Yesterday our courts handed down one of the most unjust and inhumane rulings ever seen in this country when a judged declared that a NZ mother and father have suffered a ‘personal injury’, and are entitled to compensation from ACC New Zealand, because they were not afforded the opportunity to abort their daughter who was born with spina bifida.
Regardless of the motivations of the parents in this case, who, according to media reports, took this court action to “to cover the costs of caring for their daughter”, this ruling is still fundamentally flawed and truly alarming in what it introduces into NZ law.
It now sets a legal precedent which declares that being denied the opportunity to kill an innocent human being before birth is an act which causes injury to the persons who would have procured the killing if they had been afforded the opportunity to do so. I wonder how long it will be before someone tries to test this new ruling to see if it applies to the killing of persons without disabilities prior to birth as well – or is it just those with spina bifida and Down syndrome who come in for such prejudicial rulings in the Brave New Zealand?
This ruling makes a mockery of NZ’s supposed commitment to human rights, and our, now rather hollow sounding, claim to be a country which doesn’t unjustly discriminate against persons with disabilities.
The simple fact is that yesterday’s ruling would not have even been thinkable if it weren’t for two pre-existing factors:
a. Legalized abortion
In a country where the state arbitrarily sanctions the killing of innocent human beings in the womb, and the majority of the population turn a blind eye to this injustice, we really shouldn’t be surprised to hear a judge now declaring that being denied the chance to kill your child in utero is actually a personal injury worthy of compensation.
b. The widespread and institutionalized practice of eugenic abortions
In a culture where persons with disability are regularly aborted simply because they are different to the rest of us, it’s hardly surprising to see that such a barbaric practice is now considered a good, while not being afforded the opportunity to abort a person with a disability is now considered an evil worthy of compensation.
This ruling should cause any truly humane Kiwi to start questioning what has gone so badly wrong in NZ. Sadly most of us are like the proverbial frog in the pot who is slowly being boiled to death and who has become desensitized to the gravity of the situation going on around it.
As a father of three daughters I think that one of the most appalling aspects of this case for me was this one:
“She said she was not ashamed of saying she would have aborted her daughter.
“In no way are we saying we don’t want her now, ” she said.
“It would have been a very difficult decision – not something taken lightly – but with the information we would have had at the time, had they given it to us, that’s the decision we would have made.”
The mother said she wanted to be able to tell her daughter that she did everything she could to guarantee a stable life for her.”
There is simply no reasonable way of reconciling the claim “I love my daughter” with the statement “I definitely would have killed her before birth if I had been given the chance”.
This would be like me saying to one of my girls “daddy really loves you, but if I’d been given the opportunity I definitely would have abandoned you at birth”.
The sad fact is that a lot of people on talkback radio are probably going to claim that this ruling is a commonsense one (that’s generally what happens when you live in a majorly deceived culture of death). Then, when the next child abuse case makes headlines, they’ll be ringing up the exact same talkback shows to bemoan the lack of action against the abuse of innocent and vulnerable children in NZ.
One of the serious problems we now face in the West is that, because we have embraced such gravely contradictory and logically deficient ideologies about personal rights and freedoms, we no longer seem capable of seeing the alarming nature of events such as yesterday’s legal ruling.
One of the inconvenient truths of the Nazi euthanasia programme, which killed an estimated 200,000 persons with disabilities, and other ‘undesirable’ traits, was the fact that it was actively endorsed by some German parents of disabled children. In fact, it was the father of a disabled child, who wrote to Hitler in 1938 to beg for the ‘right’ of his son to be killed by euthanasia, who is credited with being the impetus for the Nazi child euthanasia programme in the first place.
The horrific atrocity that was the German euthanasia programme would go on to provide the template for the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, where the Nazis extended the category of the ‘unfit’ to include the Jews, Gypsies and others. The architects of the Final Solution even adopted the gas chamber and crematoria that were specifically designed for the German euthanasia programme, and staff from the euthanasia programme took on prominent roles in the Nazi death camps which killed approx. 6 millions Jews.
I think the most appropriate response to yesterday’s ruling is found in the following video, where Adele and Paul share their story about rejecting abortion for their son with spina bifida, and how that wee boy is now shaping their lives for the better:
Something that all prolife folk should be aware of is the difference between Conception and Fertilization.
