How can we improve NZ abortion law?

Following on from my previous posts on the morality of abortion, a refutation of pro-choice arguments, and current NZ abortion law, I would now like to discuss ways we can improve the situation and reduce the number of abortions. Some of these ideas are my own, some are Family Party policy, some have been previously suggested by Chuck, and I would be very interested in hearing any other suggestions you may have.

  • Abortion should not be state funded.
    • The state has no money itself, rather it just spends taxpayers money. Regardless of the actual morality of abortion, many taxpayers believe it is immoral. They should not be forced to pay for something they strongly disagree with.
    • If people had to pay for abortions they might think twice about it, and the abortion rate would drop.
  • Life should be defined as starting from conception.
    • This is completely logical, and would simplify the issue enormously. But it would be difficult to get through democratically. This is a goal to aim for, but we must pursue more workable measures at the same time.
  • Marriage should be promoted.
    • Marriage provides the ideal environment to raise children in. If someone gets pregnant while married they are far more likely to keep the baby than if they were pregnant out of wedlock.
  • Parental consent (or at least notification) should be required for teenage abortions.
    • This may directly reduce abortion rates a little.
    • At present, a girl can have sex knowing if she gets pregnant she can have an abortion on the sly and her parents need never know. If she requires parental consent, or even just parental notification, she knows from the start her parents will find out. This may encourage her to make better choices and not get pregnant in the first place.
    • Some object to this because some parents may not treat the girl well about it. But through all of history parents found out when their daughter got pregnant. The current situation where they may not is artificial and invented by the State. Requiring parental consent / notification is just returning to the natural state of society.
  • Sex education needs to be truthful.
    • In my experience of Family Planning, I have found them blatantly lying on a number of occasions (lying about how contraceptives work for example, and the effectiveness of contraceptives against STDs). They promote contraception in a way that encourages sex, then promote abortion as the solution if you get pregnant.
    • Teenagers (and anyone seeking information) need to be told:
      • Sex is to make babies (duh! But currently it is mainly talked about as something fun).
      • If you have sex you may, and probably will eventually, get pregnant.
      • Boys, if you get a girl pregnant, YOU MUST PAY CHILD SUPPORT AND THIS IS HOW MUCH IT COSTS!
      • It is best not to have sex until marriage.
      • If you choose to anyway, these are your options for contraception and this is how they actually work (so teens can avoid those that allow conception but then kill the embryo).
      • This is what abortion is actually like, this is what a baby is like at that age.
      • These are the risks of abortion and the medical issues it can cause for you (e.g. increasing the risk of breast cancer).
      • There are X number of couples currently waiting to adopt a child, and they’d love to have yours if you get pregnant and don’t want to keep it.
      • Here are a list of agencies who offer counselling, adoption services, support for keeping the baby etc.
    • We need to either completely overhaul the Family Planning Association, or just get rid of it.
  • If a woman seeks an abortion, she needs to be given honest information about the procedure, her baby, the medical risks and complications it can cause, and be shown a scan of the baby in the womb to ensure she really knows what she is doing.

If you have any other ideas, stick them in the comments.

35 Responses to “How can we improve NZ abortion law?”

  1. Sb Says:

    Well you did ask for comments so here goes……..

    “Abortion should not be state funded”

    There are several show stoppers here, some people will say all you are promoting here is that poor people should not have abortions while rich can pay for theirs. That’s what happens in a lot of the US states.

    Also from a tax point of view you will get massive opposition, should people be able to opt out of tax payments? If you let them opt out of paying for abortions then others will want to opt out of paying for sick children (they don’t have children)or disabled people(they are not disabled). Many people disagree about their tax’s being used to pay for all sorts of things why should you be a special case?

    Also what makes you think that it would adjust the rate? I know of several women who have had abortions and the cost or otherwise never entered their minds.

    Would drop the rate by about 0.5% IMHO (you might think this worthwhile)

    “Marriage should be promoted”

    Again why would this have any effect – most women who have abortions are both married or in a stable long turn relationships and already have children.

    “Sex education needs to be truthful.”

    Yes but that needs to be true FOR BOTH SIDES, both the forced-pregnancy crowd and the pro-choice crowd.

    “Sex is to make babies” – untrue. Sex is for many things in different stages in life, sometimes it to make babies.

    Making a statement like that will cause 90% of people to stop listening to you from that point on, you will lose the voters right then and there if you say things like that.

