lancet euthanasia Dutch euthanasia figures present muddled picture

Euthanasia in the Netherlands is nothing much to worry about, according to The Lancet. The latest survey shows that the overall levels of euthanasia and assisted suicide are about the same now as they were in 2002, when euthanasia was legalised. A small increase since 2005 is just due to the fact that more people are requesting euthanasia.

At least that was the spin in The Lancet’s press release. A closer examination of the article, “Trends in end-of-life practices before and after the enactment of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands from 1990 to 2010: a repeated cross-sectional survey“, shows that there are many things to worry about.

It is true that there is a “V” shaped curve in the number of cases of voluntary euthanasia. In 2001, before legalisation, about 2.6% of all deaths were due to voluntary euthanasia. In 2005, this dropped to 1.7%, and rose in 2010 back up to 2.8%.

But what accounts for the drop? It was not lack of interest. The proportion of patients requesting euthanasia rose from 4.8% of all patient deaths in 2005 to 6.7% in 2010. And doctors were also more willing to grant it. In 2005, 37% of these requests were granted and in 2010 45%.

The answer seems to be that doctors who ended the lives of their patients had switched from injecting barbiturates and muscle relaxants to “continuous deep sedation”. Although physicians were asked in the questionnaire (included as an appendix) whether this meant withdrawal of nutrition and hydration, it is not clear from the article whether it did. Presumably this continuous deep sedation means drugging the patient into unconsciousness, withdrawing food and water, and waiting for them to die.

A UK critic of legalised assisted dying, Dr Peter Saunders, quoted a 2010 paper by physicians from Mayo Clinic Arizona. In their opinion, “Continuous deep sedation should be distinguished from common sedation practices for palliation and characterized instead as physician-assisted death.” So if this way of dying is counted as euthanasia, the real proportion of euthanised patients in the Netherlands in 2010 was about 15%.

This is the point taken up in an accompanying commentary in The Lancet. An American physician, Bernard Lo, zeroes in on the issue of palliative sedation.

“But physicians who say they are undertaking palliative sedation sometimes cross the line to euthanasia. One reason for this happening might be confusion regarding intention. The physician’s intention to hasten the patient’s death is crucial in the Dutch definition of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Intention should be judged not only by physicians’ statements but also by actions. If a physician increases the dose of opioids or sedatives in an unresponsive patient in the absence of clinical signs or symptoms that could reasonably be interpreted as distress… these actions could be inferred as intention to hasten death.”

Dr Lo also points out that about 20% of the doctors who administered euthanasia did not report it. The authors seem to regard this figure as good news: a tremendous improvement over the years before legalisation when about half of doctors did not report. But Lo suggests that this 20% might not have been voluntary and therefore not such good news after all.

As Dr Saunders says, “the Dutch figures seem to reveal incremental extension after legalisation which is being carefully and skilfully disguised by the way the figures are being presented. The Lancet report, far from providing reassurance, actually raises more questions than it gives answers.”

Cross posted from Michael Cook at BioEdge.

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spanish disabilities abortion Spanish government plans to end abortions of disabled babies, says justice minister

Spain’s justice minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, has announced that upcoming legislation reform of the country’s laws governing abortions will eliminate fetal disability as a basis for abortion.

The legislation, which would eliminate abortion-on-demand during the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy as established by the previous administration, would return to a “law of conditions,” under which abortion would not be penalized in certain specified cases, Ruiz-Gallardón told the Spanish publication La Razón.

However, Spain would not renew the old law in its entirety, said the justice minister, “because experience shows us that some of these aspects must be revised.” Asked which ones, he responded: “I anticipate one. I do not understand why the unborn are unprotected, permitting them to be aborted, because of the fact that they have some kind of handicap or deformity.”

“It seems to me to be ethically inconceivable we have lived so long with this legislation, and I think that the same level of protection that is given to an unborn child without any type of handicap or deformity should be given to those that are verified as lacking some of the abilities that other unborn children have,” added Ruiz-Gallardón.