Here is a nice article I found on just that -
I was out having coffee with a pro-life friend a few weeks ago and we were discussing the question, “When does life begin?” She was making a definite distinction between “conception” and “fertilization,” so I asked, “What’s the difference?” My friend explained that when we are defending the sanctity of life, we usually use the word “conception” to mark the beginning of life. For example, we tell people that life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. However, she explained, due to some frightening happenings it may be time to be more precise with our language.
By “conception,” we in the pro-life movement understand this word as meaning “the union of sperm and ovum.” Another word for that same event is “fertilization.” Even the U.S. Senate used these two terms synonymously as recently as 1982 in its two-volume report on the Human Life Bill then being debated. 
The meaning of the word “conception” has been intentionally changed by pro-abortion forces in recent years to refer not to the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm, but instead to the implantation of the blastocyst (the newly developing human at about a week after fertilization) into the wall of the mother’s uterus. This change in definition has become so commonplace that it is reflected in standard medical reference books such as OB & GYN Terminology: “Conception is the implantation of the blastocyst. It is not synonymous with fertilization.” 
One example of this change in definition is the following, a quote from Planned Parenthood’s website:
“According to general medical definitions of pregnancy that have been endorsed by many organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, pregnancy begins when a pre-embryo  completes implantation into the lining of the uterus.  Methods of contraception, including emergency contraception, prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, fertilization and/or implantation.”
So what’s the big deal? Well, this means that now if a preborn baby is purposely killed before implantation, what happens is not called abortion (the name it deserves), but rather contraception, or the “prevention of conception.” Look at that Planned Parenthood quote again – they are admitting that some methods of contraception prevent “pregnancy” by preventing “implantation”! If a baby is alive and ready to implant it her mother’s womb, isn’t the mother pregnant? (Yes!) Wouldn’t killing this baby be abortion? (Yes!) Well, not any more! This shift in language is a public relations move to cover up countless abortions. Beware of these new definitions of words when you hear someone talk about “preventing conception.” What they really mean includes ABORTION.
So, should we use the term “fertilization” now instead of “conception,” just to be crystal clear in what we mean? With modern technology, genetic manipulation, and the threat of cloning, there can even be problems with saying “fertilization.” Yes, human life begins with the union of sperm and ovum. But now, even though the procedures used are immoral and contrary to God’s plan for creating people, some human lives may begin by other methods of asexual reproduction and the transfer of cell nuclei. Similarly, if a person were ever cloned, he or she would still be a person, with full human rights and dignity. Using the word “fertilization” might be seen as excluding these instances of human life.
So now, to avoid any confusion about whether or not the smallest human beings are persons, it may be best to explain that “human life is sacred, and is to be protected, from the single-cell stage.” This wording makes it clear that implantation is not the start of a human life, and that all human beings are members of our family regardless of the circumstances of their beginnings.
By Cecelia M. Cody
Cross-posted from Life Training Institute Blog.
The risk of pregnancy for women requesting ECPs appears to be lower than assumed in the
estimates of ECP efficacy, which are consequently likely to be overestimates. Yet, precise estimates of efficacy may not be highly relevant to many women who have had unprotected intercourse, since ECPs are often the only available treatment. A more important consideration for most ECP clients may be the fact that data from both clinical trials and mechanism of action studies clearly show that at least the levonorgestrel regimen of ECPs is more effective than nothing.
It turns out that Dr. Trussell was far too optimistic even in this assessment. Now, it turns out that for many women, Plan B EC is not actually better than nothing!
The European manufacturer of an emergency contraceptive pill identical to Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, will warn women that the drug is completely ineffective for women who weigh more than 176 pounds and begins to lose effectiveness in women who weigh more than 165 pounds…
These pills, which use a compound called levonorgestrel to prevent pregnancies, are the most effective morning-after pills available without a prescription. Other pills sold in the United States require a prescription, are less effective at preventing pregnancy, or cause side effects such as nausea or vomiting. Plan B One-Step, which retails for $50, is the only emergency contraceptive drug in the United States available to women of all ages without a prescription.
Emergency contraception advocates reacted to the news about Norlevo with dismay. “There’s a whole swath of American women for whom [these pills] are not effective,” says James Trussell, a professor of public affairs at Princeton and a senior fellow with the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank for reproductive health issues.