    “If you have sex you may, and probably will eventually, get pregnant.” – yup will agree with that message.

    “Boys, if you get a girl pregnant,” not if she has an abortion you don’t

    “It is best not to have sex until marriage.” – nope can’t agree with that one at all……. not the message I gave my children

    “If you choose to anyway, these are your options for contraception” Yup agree with that but again it must be truthful not the sort of stuff you get from a church.

    “This is what abortion is actually like” and again you need the other side i.e. this is what pregnancy is really like.

    “These are the risks of abortion” and if you go ahead with this pregnancy then these are the risks and complications including the fact that you may die.

    In NZ the risk of dieing is 10 times the risk of dying from a abortion

    “There are X number of couples currently waiting to adopt a child” think you have missed the point here – they don’t want to go through with the pregnancy – they don’t want to risk dying – adoption does not solve this issue.

    And before you say i dont know what I am talking about – every single woman that I know who has has an abortion and I know quite a few have given this reason as the reason for the abortion.

    You will never manage any changes until you understand why women do it and quite clearly you only have the vaguest idea at the moment..

    But good that yo put you ideas up like this.

    Sb

  2. kiwipolemicist Says:

    Sb, you said
    ““If you choose to anyway, these are your options for contraception” Yup agree with that but again it must be truthful not the sort of stuff you get from a church.”

    Can you supply documented evidence of untruths about contraception given by churches?

    NB Family Planning is giving false information about contraception, as described by Samuel.

  3. Sb Says:

    “Can you supply documented evidence of untruths about contraception given by churches?”

    You are taking the P**s right?

    Let me introduce you to this web site http://www.google.com – it will work for you for free – I will work for you if you pay me to…..

    I attended a RC school back in the day – i have first hand experience of lies, deceit etc about love and sex from Church institutions however none of it is documented!

    Sb

  4. Sb Says:

    Strange my reply to kiwipolemicist has disappeared – is there moderation on these comments?

  5. Chuck Bird Says:

    “Again why would this have any effect – most women who have abortions are both married or in a stable long turn relationships and already have children.”

    SB, have you any evidence for this with a break down for marriage and stable long turn relationships? Would you also define a stable long turn relationship?

    There are different outcomes for children in marriage. I would be very surprised if there was not a different abortion rate for married and de facto couples.

  6. Sb Says:

    “SB, have you any evidence for this with a break down for marriage and stable long turn relationships”

    There was some report that went into some detail of this – my memory is bad on who did this and when. I think it was approx 2 years ago and could have been stats NZ but I really can’t remember. I think they were using the threshold of more than 2 years in their stats on the grounds because so many marrages fail before they make 2 years.

    Something that does not seem to enter the public mind or discussion is the very high rate of married women who get abortions.

    Sb

  7. Chuck Bird Says:

    “Something that does not seem to enter the public mind or discussion is the very high rate of married women who get abortions.”

    I wonder if the husband is aware of these abortions and if in fact he is the father. It seems reasonable that a husband should be aware of his wife having an abortion. If not, why should men be held accountable at all/

  8. Sb Says:

    “I wonder if the husband is aware of these abortions”

    I do know of one instance where the husband was un aware of what was going on – he never knew that she was pregnant!

    “It seems reasonable that a husband should be aware of his wife having an abortion.”

    Why? Its not his body? He can’t die from it? She is a free individual not a slave or his property.

    “If not, why should men be held accountable at all/”

    Because he is the father – that could be the reason..

    Chuck do you think women should be regarded as the property of their husbands?

    Sb

  9. kiwipolemicist Says:

    An absolute minimum for improving abortion laws would be to require minors to have parental *consent* for abortions.

    This does pose problems in some situations, eg if the pregnancy is the result of incest. One of the proposed amendments to the Care of Children Act (false advertising if I ever I heard it) was that children could go to a judge and get consent for an abortion if there were problems with the parents. This does open up the probability of judges unjustly over riding the will of parents – something that judges are already doing – but it would be an improvement on the present situation.

    http://christianclassicalliberalist.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/abortion-is-an-unwanted-baby-a-trespasser/

  10. Chuck Bird Says:

    Sb, I consider marriage a partnership. Generally in the case of most marriages children are considered. There are certain issues relating to sex and children that should be discussed openly. I do not think either partner in a marriage should get a sterilization without the other partner being notified.

