Abortion Law

March 16th, 2008 at 12:27 pm by David Farrar

Matt McCarten writes in the HoS about a group called Voice for Life which ran adverts (which I did not see) a couple of weeks ago which said:

“We don’t want to change the [] law – we want it to work as it was intended.”

Now my personal position on abortion is it should be legal, safe and preferably rare. As cessation of brain activity is what effectively marks death, I tend to regard life as the start of such brain activity (as measured by ECG, not just electrical activity) which is at around 20 weeks.

But the Voice for Life group do have a point.  In NZ we effectively have abortion on demand. Yet this has never been decided by way of legislation. The actual law basically restricts abortion to cases where there would be physical or psychological harm to the mother. Over the last 30 years or so, it has just been effectively ignored by way of an interpretation regime where all mothers qualify under the psychological harm criteria.

Voice for Life want our practice to reflect our law. Well I don’t agree with that – would be horrific to go back to a regime where women are forced into carrying unwanted pregnancies.

The issue for me, is should our law be updated to reflect our practice?

Part of me says let sleeping dogs lie. I love being able to tell friends in the US that our last major abortion debate was in the 1970s and that abortion hasn’t been a major issue in an election campaign in living memory.

But the purist part of me says it is wrong that we have never allowed the public through our representatives to have a say on whether or not the law should allow abortion on demand. I believe the majority of NZers and majority of MPs would vote for the current practice to become law. But it could be a fairly ugly debate. However do we do ourselves a dis-service by dodging the debate?

This is an issue which generates intense emotions on both sides. Some see abortion as incredibly evil and akin to murder. Others see restrictions on abortions as turning women into property who do not control their own bodies. It would be good if people could try and keep the rhetoric controlled.

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145 Responses to “Abortion Law”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Now my personal position on abortion is it should be legal, safe and preferably rare. As cessation of brain activity is what effectively marks death, I tend to regard life as the start of such brain activity (as measured by ECG, not just electrical activity) which is at around 20 weeks.

    What do you call it if I stop a 10-week-old child from breathing? Destruction of property?

    (I actually agree with your “legal, safe and preferably rare” stance. Just pointing out that your criterion is interesting.)

    [DPF: It is assault if you do it temporarily, attempted murder possibly and if you kill the child it is murder.]

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  2. Deborah (120 comments) says:

    Can of worms, DPF! I think it would be a brave politician who opened this one up. It’s also brave of you to tackle it too. And yes, yet another scary I-agree-with-DPF moment for me. I think though, that we need to examine our reasons behind the “preferably rare” criterion, and just how it might play out in practice. It’s a topic I have been avoiding on my blog, but maybe I’ll have a go at it sometime soon…

    [DPF: The reason for preferably rare isn’t so much a concern about the overall rate, but the fact that having an abortion can be greatly traumatic for all involved, and if contraception etc can spare people that, all the better]

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  3. toms (209 comments) says:

    The law works reasonably well now, and has broad community support. The vast majority of people are content to leave this particular sleeping dog lying.

    The only people who want to stir it up are the usual extremists of the “Love the foetus, thrash the child” brigade like Family First.

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  4. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    The debates over smacking and civil unions were ugly enough, why go through that just for legislative neatness? The law works and the alternatives to the current regime are horrible – unwanted kids, woman forced to go through unwanted pregnancies and childbirth because they are denied the choice to make decisions about their own bodies and at worst knitting needles and back street abortions. If we want to change anything we should do something about the number of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and focus on the cause rather than the symptom (what exactly, I don’t know).

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  5. sean (373 comments) says:

    “Voice for Life want our practice to reflect our law. Well I don’t agree with that – would be horrific to go back to a regime where women are forced into carrying unwanted pregnancies.”

    Personal responsibility only when it suits eh DPF?

    [DPF: Is getting raped an issue of personal responsibility? Is having a vasectomy fail?]

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  6. Fletch (6,532 comments) says:

    I saw this documentary on TV yesterday about this huge group of women who had had abortions and were taking part in a march in the US against abortion. This one woman who’d had an abortion after being raped said that ALL women are affected by having an abortion (physically and mentally) whether they admit it to themselves or not. She said even though she’d got pregnant by being raped and everyone told her to get rid you it, you know after it’s done that you’ve killed your baby son or daughter. She said some women can try and push it deep down but it will come out in other ways.

    It’s a bad, bad thing, for mother and child :(

    I don’t believe life starts at 20 weeks. It HAS to start when the sperm and egg are joined. If your mother had had an abortion a week after you were conceived, you’d still be dead and a life would be gone.