Data for the years 2007 to 2010 show the average weight of American women 20 years and older is 166.2 pounds—greater than the weight at which emergency contraceptive pills that use levonorgestrel begin to lose their effectiveness. The average weight of non-Hispanic black women aged 20 to 39 is 186 pounds, well above the weight at which these pills are completely ineffective. A CDC survey published in February found that 5.8 million American women used emergency contraceptive pills from 2006 to 2010.
The advocates of Emergency Contraception have been pushing this medication [to] women of all ages without prescription despite the fact that the evidence has been available for quite a while that it was not effective. This is shameful.
A worrying story about medical practitioners and how not everyone, even in medicine, is necessarily out to prolong or save life. I personally find it very troubling that any medical professional could, or would, decide on behalf of someone else whether to attempt to save their life or not.
“Slow code” for many is a term in abstract debates on medical ethics, but for Brad and Jesi Smith, it became a well-defined fixture in their lives and the life of their daughter Faith, who has the disease Trisomy 18. The Smiths believed doctors always looked out for the best interests of their patients, but they were wrong.
“I thought that’s why the medical field is there, to prolong life,” Jesi Smith said.
The Smiths were used to fighting to prolong the life of Faith, but it became apparent that often medical professionals were their adversaries, not their allies. A “slow code” is the practice of doctors giving the appearance of providing life-saving treatment to patients, but in reality withholding effective care to ensure the patient dies. The term usually describes attempts at resuscitation, but the Smiths use it to describe the treatment of their disabled daughter by some of her doctors.
“They don’t tell you what they are not providing you,” Brad said. “Trying to convince a parent that doctors aren’t looking out for their child is hard, we had trouble believing it ourselves.”
Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a genetic defect that can cause several medical problems in children. According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation, less than 10 percent of children with the condition survive to their first birthday. During one of Faith’s medical crises, they sought the advice of presidential candidate Rick Santorum, whose daughter Bella also has Trisomy 18. When Brad showed some skepticism of Santorum’s suggestions because doctors had not given the Smiths this advice before, Santorum grabbed his attention and changed his outlook forever.
“He got very serious and said if we didn’t do this for our daughter, we were going to lose her,” Brad said.
Like many parents with an unborn child diagnosed with a disability, the Smiths expected to confront suggestions that they have an abortion. After an abnormal ultrasound they were referred to a genetic counselor who pushed them to have an amniocentesis test to confirm a diagnosis of Trisomy 18. Knowing the test carries a small risk of miscarriage, the Smiths declined. They said after pushing the test, the geneticist then brought up abortion.
“We said this is not an option for us,” Jesi said. “This is our daughter and we love her.”
Jesi said they also refused the amniocentesis to make sure Faith would be treated like any other baby. They thought once their baby was out of the womb she would no longer be a candidate for abortion, and their fight against medical personnel would largely be over. They would soon discover it was just the first hurdle in a long race.
After her birth several days before Christmas in 2008, the Smiths discovered Faith had a hole in her heart that would require surgery. They said at first the cardiologist was upbeat about her chances, not knowing of her Trisomy 18. Once he became aware of it, their next meeting a couple of weeks later was completely different. The optimism was replaced with a refusal of care, requiring the hospital’s ethics board to approve any further treatment. Jesi said they were lucky they could even attend the ethics board hearing to win approval for Faith; the Smiths have since heard stories from other parents who had their child’s treatment options decided in secret.
“It’s very hard to get your doctor to look at your child as an individual, instead of just seeing them as stamped with Trisomy 18,” Jesi said.
Faith had already overcome tough odds. Her toughest hurdle yet would come two years later. Over Labor Day weekend in 2010 Faith became very sick. After treatment and recovery, a month later she again was in the same poor condition. The situation was dire, but fortunately the Smiths were not alone.
As Faith was lying in the hospital, Rick Santorum happened to be in Michigan for a political event and was using the radio station where Brad works. The Smiths had met him earlier in the year, and Brad asked him for any treatment advice he could give. Santorum was very familiar with Faith’s problems, many of which were caused by breathing issues that his daughter Bella faced. Brad said he gave him several suggestions, including simple and relatively cheap solutions like having oxygen available and a CPAP mask.
Despite Santorum’s stern warning that they would lose Faith if his suggestions weren’t acted on, their doctors refused to take the advice seriously. Even pleas from their home nurse to get doctors to prescribe Faith a CPAP mask, a relatively inexpensive solution, were ignored. On Election Day 2010 the Smiths discovered Faith pale and catatonic in her crib. After again being unable to receive adequate treatment, a doctor essentially told them they needed to go to another hospital.
