This is an excellent article cross posted from Dr Peter Saunders – campaign director of the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK (a coalition of over 40 organisations in the UK promoting palliative care and opposing euthanasia) and originally from New Zealand.
Note: This is a long post but the main points can be easily scanned.You can listen to an excellent interview featuring Peter Saunders on the Stephen Nolan show on BBC Radio Ulster on this issue here.
We highly recommend listening to this interview – Peter handles the sensitive subject of life limiting diagnosis beautifully – you will come out with a really good overview of the whole issue and pick up many excellent points to use in conversations on this topic.
A woman who is carrying twin girls with a fatal foetal abnormality has appealed to the Northern Ireland Minister for Health Edwin Poots to allow her have an abortion in Northern Ireland.
The woman, known as Laura, who is almost 22 weeks pregnant, said she was very recently informed that her babies have anencephaly and had no chance of survival. She is now arranging to travel to England for an abortion.
The case of another Northern Ireland woman, Sarah Ewart, who had an abortion last week in London for a baby with the same condition at 20 weeks has recently been highlighted by the BBC’s Stephen Nolan.
The 1967 British Abortion Act does not apply in Northern Ireland, where termination is permitted only where it is ‘necessary to preserve the life of the woman or there is a risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical or mental health, which is either long-term or permanent’.
Currently only about 40 abortions are performed in Northern Ireland each year although 905 women from the province had abortions in England Wales in 2012.
A consultation is currently taking place about changing the guidelines on abortion and Minister of Justice David Ford has said that there is a need to widen it ‘to look at difficult issues like foetal abnormality to see if where the law is currently drawn is in the right place’ (see also here).
Anencephaly is a severe form of spina bifida where a failure of fusion of the neural rube in early pregnancy results in the baby developing without cerebral hemispheres, including the neocortex, which is responsible for cognition. The remaining brain tissue is often exposed, ie. not covered by bone or skin.
Those babies who survive to birth almost all die in the first hours or days after birth. There is no curative treatment available, only symptom relief.
Anencephaly is not uncommon, occurring in 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies, but only 3 out of 10,000 live births. Over 95% of parents opt for abortion in countries where this is legal and 208 babies with the condition were aborted in England and Wales in 2012.
One cannot hear these tragic testimonies without being deeply moved by the emotions expressed. There are few things worse than losing a child and it is a huge thing for a mother to carry a baby to term, knowing that it will be born with a terrible deformity and die shortly afterwards.
It is perhaps not surprising therefore that the media coverage of these recent cases, along with the public reaction, has been overwhelmingly supportive of the decision to abort and that there is now growing pressure for a change in the law.
Very few people, even doctors or disabled people’s advocates, are willing to express a contrary opinion, and I do so only because I believe that the issue is so important that the arguments for the contrary position need to be heard.
Before I qualified as a doctor I probably would have taken the generally expressed view, but an experience I had as a junior doctor dramatically changed my attitudes both to disability and abortion.
More on that later, but first, at the risk of being accused of trying to defend the ‘indefensible’, let me give twenty reasons why I believe parents (and doctors) should think twice about aborting a baby with anencephaly, and why I believe we as a society should be advocating an alternative approach. I would stress that this is my sincerely held personal view.
1. A baby with anencephaly is a human being
Our humanity is not diminished or degraded by sickness, disability, fragility, intellectual impairment or by what people think of us or how they value us. Babies with severe conditions like anencephaly are human beings worthy, like all human beings, of profound wonder, empathy, respect and protection.
2. A baby with anencephaly is not brain dead
Babies with anencephaly, although not conscious, are not brain dead. Their brainstems are functioning at least in part which is why they can breathe without ventilators, often survive for several days and are not permitted to be used as organ donors.
3. A baby with anencephaly is a dependent relative
Babies with anencephaly are profoundly dependent but are also biologically related to their parents and carry their genes. They are therefore dependent relatives and so should I believe be treated with the same love and respect as any other dependent and dying close relative.
4. A baby with anencephaly is a disabled person
Babies with anencephaly are profoundly disabled and have special needs. They are also people because personhood is not contingent upon intellectual capacity or function but conferred on every member of the human race. They are therefore just profoundly disabled people who should be treated the same as disabled people at any other age. There are other causes of similar brain dysfunction including birth asphyxia, trauma, stroke and brain tumour.
5. Palliative care is the best response to terminal illness
Babies with anencephaly are human beings with a terminal condition. They are dying babies for whom no curative treatment is possible. The appropriate management in treating patients in this condition is palliative care – food, water, warmth, human company and symptom relief. Perinatal hospice is a wonderful concept that should be promoted much more widely.
6. We should not be making judgements about the worth of other people
None of us has right to make value judgements about the worth of another human being; especially when that person is unable to express an opinion about the matter. Equally we do not have the right to end their lives regardless of what burden we perceive they impose on us.