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  7. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    Personal responsibility only when it suits eh DPF?

    Good call Sean. How often do we hear about people who got pregnant “by accident”?

    Abortion is being used as a last-resort form of contraception in New Zealand. If you don’t believe me, check this out: http://www.nzcatholic.org.nz/viewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=1426

    The way the abortion “industry” is working at the moment, with several doctors making six figures just from authorising abortions, is a disgrace. How many other laws are being flouted in this way with little or no concern from politicians?

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  8. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Fletch,

    Would you find it similarly compelling if a woman who had had an abortion said, “No women are affected by having an abortion, whether they admit it to themselves or not. Some women may try to act like they’re affected, but deep down they know it was no big deal”?

    I’m always very wary of arguments that amount to, “I know better than you do that deep down you agree with me, even if you think you don’t.”

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  9. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Pascal (and anyone else who claims to consider abortion to be murder),

    If clinics were set up where 5-year-old children were being routinely and legally murdered, how would you react?

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  10. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    How about research on the topic? Will that do anything to convince you? And from an atheist who supports abortion rights, no less.

    http://www.nzcatholic.org.nz/viewDocument.aspx?DocumentID=532

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  11. Dazzaman (1,082 comments) says:

    On you Fletch. Yep, murderers all round. Mothers(!) and their doctors.

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  12. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    I recommend that people check out today’s post on the Being Frank blog – it has been written in response to Matt McCarten’s rant, and it has been written by a woman.

    I think her last line is very apt:

    “In fact why not just start killing our kids too as a extra form of punishment now that we’re not allowed to smack them. I like legal killing – It give families control over their lives.”

    The whole piece can be read here:
    http://www.beingfrank.co.nz/?p=654

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  13. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    Not sure there’s such a thing as being “legally murdered”. In fact, it’s another example of civil law — making murder illegal — following religious law: The 10 Commandments.

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  14. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    In fact why not just start killing our kids too as a extra form of punishment . . .

    Ooohhh the reductio ad absurdum – it hurts!

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  15. Dazzaman (1,082 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull
    “Pascal (and anyone else who claims to consider abortion to be murder),

    If clinics were set up where 5-year-old children were being routinely and legally murdered, how would you react?”

    What a dumb question!

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  16. Regan Cunliffe (21 comments) says:

    Anyone who has had a miscarriage will know that the discovery of no heart beat is the determining factor which results in the same procedure as an abortion. Brain function seems irrelevant. Some one can be “brain dead” in a hospital and yet still be alive with a beating heart.

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  17. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Dazzaman,

    How is it a dumb question?

    If you believe that abortion is murder, why do you react differently to abortion than how you would react to clinics murdering 5-year-old children?

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  18. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    It seems to me that the most vitally important question in this whole debate is actually: is a human embryo a human person?

    The simple fact is that you cannot definitively state that a human embryo is NOT a human person, so therefore the best answer you can give to this question if you are pro-abortion is that you simply don’t know whether an embryo is a human person or not.

    In effect we have a situation where legislation is being built on a dubious ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ situation – this is simply insane when one considers that the best answer to the question about personhood results in a situation where an act that could well be killing thousands of innocent human beings is sanctioned under law in NZ.

    In effect we have a very similar situation to that surrounding legalised slavery – where Wilberforce had to fight a system which refused to recognise that slaves were human persons who had the same rights as we do – except this time it is the pre-born who are not being given their due rights.

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  19. battler (116 comments) says:

    The law as it stands is not being applied. It should be.

    However, if we were to change the law to allow legal abortion on demand, the following should happen:

    1. All taxpayer funding for abortion should cease.

    2. All doctors should be allowed to opt out of performing abortions as their conscience directs them.

    3. In cases where an abortion is being considered, the doctor, the woman, the father (except in rape cases) and the person paying for it should all be shown an ultra-sound image of the actual baby to aborted, as well as quality high resolution pictures of actual babies at their various stages of development, and high resolution pictures of actual babies that have been aborted. The woman, the father and any relatives or support persons should have all parental support options and adoption options presented to them for their information.

    4. Except in cases of rape, the father of the baby should be given a right of veto on the basis that he accepts custody of the child if the mother will not look after it.

    5. If the doctor, the woman, the father and the payer have all been presented with all of the ultra-sound images, the pictures of actual babies at development stages and aborted babies, all of the parental support and adoption information has been presented, the father has not vetoed the abortion, and an abortion goes ahead, then it rests on the conscience of all of these parties.

    Under no circumstances should the taxpayers of New Zealand be forced to fund abortion on demand, and under no circumstances should any medical practitioner be forced to perform abortion on demand against their conscience.

