A petition of more than 13,000 New Zealanders opposing the Government’s proposed liberalisation of abortion laws is being presented to Parliament today. The petition is home grown with virtually all of the signatories confirmed as living in New Zealand.
The petition of Gina Sunderland and 13,268 others opposes any attempt to decriminalise and introduce extreme abortion laws in NZ which would pave the way for late term abortions (up to birth), ‘gendercide’, coercion and eugenics (e.g. Down’s syndrome).
The focus of this proposed abortion policy shift is entirely on the ‘wellbeing’ of women seeking abortion, but completely ignores the status of the foetus and any State interests in preserving life.
Under the current law, an unborn child is at least afforded some recognition and minimal legal protection. In contrast, these proposals will give the unborn child the same status as an appendix, tonsils or gall bladder – simply tissue removed as part of a ‘health procedure’.
The proposed policy means that unborn children older than 20-weeks gestation are no longer protected in any way. That is quite shocking.
While polling shows general support for abortion from about half of NZers, independent polling in January also found strong support for the unborn child having human rights and being legally protected once a heartbeat is detected (which can be between 6–12 weeks), and only a small minority thinking that life doesn’t begin until the child is born. Women are far more likely than men to say that life begins at conception.
The abortion statistics published by Stats NZ last month clearly proves that we have abortion on demand in New Zealand.
While radical abortion groups want more liberal time limits, polling at the beginning of last year found that only 4% of New Zealanders want more liberal time limits for abortion. The vast majority of New Zealanders also showed strong support for a restrictive legal framework for accessing abortions. This is in stark contrast to calls by groups like Family Planning, ALRANZ and the National Council of Women who are promoting the Law Commission’s Model A which allows abortion for any reason up to birth.
New Zealanders love both women and their unborn children. And we want the law to reflect that love.