7. Abortion for anencephaly is discriminatory
Anencephaly is usually diagnosed at the time of the 18 week anomaly scan so abortion is inevitably later than this. Most people however strongly oppose abortion beyond 20 weeks. The recent parliamentary inquiry into abortion for fetal disability (Bruce Inquiry) concluded that the current law on abortion for severe disability was discriminatory in two ways. First it allowed abortion up until 24 weeks for able-bodied babies but until birth (40 weeks) for disabled babies. Second it allowed abortion for babies with significant risk of a serious abnormality, but not for those with lesser degrees of special need.
8. Abortion for anencephaly is often a coercive offer
The Bruce Inquiry revealed that there was a strong presumption from doctors that parents with disabled babies would choose to have them aborted. This led to a huge amount of subtle or direct pressure being placed on parents who decided not to abort. They were repeatedly asked to reconsider their decisions and treated like pariahs – in short they were discriminated against. It is just this sort of pressure that has led some commentators like Melinda Tankard Reist to talk about abortion for disability as a ‘coercive offer’. Reist’s book ‘Defiant Birth’ tells the personal stories of women who have resisted ‘medical eugenics’ and dared to challenge the utilitarian medical model and mindset.
9. Abortion for anencephaly is contrary to every historic ethical code
Historic codes of medical ethics such as the Hippocratic Oath and the Declaration of Geneva prohibit abortion. The latter states as one of its central tenets, ‘I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception; even against threat I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity’.
10. Abortion for anencephaly exchanges one problem for a whole set of different problems
Abortion may appear to offer a solution but the mother is still left to deal with the guilt, emotional trauma and unresolved grief of loss of what is almost always a wanted baby. These inward scars may take a lifetime to heal.
11. Saying goodbye properly is important for resolving grief and achieving closure
Achieving effective closure after the loss of a baby is best achieved if parents are able to spend time with their dying, or dead, baby, saying what they would have wanted to say and treasuring the precious moments. Covering the baby’s head with a woollen cap may enable them to focus on the eyes and face which are usually normal to look at (see the story of Rachel). ‘Saying Goodbye’ is a charity which is running very welcome thanksgiving services for couples who have lost babies before or after birth.
12. Abortion for anencephaly can be profoundly damaging to a mother’s mental health
Mothers who abort babies for fetal abnormality are highly susceptible to mental health problems afterwards. This is because the abortions are late, the babies were generally ‘wanted’, an emotional bond with the baby has usually been established and there has been no opportunity properly to say goodbye. There is a better way than abortion.
13. Pregnancy is the most intimate form of hospitality
A mother’s womb offers protection, warmth, shelter, food and water within the body of one’s closest relative. There is no form of hospitality that is more intimate or more suited to one whose life is going to be very short.
14. There are real dangers of incremental extension once we embark down this route
The British Abortion Act 1967 was driven through on the back of the thalidomide disaster and was meant to authorise abortion only in severe circumstances. Now there are 200,000 abortions a year with one in five pregnancies ending in this way. Babies have been aborted for cleft palate and club feet. Recent statistics showed that between 2002 and 2010 there were 17,983 abortions of disabled babies in Britain. The overwhelming majority of these were for conditions compatible with life outside the womb and 1,189 babies were aborted after 24 weeks, the accepted age of viability.
15. Deformity does not define us
Our worth as human beings is independent of any disabilities we might have.
16. Easing our own pain is not sufficient reason for ending another person’s life
Given that babies with anencephaly do not feel pain, the question has to be asked whose pain their deaths are actually relieving. Any interventions should primarily be aimed at benefiting the babies themselves.
17. Anencephaly forces us to acknowledge and face our deepest prejudices
In a society that values physical beauty, athletic prowess and intellectual capacity highly it is easy to see why babies with anencephaly are low down the pecking order. They fall foul of our deep societal prejudice toward people who are ‘ugly to look at’, ‘unintelligent’ and ‘physically inept’. The only effective way of overcoming such prejudices is to cultivate attitudes of compassion and care for people with severe disabilities. Caring collectively for those who are suffering, disabled and dying makes our society less selfish.
18. Major life decisions should not be made at a time of crisis
Major life decisions, like choosing to abort one’s disabled baby, should not be made at a time of great emotional trauma. Parents need to be given the time, space and support necessary to make an unpressured and unhurried decision and need to be told that keeping the baby is an alternative option for which full support will be given.
