As a health professional who has previously participated in late term abortions I urge you to vote NO to decriminalising abortion.
Already in the last 10 years approximately 800 late term abortions have been performed on the grounds of “danger to mental health”. These perceived mental health dangers are most commonly actually “fetal abnormalities” or disabilities like Downs Syndrome, Congential Heart Defects, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Edwards Syndrome, Patau Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Dwarfism, and Anencephaly just to name a few.
These unborn children often require fetocide to be preformed as many are likely to survive post birth.
Already, legally speaking, these are not “exceptional circumstances” that are proven to cause permanent damage to the physical or mental health of a woman. This is where we currently stand and it is already in direct disregard for human rights.
The proposed law change will make late term abortion even more accessible and there is already no limit to how late.
In 2010 alone 13 abortions where performed at 32 weeks and above. Viability in New Zealand is able to be supported as early as 23 weeks currently, so it is evident that even if it could have saved the mother’s life to deliver at 32 weeks that is not the main reason for the termination.
One of my many other concerns is that early sex detection from 10 weeks is now available in New Zealand via an $800 blood test. Decriminalisation of the abortion law will further allow for sex selection in late pregnancy as it can be determined at the 18 weeks and onwards anatomy scan.
This is not unthinkable and I have experienced being involved in such a case.
Human rights begin in the womb and ending an unborn child’s life is NOT healthcare. We are not focusing on the actual healthcare aspects of unplanned or crisis pregnancies by liberalising the abortion law.
Health care is looking at the compounding factors that lead women to make the choice of abortion – financial, coercion, lack of support, relational, education related, work related, stigma, visa related and societal values.
I want to live in a society where my unborn child of 20 weeks and 5 days has the same human rights as all of us. How did being born alone earn any of us these rights?
The right to life is the fundamental human right first and foremost.
With deep concern,
Midwife, Woman, Human, Mother.
*Name has been changed to protect this health professional and her family