The Smiths spent their 2010 Thanksgiving Day at a new hospital, but it was truly a day to be thankful. It was clear to her new care providers that sleep apnea was causing her to have carbon dioxide poisoning. Brad said it was so serious that during a sleep study Faith’s nurse had a fit and wanted to stop it on the spot to provide her with immediate help. Faith finally received the care she needed: jaw distraction surgery to keep her airway open and a CPAP mask.
“These were obvious problems, even we can pick it out now,” Jesi said.
Faith’s experience has led the Smiths to believe that some hospitals have an 11th commandment that requires disabled children purposefully not receive effective medical care. They said they are not alone. They had a difficult time convincing one of their doctors that a disabled child would be “slow-coded” to death until the doctor watched one of her other patients die after not receiving treatment at another hospital. Jesi said the Smiths could have offered that boy more advanced care at their home than the other hospital was willing to provide.
Brad and Jesi have been forced to become highly knowledgeable about their daughter’s condition. Brad said stories about Trisomy 18 in medical journals almost seem like eugenics rather than medicine. They have been active in reaching out to other parents through resources like Facebook. Jesi said it’s difficult finding a large community for support, however, since abortion and “slow codes” claim the lives of many children who would otherwise be alive. They said without help from other Trisomy 18 parents, Faith would not be alive today. Brad and Jesi are happy to return Rick Santorum’s favor by advising other parents seeking help for their children.
“We know they are not going to be given any hope,” Brad said. “Almost everyone we talk to has a negative story.”
The Smiths are not content to merely provide advice, but are seeking to make sure hospitals and doctors can no longer deceive parents. They are currently lobbying for passage of the Medical Good-Faith Provisions Act, which would require hospitals with a futile care policy to have it in writing and provide it to parents when requested. Brad said he hopes the proposed law will require transparency in hospitals, rather than allowing them to stall parents in a deceptive way until it’s too late to find other treatment options. The Smiths shared their story with legislators in front of the Michigan House of Representatives Health Policy Committee on April 30. They are optimistic of the bill’s chances for passage.
“It’s always helpful to have a little girl as cute as Faith to sit with you during hearings,” Brad said.
For more information about Faith and treatment she has received, you can follow the Smith’s blog Little Faith to Big Faith. For more information about the Medical Good-Faith Provisions Act, click here.
Cross-posted from Life Training Institute.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen The Princess Bride then do not read this if you don’t want plot twists exposed. In addition, what’s your problem?! Go watch it. It is a great movie that gets better and better every time you see it.
The Westley Defense Part 2: Just because they want you dead is no reason to be rude. [Jay Watts]
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen The Princess Bride then do not read this if you don’t want plot twists exposed. In addition, what’s your problem?! Go watch it. It is a great movie that gets better and better every time you see it.
Inigo Montoyo is part of a group that has kidnapped the Princess Buttercup. Westley chases them down in the guise of the Dread Pirate Roberts. Vizzini, the leader of the kidnappers, cuts the rope that Westley is using to climb the Cliffs of Insanity in an effort to kill him. It doesn’t work, and Westley continues to defy all things conceivable in his pursuit of his true love Buttercup. Vizzini and the giant Fezzik take Buttercup away, and Inigo waits behind to kill Westley. (With his left hand, it is the only way it will be a challenge)
Inigo gets impatient and looks over the cliff edge at Westley climbing and hollers down to him, “Hello there! Slow going?”
And here we see one of my favorite aspects of Westley’s engagement style. His answer is, “Look I don’t mean to be rude, but this is not as easy as it looks so I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t distract me.”
Inigo apologizes to which Wesley responds with a polite, “Thank you.”
Westley gives us a model of something important; how we start a conversation matters. Throughout the film, most of the people that Westley encounters intend to kill him, but he rarely lets that fact impact his impossible cordiality and manners. Inigo is admittedly only waiting around to kill him, and yet Westley still sees no value in rudeness. He is polite to the albino in the Pit of Despair and cleverly charming to Humperdink after he and Buttercup emerge from the Fire Swamp.
Angry questioners often rear their heads during the Q&A portion of a presentation. Sometimes I see them stewing during my talk, glaring at me with their arms crossed. They can be both insulting and embarrassingly wrong in their arguments.
One young woman recently stood up, crossed her arms, and said in an aggressive tone, “If you can’t trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?” The audience of 400 students immediately got restless and ramped up their emotions to match hers.