The minister, who has been criticized for not acting to fulfill the People’s Party campaign promise to reform the abortion law, said that he anticipated introducing a bill on the matter by the end of the year.

According to statistics published by La Razon, 90% of disabled children in Spain are killed in their mothers’ wombs,  a total of over 16,000 over the last five years.

An advocacy group for children with Down syndrome, Down Spain, hailed the proposal as a step towards recognizing the rights of the handicapped.

The organization stated “its satisfaction over the declarations made yesterday by the minister of justice,” opining that by such a measure “a true social change will be achieved because, for the first time, the lives of everyone in equality of conditions will be made possible.”

Ruiz-Gallardón, who has played the role of gadfly within the People’s Party in the past, in this case received the unequivocal support of the party’s current leader, Carlos Floriano.

Calling Ruiz-Gallardón’s statements “absolutely impeccable,” Floriano added that “we are betting on the defense of the rights of the weakest, so what the minister said coincides with the ethical and political convictions and principles of the People’s Party.”

Cross posted from LifeSiteNews.

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Statement of Clarification

On July 25, 2012, in Blog, by Admin

In the past week news media outlets have featured stories about Andy Moore, a New Zealander who now resides in the United States, and a possible FBI investigation into his conduct outside American abortion clinics.

Some of this coverage has made mention of a previous connection that Andy Moore had to Prolife New Zealand.

In light of this fact we felt that it was important to publicly clarify the following points:

1. Andy Moore has not had any official involvement with Prolife New Zealand since 2010.

2. Prolife New Zealand does not participate in public protests outside abortion clinics, instead our policy is one of engaging in peaceful, respectful and reasoned dialogue, on and around New Zealand tertiary campuses, about the issue of abortion.

3. Prolife New Zealand is strongly opposed to practices such as picketing abortion clinic worker’s residences or places of business, photographing abortion clinic staff and posting their images on websites.

We believe that such practices are totally inconsistent with the culture of life and respect for persons which our organization is dedicated to advocating for here in New Zealand.

Apart from these three points of clarification, Prolife New Zealand can shed no further light on this incident as it has no connection whatsoever to our organization.

Anyone seeking further information about this matter would need to correspond directly with Andy Moore – he has been living in the United States for well over a year now and this incident took place over there, and Prolife New Zealand has no information about these events apart from what has been reported in the media.

 

down syndrome aboriton Scores of UK IVF babies terminated because they have Down syndrome

Dozens of test tube babies have been aborted because they had Down’s syndrome.Over five years, a total of 123 foetuses conceived through IVF-type treatments were terminated after the mother was told they suffered from the genetic abnormality.

Often the women will have spent years trying to become pregnant and may have spent thousands on private fertility clinics in the hope of conceiving.

Last night, anti-abortion campaigners said the statistics on IVF terminations showed that some women treat babies like ‘designer goods’ – paying a fortune to conceive but then aborting them when they turn out not to be perfect.

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in each cell. The children grow up shorter than usual and often have learning or behavioural difficulties. There are believed to be around 60,000 people in the United Kingdom with the condition.

Statistics show that in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available, a total of 127 abortions were carried out on babies conceived through IVF-type assistance.

The data held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority shows that Down’s syndrome was the most commonly given reason for an abortion, cited in 31 of the cases – three times as many as in 1999. Foetal abnormality was the next biggest reason for abortion, accounting for 19 cases, while 15 babies with Edward’s syndrome – another condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome – were also terminated.

As it is not mandatory for reasons for terminations to be recorded, the number could be higher. No reason was given in 22 cases. Between 2005 and 2009, some 123 foetuses with Down’s were terminated.

Andrea Williams, of Christian Concern, said:

‘We have to question the values of a society which focuses so greatly on adult “wants”.

‘That a woman pursues a baby through fertility treatment and then aborts it because it is not perfect is selfish and harsh.’

Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said:

‘It is generally accepted that there is a significant under-reporting of abortions of babies with Down’s syndrome, but I think we are especially saddened when we read of such abortions in association with IVF, where the women involved were clearly originally desperate to have a child.’

