Bay Of Plenty Times 5 October 2019
Family First Comment: Superb words from Dr Viliame Sotutu
“As a paediatrician, I must advocate for our babes who have no voice”. He said abortion was a “cruel process” and whether a baby was wanted or not was “immaterial” in his opinion. “This [abortion] is quite possibly the worst form of child abuse imaginable when the gory, barbaric steps of what a child suffers are fully understood.”
Abortion is “quite possibly the worst form of child abuse imaginable” a paediatrician about to start work in the Bay of Plenty says, but others say a law change is “long overdue”.
Dr Viliame Sotutu is among 23,000 people who wrote submissions on the Abortion Legislation Bill ahead of last month’s cut-off.
Some submissions have now been published online, including views of Western Bay of Plenty churches, Voice for Life Waihi and Family Planning.
If passed, the bill would decriminalise abortion across New Zealand and allow women who are up to 20 weeks pregnant to have an abortion without going through legal hoops.
Currently those wanting abortion services need to be referred by a doctor or Family Planning, but the bill would allow them to refer themselves.
Dr Viliame Sotutu, who is returning from Australia to a new role in Whakatāne this month, wrote to the Abortion Legislation Committee saying: “as a paediatrician, I must advocate for our babes who have no voice”.
He said abortion was a “cruel process” and whether a baby was wanted or not was “immaterial” in his opinion.
“This [abortion] is quite possibly the worst form of child abuse imaginable when the gory, barbaric steps of what a child suffers are fully understood.”
Dr Sotutu, a New Zealand citizen with more than 25 years of professional experience, said the country’s health system supported pregnant mothers to be as healthy as possible and attended to babies with growth retardation, heart and kidney conditions, and infections.
“I am bewildered therefore and utterly dismayed, that at the very same time… we are ready to destroy other babes in the womb in the most callous of ways. What an awful contradiction.”
He said legitimising abortion was in “flagrant disregard of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, and would send a message “that children’s lives are expendable”.
“I have grave concerns about the culture of death that we are cultivating through our laws.”
“I have had mothers tell me of their own traumatic experiences when, unexpectedly, they have passed their baby’s utterly recognisable body parts which were not completely removed during the abortion procedure,” he said.
Dr Sotutu said women with unwanted pregnancies, and their whānau needed to be supported “holistically, materially, and longitudinally”.
“A high view of life embraced by society might see a woman do a ‘heroic’ thing by carrying an inconvenient/unwanted child through the pregnancy”.