Bad attitudes left unchecked can infect a conversation from the outset. Our goal is to dial down emotions and replace them with thoughtful arguments. We must intentionally communicate respect with tone, words, and even our body language. We tend to mirror the gestures of the people with whom we are talking, Try it some time. Start touching your face and the people you are talking to will often do the same. Cross your arms and they will do the same. This young lady injected hostility into the discussion and it immediately transformed the audience.
I studied martial arts for years. One aspect of training was deescalation; how to avoid a fight. Body language and position are crucial to successful deescalation. Viccini holds a dagger to Buttercup’s throat and Westley approaches with his hands open in front of his body. That is exactly what we were taught in training. Hands out, open, and in front of you. Slide toward angles that would be difficult for people to hit you from while assuring them you do not want to fight. It’s amazing the impact this simple technique has on angry and aggressive people. I have seen someone seemingly intent on violence get confused, calm down, and then just walk away.
In deescalation, the correct posture communicates three key messages. (1) I don’t want to fight, but I won’t cower away. This is important because the person hoping to scare you or bully you sees that it won’t work without you having to immediately match his rage in order to get that point across. (2) It communicates that I don’t want to fight, but I do know how to if you force the point. Sliding into bad attack angle is key to delivering this message. Most untrained fighters want to load up and throw a haymaker. When you slide into a place they have trouble accomplishing this from, a person who genuinely wants to hit you will usually attempt to move to a better position. The more you move him into a bad place the more he begins to understand you know how fighting works. This is not a welcome message. (3) Finally, all of this sets you up to be in a good position from which you can defend yourself should it become necessary.
Obviously these techniques do not directly apply to arguing. It would be bizarre to position yourself to physically strike those who disagree with you, but the correct body language combined with a gracious start accomplishes many of the same goals.
Back to our angry student; I immediately asked the audience to please quiet down a bit with my hands in front of me and open. I informed the audience that I wanted to respectfully answer her and that would be hard to do so without their help. This calmed the audience down. I then repeated her question and asked her if I correctly understood her. She confirmed that I did. I affirmed that I absolutely respect and trust her with all sorts of choices, but that we seem to disagree on the nature of the choice in question. By this time, the audience was respectfully listening and her arms were uncrossed and open. Perhaps in response to the openness that I brought to our conversation, or perhaps she just relaxed a little, but the end result was the same. Our pleasant and respectful exchange was up and running.
Some students approached me after the most hostile Q&A audience I ever talked with. They said the following, “That was great. So many people just tell us what to think and that we are wrong. So many people seem to be lecturing us. You talked to us, laid out a case for your position, and challenged us to think about it. You even told those pro-choice students the best people to read to see counter arguments to the position you argued. From the beginning you were respectful.” (Emphasis mine)
Next, we will talk about Westley’s respect during confrontations and his willingness to recognize the good points of those with whom he is locked in a life or death struggle. Or in Westley terms, “Truly you have a dizzying intellect.”
(Post Script: The rest of my answer to that young woman went as follows: I asked her if she thought it would be OK for her to choose to walk across the room and seize any item she wanted from one of her classmates. She objected that this wasn’t the same thing as abortion. I pointed out that she is correct in that, but I wasn’t claiming it was. I simply wanted to determine if she thought that taking anything she wanted from a classmate was something she could choose to do. She said no that would be stealing. I said I agree that taking in that sense falls into the moral category of stealing. And now we both recognize that there are choices that we cannot legitimately make due to the moral nature of those choices. There are reasonable limits on what we can do even with and to our own bodies. So both of us respect the legitimate free choices of others while recognizing that some choices are not legitimately ours to make, like the choices to steal or rape someone. What we do not agree on is whether abortion is a legitimate choice or whether it falls into the category of those choices that ought to be reasonably restricted. I pointed out that I used science and philosophy to make the case that abortion is objectively immoral. If she wished to counter those arguments she needed to address the scientific identification of the unborn as human beings from fertilization or the philosophical case identifying them as morally valuable. I pointed out that David Boonin offered what I think are the best arguments for her side in his book A Defense of Abortion. As much as I learn from Boonin, I still think the counter arguments offered by philosophers like Kaczor and Beckwith ultimately carry the day, but she was free to make up her own mind on that. I closed by cautioning that what both sides can’t do is replace the hard work of arguing and understanding each other with slogans.)