The number of abortions carried out because of Down’s among those who conceived naturally is more than 1,000 a year – or three a day. Around nine in ten women who are told they are going to have a baby with the condition opt for a termination.

The number of terminations among potential IVF mothers could be influenced by the fact women often turn to fertility treatment later in life, when the risks of conceiving a Down’s syndrome child increase markedly.

Women over the age of 40 are 16 times more likely to have a Down’s pregnancy than a woman under the age of 25.

Cross posted from the Daily Mail.

450px The United Nations Building 225x300 New Zealand to United Nations: No We Won’t Expand Abortions


During the CEDAW Committee’s review of New Zealand this afternoon, the country’s delegate stated that the New Zealand government has no interest in expanding its abortion laws. This was in response to being told twice that the country needs to modernize its abortion laws.

New Zealand currently allows for abortion in the case of endangerment to the mother’s life or when there is danger to her mental or physical health. In order to have an abortion, the abortion must be approved by two doctors, called certifying consultants, and the abortion must be carried out in licensed institutions.

After praising New Zealand’s progressiveness for legalizing civil partnerships for LGBTs and being the first western country to grant women the right to vote, Ms. Patricia Schultz (CEDAW Committee expert from Switzerland) called on New Zealand to start on an “urgently needed” review of abortion legislation to come up to speed with the country’s “standard of human rights.”

Even though abortion is allowed in certain situations and even though New Zealand’s abortion laws are a lot more liberal than many other countries, Ms. Schultz stated that “abortion is basically illegal” in New Zealand.

As the New Zealand delegate went on to explain, in order for a law to be changed, a government member needs to submit a bill to the legislature. There is no such abortion bill at the time because as the delegate put it, “there is no appetite by government members or other parties to discuss or modernize the legislation.” Any abortion vote would be a personal vote, and the members of parliament are just not interested in addressing abortion.

Cross posted from Turtle Bay and Beyond.

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Free speech media coverage

On July 19, 2012, in Blog, by Miriam

3 News

Pro-life club please ‘pleased’ not to be exiled

The president of an anti-abortion club at Auckland University says she is “very pleased” after an attempt to disaffiliate the club from the Auckland University Students’ Association failed yesterday.

Pro-Life Auckland was facing exile after complaints were laid alleging it was harassing students and spreading misinformation about abortion. If the vote had passed, the club would have lost access to AUSA-supplied benefits like room booking and funding.

After an hour of speakers and debate, the motion failed: 125 for and 227 against, with 12 abstentions.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Radio New Zealand

Checkpoint: Students vote keep anti-abortion group on campus

Listen to the item here.

 

NZ Herald

Row brews at uni over abortion pamphlet

A free-speech battle is shaping up at Auckland University tomorrow over a move to boot out an anti-abortion group from university facilities.

ProLife Auckland, which claims more than 400 student members, faces disaffiliation from the students’ association after a complaint that it distributed a pamphlet containing “misleading health information”.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Stuff.co.nz

ProLife Auckland faces ban at Auckland University

ProLife Auckland today called on its fellow students to “vote down this unjust and discriminatory motion”.

“This meeting is a direct threat to freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at the University of Auckland,” ProLife Auckland president Amy Blowers said.

“University is about discussing diverse opinions in an open and inclusive atmosphere. Banning a club for handing out pamphlets that simply advocate a woman’s right to essential health information is discriminatory and flies in the face of everything we value about university culture.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Radio New Zealand

Student and pro-life groups at odds

The Auckland University Students Association says it is not robbing an anti-abortion group of its right to free speech, by calling a meeting to consider banning it from campus.

The university club, ProLife Auckland, says the special general meeting scheduled for Wednesday was prompted by a single anonymous complaint about a pamphlet it had distributed.

It says it has not had a chance to defend itself.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Newstalk ZB

Anti-abortion group faces university ban

An anti-abortion group is facing being kicked off campus at Auckland University.