19. We should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by the media or those with an agenda
I was deeply shocked that the BBC would interview a deeply traumatised grieving woman who had just heard the most devastating news of her life in front of a national audience just days before one of the most horrendous experiences a woman can go through – aborting her own baby. More than this, such hard cases should not be used by media presenters with a wider political agenda of liberalising abortion laws (see Melanie McDonough in the Spectator). This was I believe both exploitative and abusive. Huge sensitivity is also needed with the language we use. These are babies living with anencephaly. They are not ‘anencephalics’, ‘dead babies’ or ‘non-persons’. These are dehumanising terms. Just as we would not accept the terms ‘spastic’, ‘moron’, ‘imbecile’ or ‘vegetable’ to describe human beings, neither should we accept these.
20. Death is not the end
I have attempted to address the points above to a general audience but allow me one explicitly Christian argument. As a Christian I believe that human beings are made for eternity. This earthly existence is just the ‘Shadowlands’. So when we think of loved ones, who have died with dementia, we do not think of them as they were but as they will be. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we look forward to the resurrection of the body into a world where there is no dying, mourning, death or pain. In this new world there will be no anencephaly. The Christian ethic is to treat all people as we would treat Christ and to treat others as Christ would have done. The bottom line is that we should treat babies with anencephaly as if they were Jesus himself, and treat them in the way he would have done.
I mentioned above an experience I had as a junior doctor which changed my attitudes to abortion and disability.
The administrative clerk on the medical ward where I was working was heavily pregnant and I asked her when she was due. She gave me the date and before I could say anything else said, ‘my baby has anencephaly’. While I was inwardly asking why she had not had an abortion, she added, ‘I could not bring myself to end the life of my own baby’.
The baby was born a few weeks later and survived about a week. She held it, nursed and cared for it and said her goodbyes before its inevitable death.
Up until that point I had not contemplated that such an approach was even possible. She not only demonstrated that it was but taught me a huge lesson about courage, compassion and how to face and handle tragedy, grief and bereavement. I have never forgotten it and resolved then, that if I was ever in the same situation I would want to do the same.
I have heard many similar testimonies since from women in similar situations who have made similar decisions and have become even more convinced that this is best way to handle it (See testimonies here, here, here, here and here and resources for parents here).
Having a baby with a severe disability changes one’s life forever whatever choice one makes. But choosing to offer the hospitality of pregnancy and a mother’s care and compassion to a dependent and severely disabled relative, and to be willing to shoulder the inevitable pain of separation and bereavement, is I believe the best way through this tragic situation.
Waiting with Gabriel
Baby Rachel’s Legacy
Love poured out is never wasted
How to cope when you find your baby has special needs
Our journey with anencephaly
Vapour and Mist – Sophia’s story
Face book Groups
Waiting with Gabriel
A Gift of Time
Links about anencephaly
NINDS Anencephaly information page
An important news story slipped largely under the radar yesterday.
It concerns a new paper showing that pregnant women are not being measured and weighed properly (for fear of offending them) and that this is leading to “risks”.
The first risk is pretty straightforward; pregnant women who are carrying extra weight are at increased risk for pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature birth, etc.
So obviously misreporting height and weight can mean that these women are not provided the specialist care they need in order to mitigate or manage such issues.
The second ‘risk’ identified in this article is the one that caught my attention.
You see, apparently when a patient is falsely recorded as weighing too little, she is routinely encouraged to have amniocentesis, a prenatal screening test, because a mother who weighs too little is considered to be at greater risk (I HATE that word in this context!) for having a child who has Down syndrome.
The problem is that amniocentesis, when used prior to 15 weeks gestation, has a higher risk of causing miscarriage, which obviously results in the death of the unborn child.
So, effectively, what this new research has revealed is that eugenic prenatal screening, which results in the aborting of the vast majority of persons with Down syndrome in this country, may also be causing the deaths of many other human beings as well.
It’s at moments like this that I am reminded how the embrace of evil usually begets other evils in its wake as well.
The simple truth is that if we stopped our wholesale pursuit of eugenic practices, which target an entire sector of our community based solely on their physical attributes and then dooms the vast majority of those human beings to an untimely death at the hands of an abortionist, then this issue would be largely resolved.
If the end goal was testing which promoted better pregnancy management, rather than testing aimed at opening up a speedy pathway to abortion, then amniocentesis could be carried out later in a pregnancy, when there is far less risk of miscarriage, and this particular issue associated with the false reporting of body weight would no longer be the problem it currently is.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’ – and surely one of the greatest deceptions of our age is the widely accepted lie that aborting human beings with Down syndrome or other disabilities is a good thing to do, or that it is creating a better world.
Cross-posted from The Leading Edge Blog
Yesterday I blogged about the troubling case of a NZ doctor who carried out illegal abortions and then falsified patient medical records to hide her crimes.
This serious and illegal act of medical misconduct placed patients at great risk, and resulted in serious harm to one of them when an ectopic pregnancy ruptured and she had to have her fallopian tube removed.