This past week has seen the issue of abortion back in the NZ media spotlight.
Firstly there was the story about the stall at the Canterbury A&P Show which presented scientific facts about human development in the womb. The stall included 12 week old fetal models, which were hugely popular with a lot of children, many taking them home with them as prizes for guessing correctly in a timeline game about the stages of human development in the womb.
A media storm-in-a-teacup was started when one pro-choice parent got a couple of her friends together to start making emotionally charged comments and allegations on the Facebook page of Voice for Life Canterbury, the group running the stall at the A&P Show. Within 24 hours one of these women had contacted a Facebook friend of hers who is a journalist at the NZ Herald, and he in turn used his position at that newspaper to produce a biased and factually deficient article. Then came the predictable hue and cry about how inappropriate it was for children to be exposed to the science of human development.
The group who ran this stall never talked about abortion or morality with the children who visited their hugely popular stand at the A&P Show, instead all they did was present them with scientific facts about human life before birth.
It is VERY telling that merely presenting accurate facts about life in the womb could provoke such a vocal and vociferous reaction from the general populace.
But why should such an anti-science mentality pervade so many people’s thinking? Why should the truth about human development and life in the womb cause such a reaction?
Ah, that’s right, it’s because these scientific facts pose a rather inconvenient truth to the conscience of a culture that wants to pretend that abortion is nothing more than the removal of some pre-human clump of cells.
It’s pretty hard to maintain such a farcical deception when the scientific truth is on full display at such a public event as an A&P Show.
This same denial of reality took place in another piece of abortion-related media coverage this week in an article published by Radio New Zealand titled ‘The issue that won’t go away‘.
Just listen to these mental gymnastics from an Anglican vicar who was interviewed for that article:
While [the Reverend Douglas-Huriwai] believes that the unborn child has its own wairua, or ‘spirit’, right from conception, abortion isn’t murder.
“I believe for something to be murdered, it must first be living as an independent being. My belief in the duality of life, that is to say Ira Atua (the spiritual aspect) and Ira Tangata (the human aspect) allows me to hold this view. It is a view directly informed by my faith as a Christian. So while I am pro-life, I am also pro-choice.”
I would humbly suggest that someone who holds such a view is not actually pro-life, instead they are only pro SOME lives, while other more vulnerable human beings are totally expendable according to this worldview. I also can’t help but sense that not much time has been taken to reflect on that famous passage from the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus warns: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”
Should I also point out the logical flaws in suggesting that murder is only murder if you kill entities that live as independent beings? If this is truly the case, then no human being has been murdered EVER, because no human being can actually live without dependance on things outside of itself for its continued viability. Every single person on this planet has a total dependency upon the earth’s atmosphere for their existence – without it none of us can survive. So, if we were to apply the same ethical notions presented in this article, it would be perfectly permissible to kill any one of us.
I wonder if this same way of valuing human life extends to other vulnerable human beings in NZ, like very young children or those persons with certain disabilities which leave them more dependent on others?
Then there was this tragic section of the Radio New Zealand article:
“One of the reasons abortion activists want to have more discussion is to make it easier for women who have had terminations to grieve. Nicki Whyte, 29, already had a child when she had an abortion, and says people often aren’t permitted to have feelings about the choice to end a pregnancy, such as grief, without it being named as regret.
“The two are very different. I felt strange afterward, like there was no precedent for my sadness… I decided I was just sending that possible child back to the pool of possible children, ready to head out to someone else who actually wanted them.”
Here is a post-abortive woman admitting that her abortion caused her “sadness” and “grief”, yet at the same time we refuse to accept the cold hard truth of what this actually means. People don’t grieve over cells that aren’t innocent living human beings, if they did every tooth extraction, mole removal or contracepted orgasm would be a source of profound human sorrow.
Another confronting abortion story from the Radio New Zealand article was this one (emphasis added):
“At 20 weeks and two days, Katherine was well into her second trimester – she had one day until the legal cut off to have an abortion in New Zealand. A counsellor at Wellington Hospital told her that there wasn’t anything that could be done for her.
But after raising money from friends and family, and finally turning to social media (a plea on Tumblr, which spread throughout Facebook and Twitter), she managed to drum up $7000 dollars for flights to Melbourne, accommodation, and a procedure at one of the only clinics in Australasia that performs abortions up to 24 weeks. She managed to get the money together two days before flying out.”