    If a woman wants to consider the embryo, fetus or unborn child her property she should not get married.

    In the case you know of was the woman’s husband the father of the child? If not should the state facilitate not only abortion but adultery?

  11. Sb Says:

    ” I consider marriage a partnership. ” – quite clearly not an equal one……..

    “There are certain issues relating to sex and children that should be discussed openly” – could not agree more

    “I do not think either partner in a marriage should get a sterilization without the other partner being notified.”

    though we were talking about abortion???

    “If a woman wants to consider the embryo, fetus or unborn child her property she should not get married.”

    A woman can die in pregnancy a man cannot , why should they have equal say or put it another way why should a man force a woman to remain pregnant when she does not wish to? possibily resulting in her losing her life!

    “In the case you know of was the woman’s husband the father of the child?” – yes

    But I dont see what that has to do with her making her choice and I don’t see what that answer has to do with you wishing to force her to bring the child to term?

    Sb

  12. Chuck Bird Says:

    I don’t see what that answer has to do with you wishing to force her to bring the child to term?

    Sb, I perhaps should have made myself more clear. I believe a husband should be notified before his wife decides to have an abortion. I did not say that the should be required to have his consent.

    I have the same view regarding underage children. Parent should be notified but consent would not be required.

  13. Chuck Bird Says:

    Again why would this have any effect – most women who have abortions are both married or in a stable long turn relationships and already have children.

    This is simply not true. The link below is a little out of date but I doubt if things will have changed that much since then.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/analytical-reports/dem-trends-98/demo-trends-1998-induced-abortions.htm

    The other way promoting marriage reduce abortions would by that girls living with both they natural parents are far less likely to get pregnant. They are also less likely to be promiscuous. If they do get pregnant they will be older and it will more likely be to their fiancée

  14. Mr Dennis Says:

    Sb: No moderation, but there is a spam filter. Your message is up now – I have no idea why it was caught in the first place.

    ““Sex education needs to be truthful.”
    Yes but that needs to be true FOR BOTH SIDES”

    I completely agree. I will take your word for it that a Christian has lied to you about sexual matters in the past, my grandfather has a great sticker on his truck that says “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”, and it is very true. Can you take my word for it that I have been blatantly lied to on multiple occasions by representatives of the Family Planning Association? I even know a GP who tells his patients to ignore everything the FPA says because their advice is so wrong and he is sick of fixing their mistakes.

    The big difference here however is that the FPA is state-funded, and is spreading lies using taxpayer money. Your private school was not. We must ensure that the official state information is accurate, from both sides, not a pack of lies as it is at present.

    Are you serious that every woman you know who has had an abortion has done so because she is scared of dying as a result of pregnancy? What on earth had they been told? Very few women die due to pregnancy in NZ these days. This sounds like either they have been scared into it, or they are making something up to disguise the real reason.

    In my experience, many women have an abortion because their partner doesn’t want children yet. He may blackmail them into it – “it’s either me or the kid” sort of thing – or it may just be a subtle attitude. The women may then use the excuse that “I was too young”, “I wasn’t ready for a child” or all sorts of other things (maybe “I was scared I was going to die”), but when you dig right to the heart of the matter, it often comes back to their relationship with the father.

    Incidentally, this means abortion is often not the free choice of the mother, but rather something they are pushed into.

    If a couple are married (or in a stable marriage-type relationship), they are far more likely to be ready for children and prepared to raise them. This is one of the reasons it is best to save sex till marriage – you aren’t going to end up with any “little surprises” that you aren’t prepared to deal with yet.

  15. Chuck Bird Says:

    An absolute minimum for improving abortion laws would be to require minors to have parental *consent* for abortions.

    Kiwipolemicist, there has already been an attempt for parents to be notified before and abortion. The chance of getting a law change as you propose would be far less. I do not know if the public have been polled on this issue but I suspect the vast majority of the public particularly parents would support notification. I am sure there would be less supporting consent. Surely it would make more sense to go for what is achievable and access how many underage girls choose to have an abortion against their parent’s wishes.

  16. Sb Says:

    “Are you serious that every woman you know who has had an abortion has done so because she is scared of dying as a result of pregnancy? ”

    Yes Totally – 100%

    You put a bible in front of me I will put my hand on it look you in the eyes and repeat that to you.