Yet, in a truly astounding move, the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) have publicly sided with and endorsed the actions of this doctor.
On Friday they posted a link to the NZ Herald article abut this incident along with the following statement on their Facebook page:
“Desperate women seeking abortion and doctor who assisted found guilty of misconduct – why? Because of NZ’s antiquated and harmful abortion laws… Access is an ongoing issue, particularly for rural women. Time NZ Gov’t did something about it!”
No mention of the serious harm that this doctor’s illegal actions caused to one of her female patients, or the serious risk that the other female patients were exposed to because of the doctor’s misconduct.
Effectively what we have here is ALRANZ endorsing illegal backstreet abortions.
According to this statement, they also want this sort of dangerous practice to become the legal norm in New Zealand!
I also note that this rather unbelievable statement has been liked by Rachael Goldsmith, which I am assuming is none other than Green Party candidate Rachael Goldsmith, who recently indicated to me in a conversation that she was one of the architects of the new Green Party policy on abortion.
So, next time ALRANZ try to attack pro-lifers with the spurious claim that they don’t care about the wellbeing of NZ women, this public endorsement from them of an illegal act which seriously harmed one female and placed several others at risk, will stand as a rather stark warning about their hypocrisy when it comes to their supposed commitment to New Zealand women.
Cross-posted from Brendan Malone The Leading Edge Blog.
Earlier today news broke about a rural New Zealand doctor who has been censured for performing illegal abortions and then committing fraud to cover her tracks.
This case is very troubling for two important reasons:
1. The extremely light penalty handed down to this doctor by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
This doctor gave four women (that we know of) the drug misoprostol to induce abortion, without proper oversight and care, and then she hid her illegal actions by falsifying patient records (by not updating their medical files).
One of her patients later suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had to have a fallopian tube removed after it ruptured.
This doctor’s actions weren’t just illegal, but they were perpetrated with a high degree of premeditated dishonesty.
Not only did his doctor put her patients lives at risk (just think about how dangerous the practice of falsifying official patient records alone could be), but she also caused serious harm to one of those patients as a result of her actions.
Yet despite all this, the penalty handed down to her was a mere six month suspension.
I really struggle to comprehend how such serious offending could result in such a light penalty. It’s hard to believe that this would even have much of an impact for the doctor involved, let alone act as a deterrent to others intent on placing their patients in harms way with similar actions.
Not only is this doctor now able to continue practising medicine, but she also has her name suppressed, which means that the general public are not even able to protect themselves by choosing not to use this doctor if they so desire.
I think that many New Zealanders would opt not to use the services of a medical professional who had previously placed their patients in harms way and engaged in dangerous and illegal medical practices like these. Yet that option is not available to them, because this doctor has been able to maintain secrecy despite her grave misconduct.
The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal’s handling of this case has left me wondering exactly what sort of conduct is actually considered serious enough to warrant a doctor being publicly named, or permanently barred from practicing medicine in NZ.
I would have thought that deliberately placing patients at risk, causing harm to them, and falsifying official patient records would have been serious enough to end a doctor’s career in this country – the fact that it is not is truly alarming.
2. This is what abortion-on-demand looks like
There are currently groups agitating for the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand, a law which would result in abortion-on-demand, without the current checks and balances.
Yet what this doctor did was effectively to provide abortion-on-demand to her patients.
Imagine a New Zealand where this kind of dangerous conduct was happening on a regular basis, in many more facilities, all over the country.
It’s not hard to see how this woeful state of affairs would eventually result in the deaths of pregnant New Zealand women.
This is precisely why we need to be extremely wary of any abortion activists who are lobbying to introduce such an extreme abortion law in this country.
Compromising patient safety is simply not an acceptable outcome, yet that is exactly what would happen in an extreme law allowing abortion-on-demand were introduced here.
All of us should care about this case and the associated issues.
This isn’t just a women’s issue – all of us have sisters, mothers, wives, daughters or female friends and associates whose lives are put at great risk by the sort of conduct that this doctor engaged in.
There is just no way that this should ever be considered acceptable practice in New Zealand.
This article is cross-posted from Phelim McAleer. More information on his latest project can be found at GosnellMovie.com
I was really, really happy when Kickstarter came on the scene. The crowd-funding Web site offered the opportunity for struggling artists and filmmakers to bypass corporate, union or not-for-profit funders and their agendas and interests.
Kickstarter was set up to allow us to put up a pitch — go directly to the public; if people liked it, they could fund it with small donations.
And it worked like a dream. For my last film, 3,305 people gave $212,000 to make it happen.
But now it seems that Kickstarter is turning into a bad dream for those who want to wander from the orthodox.
Now, Kickstarter has always been dominated by projects with liberal, environmental and even ultra-left-wing leanings. That’s no surprise — the arts are dominated by people with such views.
