rest tomorrow and keep marriage as a union legally recognised by the State as only being between one man and one woman.

Governments Support Same-Sex Marriage Despite Wide spread Opposition

Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment BillOn Tuesday, the UK Parliament voted for same-sex marriage,  with a count of 400 for the legislation and only 175 against.  There are still a number of votes to be held before it becomes law.

Debate was strong in the House, with most MPs in favour of the legislation stating it was about equality, while most of those in opposition spoke about marriage being between a man and a woman, and that it is unable to be redefined to mean anything else.  Roger Gale, a Tory MP was very clear about why the legislation could not be passed, saying:

“It is not possible to redefine marriage.  Marriage is the union between a man and a woman, has been historically, remains so. It is Alice in Wonderland territory, Orwellian almost, for any Government of any political persuasion to seek to come along and try to re-write the lexicon. It will not do.”

There are deep concerns by the Catholic Church about the same-sex marriage bill and the implications it will have on the Church’s ability to conduct marriage ceremonies recognised by the State.  If this Bill were to pass, the Church is concerned for religious liberty.  Bishop Philip Egan said:

“Just as the Church has been forced to abandon its adoption services, so too Catholics who work in the medical profession and in social services are going to find themselves under intolerable moral pressures. These pressures will also arguably be felt throughout our Catholic schools, by teachers, staff and parents.”

The UK Catholic Bishops are so concerned about this proposed legislation, they have been trying to mobilise the laity into speaking up against same-sex marriage.  In the past few weeks they have distributed one million postcards for the laity to send to their local MPs asking them to vote against the Bill.

Meanwhile the French National Assembly also voted in favour of legislation which will legalise same-sex marriage and allow for gay adoption.  The vote taken on Saturday was 249-97.  It looks certain that this legislation will come into law in France, despite the protests of many of its citizens who have been very vocal about their opposition to the redefinition of marriage and gay adoption.

New Zealand’s Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is currently before the Select Committee, who are hearing oral submissions throughout the country.  Over 2,000 written submissions can be read online.  There has been some disappointment, and even outrage, over the fact that many people who have requested to give an oral submission have not been given the opportunity to do so.  It also appears that the Select Committee are in favour of the legislation and have been somewhat hostile to many submitters who are opposed to the legislation.  The Select Committee must present their report on the 28th February.

Not all homosexuals want to marry or adopt

the family one mama and one papaLast weekend’s march against same-sex marriage in France attracted up to 1 million people and was attended by a large number of homosexuals who say that the vocal homosexual lobby is not representing all people who have a same-sex attraction.

LifeSiteNews reported that a new group, “Homovox“, is opposed to the proposed French legislation to legalise homosexual marriage, and that most homosexuals do not want to marry or adopt children.  They went on to say that:

“French lesbian Nathalie de Williencourt says she decided to create the group as a result of her frustration over a vocal homosexual lobby that has been unquestioningly accepted as the mouthpiece of all of the country’s homosexuals… “They don’t feel represented by activists that they haven’t chosen, who steal the stage from a silent majority,” she told the French magazine Christian Family. “Many feel belittled, mistreated by this array of demands that stigmatize them.”

It would be wise for governments all across the world, who are contemplating legalising same-sex marriage, or who have already done so, to be certain that they are not listening to the vocal minority.  Leaders of countries must listen to the many voices (and the evidence they present) – both heterosexual and homosexual, who oppose legalising same-sex marriage and adoption.  When they do so, they may just find that it would be imprudent to pass legislation that allows these unions, and the subsequent adoption of children.

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