What you have just read about was a fundraising effort that resulted in the killing of a human being that was slightly older than this:
The reason this issue simply refuses to go away is because of the reality of what abortion truly is.
We have tried our hardest to justify this act with all sorts of logically flawed slogans and rhetoric, yet here we are, decades later, still using the same tired old sophistry to try and deny a reality that is becoming harder and harder to ignore with each passing year.
Abortion kills innocent human beings, and deep down I think we all know that fact, which is why this issue won’t ever go away, and also why we try so hard to suppress anything which would remind us of this horrifying truth.
You may have caught yesterday’s news about the new report from the Health parliamentary select committee inquiry into the prevention of child abuse in NZ.
What you probably haven’t heard is how alarming some of the proposals listed in this report are.
Remember, this was a report that was supposed to be primarily about preventing child abuse in NZ. The end result, however, is a document with large sections that read like a manifesto and wish list that was written by Family Planning and the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ.
Yes, it really is that bad.
Somewhere between the start of this select committee process, and the final report, this inquiry was hi-jacked by some very committed ideologues who have turned this into a Trojan Horse for some very concerning fringe ideologies that have nothing to do with reducing child abuse.
Some of the most troubling aspects of this report are found under the section titled “Reproductive human rights”.
In this section of the report not only is abortion referred to as a “human right”, but the report also recommends a review of New Zealand’s current abortion laws.
Here is that entire section (emphasis added):
“Many submissions asserted the importance of focusing on women’s health and well-being in its own right, and ensuring that access to resources and services is not influenced by women’s reproductive intentions. Better access to medical abortions for women, regardless of their age, was also called for. Articles 12 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women address women’s access to health care and family planning services, and their right to decide freely the number and spacing of their children.
New Zealand’s abortion law is set out in sections of the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act and the Crimes Act 1961. When a woman is considering an abortion, the law provides for the appointment of two certifying consultants whose task is to determine whether a pregnancy falls within the scope of the section of the Crimes Act that sets out the grounds for a lawful abortion. There are currently no plans to review the abortion law.
The Growing Up in New Zealand Study found that 40 percent of pregnancies in New Zealand are unplanned; other estimates put unplanned pregnancy, inside or outside of a stable relationship, at up to 60 percent. We consider that instituting best-practice sexual and reproductive health services is a very important measure for increasing the proportion of pregnancies that are planned and for enhancing reproductive choice. This can make a significant contribution to healthy pregnancies, as well as upholding an important human right.
In the past emotionally charged debates on the abortion issue have largely submerged the crucial need to significantly improve reproductive health, education, and sexual health services in New Zealand. We received submissions calling for a review of the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 by the Law Commission, and we agree that this is desirable.”
Remember, this is a report that, according to the Government press release, was supposed to have a primary focus on preventing child abuse. With this in mind, the one question I have is: how the heck are more liberalized NZ abortion laws anything at all to prevent child abuse in this country?!
Not only has the hi-jacking of this report turned it into a farce, but it is also extremely troubling in the unbalanced and poorly researched conclusions that it has presented in these hi-jacked sections, as well as in the demanding ‘fait accompli’ tone it has used to present many of its proposals.
I think that Kiwi parents need to ensure that they voice their displeasure to their MPs at yet another failure to properly tackle the problem of child abuse in this country. Instead what we’ve been lumped with here is a report full of policy lemons and blatant attempts to hi-jack important parental rights and responsibilities in favor of extreme ideologies.
Oh, and just in case anyone is wondering, here are the names of the ten MPs responsible for producing this Trojan report – it’s no surprise to see who the chairperson is – long-term friend and, from what we have seen over the years, unofficial spokesperson/lobbyist for the New Zealand abortion industry/ALRANZ in the National Party, Paul Hutchinson.
Paul Hutchison (Chairperson)
National Party, Hunua
Jian Yang (Deputy Chairperson)
National Party, List MP
National Party, Taranaki-King Country
National Party, List MP
National Party, Coromandel
Green Party, List MP
Labour Party, Rongotai
Labour Party, Palmerston North
Labour Party, List MP
NZ First, List MP
The following is cross-posted from Life News. It’s from an American perspective, but has some points that can probably apply to an NZ context:
The Washington Post reports something I’ve noticed in my dialogues with pro-choice people: “Forcing eye contact when trying to change someone’s mind may actually cause listeners to become more stubborn, a new study shows.”