But Kickstarter promised to be different. Its founder and CEO, Yancey Strickler, was quite clear on this, for example telling viewers of CBS’ “This Morning” that the site is a center for “very diverse ideas.”
So when I had the idea of making a film about the life and crimes of Kermit Gosnell, the now-notorious Philadelphia abortion doctor, my first idea was to go to Kickstarter — since there was no point going to Hollywood or any establishment media outlet.
Gosnell was a Philadelphia abortionist who for decades took babies who’d already been born and stabbed them in the neck and cut their spinal cords. He probably killed thousands of infants during his 40-year killing spree.
In the words of ABC correspondent Terry Moran, Kermit Gosnell was “America’s most successful serial killer.”
I’ve only been in America a few years, but one thing I’ve learned is that Americans are fascinated by killers and serial killers. You see it every night on prime-time TV — “Law & Order,” “Criminal Minds,” “Dexter,” “The Following,” “CSI” and “The Mentalist.” And that’s not including the TV movies — three on Ted Bundy, four apiece for John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, three on Gary Ridgway and five on the Zodiac Killer.
So a film about Gosnell seemed like an obvious idea that Hollywood was neglecting.
Of course, the reason for this neglect was pretty clear: This serial killer was an abortionist who was completely unregulated. His trial threw up ugly realities about abortion that changed the minds of several jurors, a liberal journalist at the trial and even Gosnell’s defense attorney. Hollywood, with its Planned Parenthood fund-raisers, would want to stay away from this case.
But Kickstarter was supposed to change all that. So my colleagues and I put the project up and waited.
And waited and waited.
Then Kickstarter wrote to tell us that it “couldn’t” go ahead with our posting — first, we needed to remove our (utterly factual) descriptions of “thousands of babies murdered” in order to “comply with the spirit” of the site’s “community guidelines.”
This was shocking — and even more so when I looked at which projects don’t violate those standards.
One project about a serial killer had a photograph of a dead body. There were 43 about rape, 28 with the F-word in the title or project description and one with the “C” word. There was even one called “Fist of Jesus” (don’t ask).
It seems the Kickstarter “community guidelines” don’t respect traditional sentiments — indeed, those are the ones that raise red flags.
Appalled by the double standard, we immediately pulled our project from Kickstarter and put it up on the rival site Indiegogo. The next day, after getting media inquiries about its censorship, the Kickstarter folks sent us a non-acceptance “acceptance” that noted pointedly that they reserved the right to take our project down at any time if our updates upset them. No, thanks.
It’s clear that “community guidelines” are just a cover to allow the Kickstarter insiders to censor and ban opinions they don’t like. So much for Strickler’s “very diverse ideas” claim: The first time they actually encountered a truly different viewpoint, their instinct was to censor and threaten.
Over at Indiegogo, our Gosnell movie project is on track to becoming the site’s most successful movie project ever. Kickstarter is missing out on that excitement, and on significant revenue. Worst of all, it’s missing out on bringing its community some challenging ideas.
It has come to light that New Zealand abortionist Rosy Fenwicke is now trying to secure selection as the National party candidate for the Wellington Central electorate.
I would humbly suggest that her selection would be a grave misstep for the National Party – a misstep that would have serious ramifications across the entire country for them.
Selecting Fenwicke would send a very clear message to the core National voter base that the party has once and for all severed all remaining ties with its former socially conservative roots.
The issue of abortion has long been understood to be political kryptonite, and having an abortionist standing for office would be an extremely divisive move for National – hardly the sort of distraction that any sane party would want to be courting during an election year.
This wouldn’t just be an issue confined to the local electorate either, it would be someone that would give many National voters across the entire country pause to question exactly why they would want to support a party that is now proposing that an abortionist would be an ideal representative of the party and its values.
And remember, John Key is going to have to endorse and be photographed alongside abortionist Rosemary Fenwicke on the 2014 campaign trail – the only thing needed to complete the scenario would be a billboard adorned with the slogan ‘a vote for National is a vote for abortion’.
Blue values have traditionally been identified as conservative, but selecting Fenwicke as a National Party candidate would largely put paid to that, and the end result would be a lot of current National voters reconsidering whether National can truly be trusted with their vote.
Colin Craig and Winston Peters probably have all their fingers and toes crossed right about now.
I recently had the chance to see the movie 12 Years a Slave, which is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free African American who was kidnapped from New York and sold into slavery in the South in 1841.
It is a powerful film that presents an unflinching look at the gravely unethical and horrific practice of slavery prior to its abolition in the United States.
There are a lot of fundamental parallels between slavery and abortion, and because of this 12 Years a Slave provides an important insight into why people like me choose to be pro-life and express strong opposition to the act of abortion in the modern era.