Following a campaign in May, ProLife Auckland could be banned from the university at a meeting this Wednesday.

President Amy Blowers says the organisation handed out pamphlets about the common health risks of abortion, backed up by information from reputable scientific journals.

“A single anonymous person complained to the AUSA Auckland University Students Association executive, saying that we were, essentially that we were lying about health facts.”

Read the rest of the article here.

 

New Zealand’s Rhema

Pro-Life Advocates Face Ban

An anti-abortion group is facing being kicked off campus at Auckland University.

Pro-Life Auckland says it follows the group handing out pamphlets advocating women that should have all the health facts they deserve before they make a decision about their pregnancy.

It says it could be banned from the university at a meeting this Wednesday.

Pro-Life Auckland president Amy Blowers says it is a direct threat to freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at Auckland University.

Listen to the item here.

 

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Uni Today Serious questions must now be asked of the AUSA President and Executive

Earlier today Auckland University students voted 227 to 125 to quash the attempted disaffiliation of student club Prolife Auckland (and yes, it is definitely concerning that 125 students voted against freedom of expression on a university campus).

Now that this attempt to quash freedom of expression at Auckland University has been put to bed it is time to ask some serious questions about how such an unjust act was even allowed to happen in the first place.

So, in no particular order, here are some questions that I think need further exploration and discussion:

How were the official mechanisms of AUSA Executive so easily able to be hijacked and used to try and deny a group of students the right to freedom of expression?

Why did the AUSA Executive never even speak to Prolife Auckland, or invite them to address the AUSA Executive before ruling on this matter?

Why did the AUSA Executive hold their deliberations on this matter in secret?

Why do the official AUSA Executive minutes appear to show that the AUSA never actually tabled the Right to Know pamphlet, or the solitary anonymous email complaint against it at their meeting to discuss this matter?

Once they made their ruling, why did the AUSA Executive not actually contact Prolife Auckland to tell them that their official club status was going to be the subject of a vote at a Special General Meeting (SGM)?

Why did Arena Williams, President of the AUSA, ask for $200 of AUSA money to be spent on promoting this attempt to disaffiliate a student club, and why was her request approved?

Why did Arena Williams, President of the AUSA, refuse to tell journalists, when asked, which information in the Right to Know pamphlet was “harmful misinformation” even though this was the very reason for the SGM?

Why hasn’t Arena Williams, or any other member of the AUSA Executive, taken up my offer of $100 cash if they can prove that the Right to Know pamphlet contains content that is either ‘harmful’ or ‘misinformation’ as they claim it is?

And most importantly of all…

How was the AUSA Executive able to hold an SGM on the grounds of spreading harmful misinformation when it has been shown that the Right to Know pamphlet at the centre of this allegation contains no information that can be classed as either false or dangerous?

No matter how they now might try to fudge and spin their way out of this incident, there is no doubting that Arena Williams and the AUSA Executive have some serious questions to answer about why they instigated this shameful act of bullying and harassment against a group of their fellow students, and why they did so based on grounds that are patently false.

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DnH 580PX Doctor from NZ Family Planning Association confirms accuracy of Right to Know flyer
In today’s NZ Herald, Dr. Christine Roke of the Family Planning Association was asked about the Right to Know pamphlet, and she confirmed that the Right to Know pamphlet was ACCURATE when it stated that subsequent premature birth is one of the physical risks that can happen to women after abortion:

“There is some small amount of evidence that premature births may be just a little more common after an abortion.”

As Dr. Christine Roke has stated in the NZ Herald today, the Right to Know pamphlet is definitely right about the risk of subsequent premature birth after abortion, and Roke’s confirmation of this fact is supported by other sources as well.

According to recent research conducted by a team of academics at Aberdeen University led by gynaecologist Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya, women who had abortions were 33% more likely to subsequently have a premature birth than those who had never had an abortion at all.

They also found that women who had abortions were also 44% more likely to subsequently give birth extremely prematurely – before 34 weeks.