    The death rate in NZ according to official NZ figures as a result of pregnancy is between 1% and 0.5%.

    Put it another way take a room of 150 pregnant women – 1 will die as a direct result of trying to carry that pregnancy to term..

    Don’t believe me – google it!

    I agree with your answer because from my friends I would say that they make the decission based on different reasons for different women but in the cases I know the possibility of dieing was at the top of the list.

    Some months ago I had a discussion with one of my adult daughters about this and I wondered how much the possibility of death meant to a woman. She exploded and called be a nut case if I did not realise that when women talk about pregnancy the possibility of death always flashes to the front of their minds

    Sb

  17. Mr Dennis Says:

    Sb:
    ““It seems reasonable that a husband should be aware of his wife having an abortion.”
    Why? Its not his body? He can’t die from it? She is a free individual not a slave or his property.”

    And it IS NOT THE WOMAN’S BODY EITHER. The child is a genetically distinct individual, but half of that genetic makeup is from the mother, and half from the father.

    The father should have an equal say in what happens to his child as what the mother does. Certainly she has more to put up with physically, men and women are different, you can never achieve perfect “equality” (as in everything being exactly the same) because of this. But that’s just life, unfortunately.

  18. Mr Dennis Says:

    Chuck, I agree that if there is something that is achievable we should try and do it. But that doesn’t mean we should give up something better, but more difficult to achieve – rather that should just be part of the longer term plan.

  19. Chuck Bird Says:

    The death rate in NZ according to official NZ figures as a result of pregnancy is between 1% and 0.5%.
    Put it another way take a room of 150 pregnant women – 1 will die as a direct result of trying to carry that pregnancy to term.

    Sb, below is my source with quote. Where is yours? You accuse others of telling lies but cannot substantiate your claims. You claimed that married and de facto women accounted for the majority or abortions. I proved you wrong there. Your latest claim may be true in a third world country at war but not in New Zealand.

    Put it another take a very big room of 11,000 pregnant women in New Zealand – 1 will die as a direct result of trying to carry that pregnancy to term.

    I will not waste my time responing to your posts unless you provide a reliable source.

    A new report from the UN World Health Organisation, UN Population Fund, the World Bank and the UN Children’s Fund shows that New Zealand had a rate of nine maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 (a total of five fatalities), a figure that is more than double the Australian rate of four per 100,000.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=10472501

  20. Mr Dennis Says:

    Thanks for that excellent research Chuck, I hope Sb tells all the women he/she knows so they know they don’t have to panic.

  21. Sb Says:

    “I will not waste my time responing to your posts unless you provide a reliable source.”

    Best news I have had all week……………

  22. Mr Dennis Says:

    Sb, the statement of yours “The death rate in NZ according to official NZ figures as a result of pregnancy is between 1% and 0.5%” was blatantly false by a factor of 100, according to Chuck’s figures. Don’t be sarcastic about it, check your “official” figures first.

  23. Sb Says:

    Mr Dennis; I realise what has happened i remember using http://www.nzhis.govt.nz but what I have done is remembered the live infant death rate and though it was the mothers death rate.

    Oh well that what happens with an lousy memory like mine.

    Glad to see that it is much lower than I thought (did think as I was typing it that it seemed a bit large)

    However the point still stands – this is not a scientific debate – it is a real issue for women something that we will never understand as we are male.

    Sb

  24. Mr Dennis Says:

    Sb: Thanks for clearing that up. I understand death is a serious concern. But the research actually shows a woman is far MORE likely to die from abortion than from natural childbirth:
    http://www.afterabortion.org/news/GisslerAJOG.htm
    http://www.nrlc.org/news/2002/NRL09/franz.html

    Note this research was done in Finland and the USA, over recent decades, so is very relevant to NZ. If I were a woman afraid of dying, there is no way I would be having an abortion, it is safer to carry the baby to term then adopt it out (if you choose not to keep it).

  25. Sb Says:

    Oh come on – those figures are so rigged. They are not seperating out pregnancy related deaths from non-pregnancy related deaths!

    They are not showing any causal relationships!

    They are saying that if you have an abortion you are 6.3 times more likely to suffer a death due to violent causes, but they do not (at least on the first page) show the mechanisim that causes that!