Just like the current practice of abortion, slavery was once a culturally accepted norm that most people either supported or were unwilling to publicly express their opposition to.
Just like the current practice of abortion, slavery supporters claimed that the nation would fall into chaos and ruin if slavery was ever abolished. Like today’s abortion supporters, people who were pro-choice about slavery also claimed that slavery was necessary to save people from economic hardship, etc.
Just like the current practice of abortion, slave owners used arguments almost identical to those used by modern abortion supporters in an attempt to justify their violation of human rights, or to try and divert attention away from the serious ethical questions about the legitimacy of the practice of slavery.
And just like the current practice of abortion, it was once claimed that African persons were not fully persons, and therefore they were not entitled to the same human rights that the rest of us are afforded.
Slavery was an act which saw an entire class of human beings subjected to all sorts of brutal atrocities in the name of freedom and rights, and ultimately, for the economic gain of others.
It seems that despite the years that have passed we are still making the exact same grave mistakes, it’s just that we’ve now found an entire new class of human beings to mistreat as a society.
There is one very powerful scene in 12 Years a Slave which succinctly sums up the position of the pro-life movement and our core opposition to abortion.
It takes place between Samuel Bass (a Canadian carpenter played by Brad Pitt) and Edwin Epps (a brutal Southern slave owner played by Michael Fassbender).
Bass: ‘The law says you have the right to hold a nigger, but begging the law’s pardon… it lies. Is everything right because the law allows it? Suppose they’d pass a law taking away your liberty and making you a slave?’
Edwin Epps: ’Ha!’
Edwin Epps: ’That ain’t a supposable case.’
Bass: ’Because the law states that your liberties are undeniable? Because society deems it so? Laws change. Social systems crumble. Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, it is a plain fact that what is true and right is true and right for all. White and black alike.’
Imagine this was a conversation about abortion, and the treatment of unborn human beings, and you might start to get a handle on why the modern pro-life movement is so very necessary.
Over the weekend the NZ Herald featured an opinion piece by Marama Davidson.
What wasn’t made clear to the readers of the Herald on Sunday is that Marama Davidson is a Green Party candidate, and a blogger for The Daily Blog – which last week featured a vitriolic attack on Auckland pro-lifers that made serious accusations that have subsequently have turned out to be misleading and false.
I think Herald readers should have been informed of these facts, because: a) this is an election year, and we have the right to know the ideological commitments of the various party candidates, and b) because of Davidson’s intimate connection to the blog that published last week’s factually problematic and ugly anti pro-life attack post.
The major issue I have with Marama Davidson’s op-ed piece in the NZ Herald is that it is rife with confusing contradictions and dishonesty.
For example, after passing judgment on the motives of various pro-life individuals and groups, Davidson ends her column with the ironic declaration: “we should give up judgment” when it comes to the issue of abortion.
She also refers to abortion as “healthcare”, but her opening salvo suggests that it is something far more serious than just healthcare when she declares that “no woman should ever have to reveal that [she has had an abortion] to anyone for any reason.”
If abortion is merely healthcare, then why the need for such grave secrecy about the act?
And if it truly is healthcare, then why does Marama Davidson later refer to abortion as a“lifestyle choice” in her opinion column?
And then there is the dishonesty…
Davidson declares that: “Abortion is only legal if two consultants agree that there would be serious physical or mental harm to the woman’s health, or if the foetus has a serious disability.”
This statement is clearly intended to imply that abortion is currently illegal in NZ, but this is little more than inaccurate abortion activist spin intended to deceive Kiwis into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in this country – something that Davidson actually lobbies for in her opinion column.
This is kind of like saying ‘driving is only legal in New Zealand if you are over 16, you hold a valid drivers license and you obey the road rules’ – yep, this is totally true, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t have easy access to driving in this country as a result of such restrictions.
The same is true when it comes to abortion in this country.
Access to abortion is actually relatively easy here (many would even argue that it is far too easy, and is lacking in basic safeguards for informed consent, etc. as a result), and inserting the word “only” before the word “legal” doesn’t change that fact.
Such verbal shenanigans are little more than a cynical ruse to try and deceive New Zealanders into believing the lie that abortion is almost impossible to access in this country.
Davidson also declares that she and “many others” who have had abortions in NZ are criminals.
Again, this is a falsehood.
If you have an abortion, as per the current legal guidelines, then you have NOT broken any law, and therefore you are NOT a criminal.
Anyone trying to suggest the opposite is actually engaging in a deception intended to fool Kiwis into accepting the introduction of a new extreme abortion law in this country – one that would allow late term abortions, and possibly even abortion through all nine months, according to the stated aims of some NZ abortion activists.
I think you can see now why I believe that Marama Davidson’s vested political interests should have been clearly spelt out to the readers of the NZ Herald.