These research conclusions were reached after this team examined the pregnancies of 170,000 women who had previously had abortions, and they controlled for social factors which are known to have an effect on premature births.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering about Dr. Christine Roke’s other comment in today’s NZ Herald that “most of the studies quoted in the [Right to Know] pamphlet dated from the 1990s or earlier”.

All we can assume is that she didn’t actually read the Right to Know pamphlet properly, because the majority of studies quoted in the Right to Know pamphlet are from the 2000′s, and ONLY ONE of them is from the 1990′s.

Here are the four studies referred to in the Right to Know pamphlet with the date of each study’s publication is listed in bold beside it:

Fergusson D. Abortion and mental health disorders: evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study
The British Journal of Psychiatry – 2008

Moreau C. et al. Previous induced abortions and the risk of very preterm delivery: results of the EPIPAGE study
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - 2005

Major B, Cozzarelli C, et al. Psychological responses of women after first-trimester abortion
Archives of General Psychiatry – 2000

Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987–94: register linkage study
BMJ – 1996

As you can clearly see, the majority of the studies quoted in the Right to Know pamphlet are NOT from the 1990′s as Dr. Christine Roke wrongly states in today’s NZ Herald (or did the Herald reporter make a mistake when writing this article?), in actual fact only one of them is from that period, the remaining 75% are from the 2000′s.

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Media Release: ProLife NZ

Date: 16 July 2012

Attempts To Quash The Right To Freedom Of Expression At The University Of Auckland A Very Worrying Development

Prolife New Zealand (PLNZ) is alarmed at the fact that Auckland student club, Prolife Auckland, is this week facing the possibility of disaffiliation simply for engaging in an act of freedom of expression at the Auckland University campus.

What makes this matter even more troubling is the fact that the handling of this matter by the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) has completely lacked proper due process and natural justice, and the reasons being employed by the AUSA to justify this action are completely baseless and easy-to-disprove.

In May this year Auckland University student club ProLife Auckland, in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner, distributed a one-page leaflet titled ‘Right to Know’.

The pamphlet advocated for the right of women to know the common health risks associated with abortion and the alternatives available to them, so that they can make truly informed decisions when faced with an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. The campaign pamphlet was distributed by PLNZ clubs at universities across New Zealand and contained a link to a webpage with further information and resources.

On the basis of one single anonymous, unsubstantiated email allegation, claiming that the pamphlets contained ‘misleading health information’ and ‘lies about health procedures’, the AUSA called a Special General Meeting (SGM) to disaffiliate student club Prolife Auckland.

Not only was this allegation never properly investigated by the AUSA, and the AUSA deliberations regarding this matter conducted in secrecy, but Prolife Auckland were never even informed that an SGM had been called to disaffiliate them – they found this out by sheer chance a week after the decision had been made by the AUSA.

More importantly, the claims of ‘misleading health information’ still remain completely unproven, in fact the medical statements in the pamphlet are supported by reference footnotes to a number of reputable medical journals.

Since Prolife Auckland’s inception it has come up against unwarranted resistance and intimidation at the University of Auckland. This is in contrast to PLNZ’s other branches at Victoria, Canterbury and Massey University in Palmerston North, which have been permitted to peaceably contribute to the free exchange of ideas on campus without fear of reprisal – the cornerstone of academic freedom.

This attempt to ban ProLife Auckland and the complete disregard for natural justice in this case, only serves to further highlight the prejudice of an intolerant minority against the affiliation of pro-life clubs at the University of Auckland. Most alarmingly, it shows that certain members of the AUSA Executive are willing to deny students their human right to freedom of expression simply for peacefully expressing themselves on campus.

ENDS

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false Ill give any member of the AUSA Executive $100 if they can prove that the allegations they have made against Prolife Auckland are true!

Anyone who attends the Special General Meeting (SGM) that has been called to try and disaffiliate the student club Prolife Auckland this coming Wednesday will be presented with a statement from the Auckland University Student’s Association (AUSA) along the following lines:

“This meeting has been called by the AUSA Executive for the disaffiliation of the club Pro-Life Auckland, for propagating harmful misinformation on the topic of abortion and medical practices in New Zealand.”