  26. Mr Dennis Says:

    It is important to take all causes of death into account, because abortion may cause medical problems leading to death after the procedure, while birth is more likely to cause death, in the rare occasions when it actually occurs, during labour. The only way of comparing these accurately, as the mechanisms causing death are so diverse, is to compare total death rates.

    When two separate studies in different countries show you are 2.5 – 3 times as likely to die after having an abortion as compared with carrying a baby to term, that is something to take serious notice of, not to ignore just because it doesn’t fit your preconceptions. Maybe your preconceptions are actually wrong.

  27. Sb Says:

    “as the mechanisms causing death are so diverse, is to compare total death rates.”

    You cant really believe that !

    Some of those death were caused by Car crash’s – you are saying that having an abortion increases your chance of dying in a car crash!

    Women are really going to take notice of you if you come out with statements like that ! though not in the way you want them to.

    How many votes did you get in the election again?

  28. Mr Dennis Says:

    Yes, a few. Far more were caused by suicide. There is a direct causal relationship between abortion and suicide, because women are far more likely to suffer mental illness such as depression following an abortion, which leads to suicide. There are many different causes of death.

    But these figures will be underestimating death from abortion, as they only take into account deaths within the year following the procedure. They therefore ignore death caused by cancer (abortion increases the incidence of breast cancer for example) and any other longer-term effects that may exist. The true risk that abortion poses will be actually higher, not lower.

  29. Paul Says:

    Please indulge me with one question Sam…….

    Someone you love is raped – they become pregnant as a result of the attack.

    Do you think the baby should be aborted in these circumstances?

    My answer is YES, unquestionably.

    Your decision would be?

    Paul

  30. Mr Dennis Says:

    Paul:
    My answer is NO of course, as the child is completely innocent. If anyone is to be killed it should be the rapist, not the innocent child.

    I would offer as much support as I could to the mother, in whatever way was needed in her individual circumstances. This would include support through the pregnancy, and to either keep or adopt out the child. However, if she did choose to have an abortion, I would also support her in coping with this decision.

    Rape is a terrible act of violence. There is no need to add another act of violence on top of it.

  31. kiwipolemicist Says:

    Paul, in regard to your question about allowing abortion after rape, my answer can be found at the link below (just ignore the bits that I know you won’t like, my argument holds water without them).
    http://christianclassicalliberalist.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/abortion-is-an-unwanted-baby-a-trespasser/

  32. Paul Says:

    Ohhh my giddy aunt.

    I obviously occupy a different planet from you guys.

    I find it inconceivable that a husband would say bring-up the child of the man who raped his wife.

    This is a ‘no-brainer’.

    Mind you if you lived your life based on the writings of The Bible its clear where you would get such views:

    “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)

    Marrying someone you raped – now that’s twisted.

    More ‘good stuff” in Judges 21:10-24……

    “So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse. Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'” So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes”

    Nothing like a bit of muder,rape,kidnapping and pillage to brighten-up the day, eh?

    Gotta shoot, see ya.

    Paul

  33. Mr Dennis Says:

    “I find it inconceivable that a husband would say bring-up the child of the man who raped his wife.”
    That child has done nothing wrong. It has as much right to live as the child of the husband and his wife. Sure it may be hard to do, I’ll grant you that. But sometimes the right thing to do isn’t easy.

    If they cannot cope with that, they can always adopt the child out, there are hundreds of couples who cannot get pregnant and would love to raise it instead of them.

  34. Mr Dennis Says:

    Paul:
    By the way, the Jewish laws did not require a raped woman to marry the rapist. Read Exodus 22:16-17:
    “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.
    If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the bride-price for virgins.”

    In other words, the rapist must pay the bride-price (generally a massive sum of money, 50 pieces of silver in the reference you gave). I have seen figures that would suggest that to be up to $100 – $200 thousand US in todays money – a far greater punishment than a rapist can expect to receive in NZ. But there was no obligation on the woman to marry him.

  35. kiwipolemicist Says:

    Paul, imagine this: one day you visit your parents and they tell you that your mother was raped and you were the result. Would you still say “Someone you love is raped – they become pregnant as a result of the attack.

    Do you think the baby should be aborted in these circumstances?

    My answer is YES, unquestionably. “?
    http://www.rebeccakiessling.com/
    ****************************************
    Or would you be grateful that your mother gave food, shelter and water to a shipwrecked sailor?

    http://christianclassicalliberalist.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/abortion-is-an-unwanted-baby-a-trespasser/


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