Is support for the introduction of extreme abortion law in New Zealand also an official Green Party policy plank?
I have many Green voting friends who I am sure would like an answer to this important question.
Let me leave you with the most serious, and tragic of the contradictions in Marama Davidson’s op-ed piece (emphasis added):
“I acknowledge that abortion is not the ideal solution to unplanned pregnancies. I support the continual plea for better education, improved access to contraception and more support for adoption and whangai avenues.”
Now I’m really confused.
First abortion was merely “healthcare”, and now it has become “not the ideal solution”.
So which is it? Because authentic healthcare can never be “not the ideal solution”.
But more importantly, if there is nothing ethically wrong, or inherently risky to women about abortion, then how could it ever possibly be considered to be “not the ideal solution” to a pregnancy?
One can’t help but sense that, despite Marama Davidson’s suggestions to the contrary, such a statement betrays the truth of the matter: abortion is an act which deliberately and brutally ends the life of an innocent human being (making it a serious violation of social justice and human rights) and exposes women to harm.
Which is ultimately why I am pro-life.
Cross-posted from Brendan Malone at The Leading Edge Blog.
The horror stories from Britain in relation to abortion just keep coming. It seems as if they are getting steadily worse.
This week, Channel 4′s Dispatches broke the news that the bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, and sometimes even used to heat hospitals.
It wasn’t an isolated incident; the bodies of at least 15,500 unborn babies were burned by 27 public hospitals in the last two years alone, with some hospitals using the bodies of these babies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants to generate power.
This was a deeply disturbing and grotesque revelation, and the story was picked up by news outlets around the world.
The head of the British National Health Service, Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, is apparently going to write to all the public hospitals to put a stop to the practice, saying that aborted babies should be buried or cremated.
Prof Keogh talked about “unacceptable practises” and “sensitivities”, but, with respect, it seems that he, Channel 4, and the entire British public, are missing the point.
There is no respect afforded to unborn babies in Britain. In practice, no rights accrue to them on the basis that they are human beings, deserving of dignity and a right to life.
The law treats them like trash: is it any surprise then that the system does the same?
What is actually really unacceptable is that the abortion culture is so embedded in Britain that 190,000 babies are killed by abortion every year.
So while burning babies as fuel seems like the plot of some kind of grim futuristic movie, it’s actually just the latest in a string of dreadful revelations in a country which badly needs a wake up call.
The past two years have seen stories about gendercide, forced abortion, and babies surviving abortion being left to die, all emerge and we’ve learned that the so-called restriction of having two doctors signing off on abortion is widely abused and ignored.
Instead of reacting to improve the situation, the current proposal being examined by the British government is to remove any restrictions at all.
Britain has needed the sort of stubborn, driven souls who keep the abortion debate in the public square by revealing the reality of abortion despite the criticism and the hatred of the media. For kick-starting the dormant conscience of a nation, the grim truth about what happens behind closed doors needs to be seen by the public at large.
That takes courage, because while the media and the establishment may not like pro-lifers, they will really only come after the activists who publicly reveal the evidence of what abortion actually does to a living human child.
That’s because, to paraphrase Fr Frank Pavone, until the people see abortion, they will not reject abortion.
Right now, however, the young members of Abort 67 have taken a huge step forward by seeking to change how Britain views abortion.
They go to the clinics and the public square. Their huge posters show the broken bodies of unborn babies killed by abortion, and their volunteers engage the people. At the clinics, their counsellors talk to women in crisis, and 40 Days for Life now join in that important work.
The goal of Abort 67 is to make abortion unthinkable and to see the law give full protection to the unborn. They say the most effective way to change public policy is to first change public opinion. They are changing hearts and minds and they need many others to join them.
After decades of wining the battle for Life, Ireland now stands of the brink of following Britain’s slide into the culture of death. As we battle to overturn our own abortion law, we share their hope that Britain can be awakened to the reality of abortion.
So that that babies will no longer be burned. And neither will they be killed.
Cross-posted from The Life Institute.
Earlier this week a die hard abortion activist posted a scathing anti pro-life attack piece on The Daily Blog.
The post makes a lot of very sensational claims about a supposed attack this woman was subjected to by pro-lifers in Auckland last week.
There’s just one problem – the story, as she tells it, reeks of falsehood and deliberate deception.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this would not be the first time that abortion activists have participated in baseless allegations or acts of public deception in order to try and further their abortion agenda.
In his 1979 book Aborting America, Bernard Nathanson – former American abortionist and founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) – freely admitted that he and his organisation had regularly lied and completely over inflated figures for backstreet abortion deaths in order to try and scare the public into supporting their pro-abortion position.