Apart from the fact that the AUSA has decided to try and disaffiliate the student club Prolife Auckland WITHOUT following proper due process and natural justice (i.e. not even speaking to the accused party before meeting to deliberate on this matter, holding deliberations in secret, not informing the accused party that they had even put or trial or subsequently found guilty, etc), there is an even more problematic issue here.

The accusation that Prolife Auckland propagated “harmful misinformation on the topic of abortion and medical practices in New Zealand” is completely false and without merit, and if it is allowed to be used as a justification to hold this SGM and disaffiliate Prolife Auckland, then this means that the SGM and any action taken against Prolife Auckland as a result of it will be COMPLETELY lacking in justification.

Don’t believe me?

Read the Right to Know pamphlet that Prolife Auckland handed out, and which this allegation has been based on, for yourself.

Not once does that Right to Know pamphlet make ANY statements that are “harmful misinformation” about “abortion and medical practices in New Zealand”.

Basically, the people who are going to try and present this allegation at the SGM this Wednesday need to back up such a serious allegation by PROVING that:

a) the information in the Right to Know pamphlet WILL DEFINITELY cause some form of REAL harm (i.e. actual harm, not simply people trying to make silly claims of harm such as ‘I feel hurt by people expressing opinions about abortion that I disagree with’)

AND

b) that the information contained in the Right to Know pamphlet was DELIBERATELY falsified by Prolife Auckland, or that they knew that information contained in that pamphlet was false and they still chose to distribute the pamphlet anyway

If the AUSA President Arena Williams, or any current member of the AUSA Executive, can prove to me how either of these things is possibly true, then I’ll give them $100.

Yep, I’m totally serious.

I’m that convinced that certain members of the AUSA, led by President Arena Williams, have made a false allegation against Prolife Auckland, and are now trying to take away Prolife Auckland’s right to freedom of speech based on this totally false allegation, that I’m prepared to put $100 on the line.

That’s right Arena Williams, and the small cadre of AUSA Executive members supporting this attempt to take away a student club’s right to freedom of speech At Auckland University, the Radical Feminist is calling you out to PROVE that the allegations you have made against Prolife Auckland are actually true!

Here are ALL of the claims made in the Right to Know pamphlet (bold capital emphasis and numbering added by me) – after each point I have clarified why each of these points is NOT “misinformation” in red text:

1. “Many NZ women often end up making this life altering decision without having access to all of the important information they deserve to have.”

The accuracy of this statement is easily supported by talking to the NZ women who have experienced abortion, and who have subsequently stated that they were NOT well supported or informed at the time they made their decision. Also notice how this statement is careful NOT to say that ALL New Zealand women make the decision to have an abortion without having access to all the important information they should be provided with.

2. “Abortion isn’t a risk-free procedure, and for many women it certainly isn’t the quick fix it’s often perceived to be, with a range of serious risks associated with it.”

This statement is absolutely true, and can be supported by multiple sources of well established research which show that abortion has risk-factors associated with it that will be experienced by a consistent percentage of women who have abortions each year.

3. Terminating pregnancies CAN lead to reproductive problems, which CAN include subsequent premature births, miscarriages or even infertility.”

This statement, as it appeared in the Right to Know pamphlet, was supported by a footnote reference to a study which was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Also notice how this statement is careful to use the word “can”, not once, but twice – in other words, this pamphlet is stating that NOT all abortions will result in these negative outcomes – so there’s no scaremongering here with the totally false claim that EVERY abortion results in these outcomes.

4. “In the worst case scenario abortion CAN even cause death to the woman – Australia recently experienced its first adult death as a result of medical abortion, which is supposed to be one of the safer methods of terminating a pregnancy.