In a persuasive context, people tend to be on the defensive, like when a speaker is addressing an audience or when two people are debating a political issue. According to the study, being forced to stare into the eyes of another person, as opposed to looking elsewhere, can make that person less open-minded.
We are so used to organizations trying to manipulate us that we’re always on the alert in persuasive contexts. I know that I’m in full “skeptic mode” when I see any advertising campaign because so many deceptive commercials have been debunked in the past.
I prefer not to directly face pro-choice people when I’m in a dialogue with them. If I’m directly facing the person I’m talking to, it feels more like an argument than a dialogue. But if I’m standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them or if we’re both angled towards a common object, I tend to have a better dialogue.
Interestingly enough, Joe Navarro, a 25-year veteran of the FBI and an expert on body language, found the same thing. He says that agents have more success with coaxing information out of interviewees when they avoid direct eye contact.
The Washington Post article quotes him as saying:
“It was easier to get people to confess by not sitting directly in front of them, which is a very primate antagonistic behavior with a lot of eye contact. What worked best was just to sit at angles to them so there is less eye contact.”
When another person is making an argument to me, I sometimes look into their eyes to demonstrate that I’m really listening to them, (combined with other cues like nodding,) but I also sometimes stare off into space as I process what they’re saying.
Likewise, when I’m talking, I prefer the shoulder-to-shoulder stance because then, as we teach in our Justice For All trainings, it shows that we’re not toe-to-toe, but instead staring at a problem and trying to find more truth together.
If you tend to talk to people you disagree with while staring straight into their eyes, try a different approach for a while and see if your results improve.
By the way, I don’t think more people changing their mind in front of you is the only way to tell if your “results have improved.” It might be that the person you’re talking to feels more comfortable around you, so you have a longer, serious conversation where you can discuss more of the aspects of this debate that the person can reflect on later.
The things we discuss are so important that it would be sad to let little things like body language get in the way of a good dialogue.
Question: What do you think? Have you noticed that you have better dialogues when you don’t directly face people? What are some other good body language habits to develop when having dialogues in person?
A very interesting and incredibly simple idea for a set of questions that one can’t help but want to ask the next person they see – be sure to check out the site too!
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join Right to Life of Central California at a recent Fresno City College training and outreach. The volunteers were trained in part by our former speaker, Steve Wagner of Justice for All, and they were experts at creating congenial conversations about abortion with the students passing by their exhibit (see a snapshot below from the free speech board they put up for people to post their opinions).
Josh Brahm, the Education Director for RLCC, describes the approach his organization has been teaching volunteers to focus on:
We’re asking pro-choice people if they agree that all human adults have an equal right to life.
When they say yes, we ask them, “Doesn’t that mean there must be something the same about us?”
In other words, if we all have an equal right to life, then we must all have something in common that demands that we treat each other equally, and we must have that property equally. It can’t be something (like size or intelligence) that comes in degrees, or it wouldn’t explain our equal right to life.
When the pro-choice person agrees with that conclusion, we simply ask them what is the same about us….
We wait patiently, and if they give an answer, we engage it. But if they have no idea, we then ask if they would like to hear our answer. Nearly everybody says yes.
Our answer is that we all have humanness in common. That’s something that doesn’t come in degrees. It’s an all-or-nothing kind of thing.
And if being human is what gives us intrinsic value, then that explains a lot of data. It explains why all the adult humans have an equal right to life, even though we have so many differences. It also explains why things like racism and sexism are wrong. Those things focus on a surface difference that doesn’t morally matter, and ignores the thing we have in common, which IS what morally matters!
Josh says they’ve been having a lot of success changing people’s minds with this argument, which is surprising yet intriguing to me—surprising because I wouldn’t expect the more philosophical and less concrete idea of “humanness” to be compelling to the average person; intriguing because it really did seem to resonate with the “person on the street,” from what I saw.
This argument depends on our having an intuition of intrinsic human value and equal rights, but I’m not convinced this is an intuition. I suspect it’s actually cultural capital from the biblical worldview, and as that fades and people reject the idea of intrinsic human value, this argument may become less and less effective. (For this reason, I think you would have less luck with a philosophy student steeped in another worldview than you would with the average person who has absorbed, though perhaps not consciously evaluated and accepted, a more traditional, Christian view of the human person.) But for now, if people are finding it compelling, let’s use it while we can.