And just last year, without ANY evidence whatsoever, abortion activists publicly accused pro-lifers of being guilty of cutting the fuel lines on the car of an Auckland abortion clinic worker. In reality, it was far more likely that petrol thieves carried out this act, but that didn’t stop abortion activists from making the totally baseless allegations against pro-lifers in the local media anyway.
In fact, this sort of deception and emotive sensationalism is a consistent pattern of behavior amongst abortion activists.
These sorts of irrational attacks are a ‘shock and awe’ tactic designed to scare people into keeping silent about the issue of abortion, and to distract attention away from the very serious ethical inconsistencies and logical flaws in the pro abortion-choice ideology.
So why do I smell deception in the sensational claims made in this latest blog post?
Well, firstly, the author of the blog post, after subsequently being questioned by a commenter named Mimi, has admitted that her blog post contains factual errors and totally unsubstantiated allegations.
In the original blog post she states the following:
“NZ’s Voice for Life is linked with several US-based groups whose entire foundations rest on old-testament religious nastiness.”
“The other day I happened to be going past the site at Dominion Rd, where four zealots stood praying and holding signs opposite the clinic.
Well. I will confess that I broke all the rules to stop and give them hell…
At one point, a stranger twice my size came over and pressed his body to mine.
Two women dropped their shopping and rushed over to support me. Things became chaotic; he was intimidating and verbally abusive. He pushed himself up against us, called us whores and sluts, told us he would use a hook to abort our faces, told us we should be killed if we didn’t fulfill our purpose in life (MAKE THE BABBIES), and elbowed me in the neck.”
But subsequently, after being questioned about these allegations by Mimi, the author of this blog post reveals the following:
1. Her first statement is not actually backed by any solid proof whatsoever.
The author admits to Mimi that her claims about Voice for Life are unfounded allegations based on nothing more than the accent of a narrator in some pro-life adverts from the 1990′s, as well as a supposed, and very vaguely referenced, phone conversation with an unnamed person (who was this person, and what exactly was talked about?!)
I know for a fact that Voice for Life NZ has no official ties with any foreign organisations. Period. So clearly these allegations are false.
2. More troubling is the fact that she also admits that she has deliberately mislead her readers with story about being assaulted.
The author admits to Mimi that: “the stranger was definitely not a formal part of the [pro-life] prayer group.”
But this VERY important fact is completely omitted from her original blog post, in fact, in the original blog post she clearly implies that this man was part of the 40 Days for Life group.
She also changes her original story when she tells Mimi that the negative comments she claims to have received were actually from a mix of different people (the stranger mentioned above, random passersby, and the pro-lifers in the 40 Days for Life group).
Once again, this VERY important fact is missing from her original blog post, which instead clearly implies that all the comments she received were from the pro-lifers participating in the 40 Days for Life.
But the dishonest presentation of events doesn’t end there.
A friend of mine has been in contact with one of the organisers of the 40 Days for Life, and that organiser has stated that, contrary to the claims being made in this blog post, NONE of the 40 Days for Life participants engaged with this woman apart from a brief interaction when she first approached them in her (self-confessed) enraged state. The 40 Days for Life staffer also stated that they witnessed an associate of the author slapping the stranger mentioned in this blog post on the face.
Basically I think that any sane person should be very skeptical of the accuracy of the claims being made in this blog post.
And with good reason.
The author openly admits in her blog post that (emphasis added):
“I bumped across half a footpath and right in the ‘out’ bit of the supermarket carpark. I screeched to a stop and got out of my car empty-handed. I was in such a rage I don’t even remember walking up to them.“
That’s right folks, the author is admitting here that she was out-of-control, that she drove dangerously and that she was in a blind rage BEFORE she had even begun to engage this group of peaceful pro-lifers participating in the 40 Days for Life – yet she expects us to believe that she was an innocent victim in this scenario, and that it was the pro-lifers who were the raving and out-of-control “extremists” in this incident?!!
Then there’s also the fact that this blog post is riddled with totally over the top and inane hyperbole, and that it’s very first sentence is blatantly false in its claim that “abortion is illegal in New Zealand’ – no, abortion is NOT illegal in New Zealand. Instead, abortion is legally permissible in NZ via both the Crimes Act and the Contraception, Sterilization and Abortion Act.
This inaccurate statement clearly seems to be intended to deceive Kiwis into supporting the introduction of some new extreme abortion law in New Zealand under the false guise of ‘legalizing’ abortion in this country.
This sort of wild eyed and dishonest fanaticism from abortion activists does nothing but discredit their cause, and following so closely on the heels of the ugly cyber bullying attack on the 40 Days for Life it is starting to look like the minority of abortion activists who call New Zealand home are fanatics who are either incapable or unwilling to engage in mature and rational discourse about this issue.
Cross-posted from Brendan Malone at the Leading Edge blog.