Once again, this statement is absolutely 100% true – abortion can result in the death of the pregnant woman, and Australia did recently experience its first adult female death as a result of a medical abortion as is claimed here. Also, once again notice the vitally important use of the word “can” in this statement – i.e., this doesn’t happen in every abortion, but it still can happen.

5. “Although this tragic scenario [death] is something we have not yet seen in New Zealand, recent figures, obtained from the Ministry of Health under the Official Information Act, show that almost 900 New Zealand women were admitted to hospital between 2009 and 2011 for the treatment of complications following their abortions.”

This is also true. To my knowledge NZ has not yet had a single female death caused by abortion, and recent figures obtained under the Official Information Act definitely did show that almost 900 Kiwi women were admitted to hospital between 2009 and 2011 because of post-abortion complications as is claimed in this statement.

6. “Women who obtain abortions ARE AT INCREASED RISK of subsequent mental health issues, including major depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and drug and alcohol related problems. Studies also indicate that post-abortive women are three times more likely to commit suicide. This indicates that, FOR SOME WOMEN, an abortion causes severe and long-lasting psychological suffering.”

This statement, as it appeared in the Right to Know pamphlet, was supported by TWO footnote references to two different studies which support these claims about subsequent mental health risks that can be caused by abortion. The first study came from the highly reputable British Medical Journal, and the second study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, was led by the highly respected pro-choice researcher Professor David Fergusson (from the Christchurch School of Medicine).

Notice also how the Right to Know pamphlet uses the phrases “are at increased risk” and “for some women” – once again the pamphlet is careful not to make the false claim that ALL abortions result in this negative outcome, or that this negative outcome is a definite certainty.

7. “Women are also more likely to experience severe emotional distress after having an abortion. Such emotional stress MAY NOT diminish with time – instead it MAY actually increase in many cases.”

This statement, as it appeared in the Right to Know pamphlet, was supported by a footnote reference to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Once again, notice the careful use of the phrase “may not” and the word “may” in this statement – once again the pamphlet is careful not to make the false claim that ALL abortions result in this negative outcome, or that this negative outcome is a definite certainty.

8. “Although EVERY WOMAN’S EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT, for a significant number of women the negative emotions following an abortion may not even manifest until many years after the event.”

This statement is easily proved true by the published testimony from women who have experienced negative emotional side-effects after having an abortion. Also note the careful use of the phrase “every woman’s experience is different” – i.e. not ALL women will experience emotional pain after abortion, or experience it in this fashion if they do.

9. “This unresolved emotional stress [from abortion] MAY negatively impact a woman’s self-esteem in relationships and in parenting. In addition, women may not even realise that the abortion is the source of these negative emotions, and this CAN prolong the pain they experience, or even prevent them from properly resolving this pain in their lives.”

This statement is also easily proved true by the published testimony from women who have experienced negative emotional side-effects after having an abortion. Yet again, also note the careful use of the words “May” and “can” in this statement, showing that the pamphlet was careful not to make the false claim that ALL abortions result in this negative outcome, or that this negative outcome is a definite certainty.

These are ALL of the claims made about abortion in the Right to Know pamphlet that was handed out at Auckland University several weeks ago by student club Prolife Auckland – as you can see not ONE SINGLE ONE OF THESE CLAIMS could be legitimately classed as “misinformation” or “harmful” – in fact, they were supported by four reference footnotes to published research papers.

Yet despite this vitally important fact, the President, and certain other members of the AUSA want other students to join them in trying to disaffiliate a student club at Auckland University this Wednesday based on these totally false, and easy-to-disprove allegations.

You may not like the opinions of the Prolife Auckland club, in fact you may loathe them, but if you are an honest person of goodwill then there is no way any in hell you could support the totally unjust and unjustifiable bullying that this club is currently being subjected to at Auckland University – especially now that you are aware of the fact that the allegations being leveled against them as the basis for this SGM are complete fabrications.

In most other settings, the actions of any official body making such clearly false statements about another group, and then embarking upon official judicious procedures, based on false allegations, against that other group, would be treated as a very serious and fraudulent violation of ethics and law.

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