    Further, no baby should be aborted solely on the basis that the woman doesn’t want it, if the father was not a rapist and he is prepared to pay the woman for lost wages in the end stage of pregnancy, take custody of the baby and support it to adulthood.

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  20. radvad (736 comments) says:

    Toms
    “The only people who want to stir it up are the usual extremists of the “Love the foetus, thrash the child” brigade like Family First.”

    Does this mean you are in the “kill the child but do not smack it” camp. Who is the real extremist here?

    DPF
    “Others see restrictions on abortions as turning women into property who do not control their own bodies.”

    By definition an unwanted pregnancy would indicate a women has already abdicated control of her body (except in the cases of rape or contraceptive failure).

    I am morally opposed to abortion but I do not want to force my morality onto others. However I would be grateful if those who had no moral problem did not force their morality onto me by forcing me to pay for it. The costs of choices should remain with those who cause them. That is the true classical liberal position.

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  21. peterwn (3,341 comments) says:

    I was thinking about this whole area of concern the other day. Choices 40 years ago were: shotgun marriage, immediate adoption at birth, or rusty knitting needle in a back street (Either the Listener ot a capping mag used that term), or a birth certificate marked ‘illegitimate’ (punishing the child for the creators’ laxness). That was the time when most private investigators were there to obtain evidence of adultary, and when a lawyer claimed that it could not be done on the back seat of a VW Beetle, a magistrate retorted that the only place he knew where it could not be done was on the ceiling and he was not so sure about that either.

    I for one would hate to see a return to such grim times – there must be better ways. As far as I can see, most of the protesting about abortion is spearheaded from some guy in Rome – I doubt that most average Kiwis have any real problem with it. I would not be surprised if ‘Voice for Life’ was just another offshot of SPUC.

    Same with brothels – that the Police relied on presence of condoms to show that a place was a brothel was ridiculous – in the usual Mr Plod way they were too thick to see it would add to problems.

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  22. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    It seems to me that both sides of the debate assume that all human life is equal, which to me is nonsense. We even reflect this inequality in sentencing people for murder. If John Lennon was an ordinary person, his killer would be out of prison by now.

    If a human embryo is a “person” it strikes me as being a very unimportant one, almost to the point of irrelevance. In fact, about half of all human embryos cannot attach themselves to the uterus lining and end up (often literally) flushed away. I don’t see anyone weeping over the scores of billions of human embryos that have perished throughout history.

    Why don’t those who think human foetuses are worth saving set up surrogacy funds for unwanted pregnancies, to pay mothers to carry their children to term? That is the real test of their enthusiasm, not a desire to ban something they don’t like.

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  23. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    “unwanted kids, woman forced to go through unwanted pregnancies and childbirth because they are denied the choice to make decisions about their own bodies and at worst knitting needles and back street abortions.”
    Firstly, women are given the choice to make descisons with their own bodies. If they don’t want to get pregnant they should not have sex (and only a very, very tiny number of pregnancies are caused by rape). The state by banning abortions doesn’t force women into unwanted pregancies, the women bring unwanted pregancies upon themselves by their own actions. As for unwanted kids do you believe that killing kids after they were born if unwanted is OK? If not, why before they are born.

    “If you believe that abortion is murder, why do you react differently to abortion than how you would react to clinics murdering 5-year-old children?”
    I do believe abortion is murder and I react to abortion the same way as I would to the State setting up clinics to kill 5 year old kids.

    As for a womens right to choose, the women has no more right to kill her unborn child than I have to kill any one else whose existence inconveniances me.

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  24. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    Peter,

    As far as I can see, most of the protesting about abortion is spearheaded from some guy in Rome – I doubt that most average Kiwis have any real problem with it.

    Interesting, based on the (albeit small number of) comments on this thread. Unless people on here aren’t “average Kiwis”, your theory is already being called into question.

    Blair,

    When does a human embryo become a person of importance or relevance? And what magic transformation takes place between fertilisation and that transition into relevance? Answer: The unborn baby grows.

    Why don’t those who think human foetuses are worth saving set up surrogacy funds for unwanted pregnancies, to pay mothers to carry their children to term? That is the real test of their enthusiasm, not a desire to ban something they don’t like.

    Some groups have done exactly that.

    Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland announced in April that his diocese will offer any kind of help necessary for women who choose to bear their child rather than have an abortion.

    Bishop Dunn said the effort is a personal undertaking and will give every possible help, including money, to girls and women undecided about whether to have an abortion. He added that he will use his own money if necessary.

    “I make this pledge to any woman regardless of creed or circumstances and without any conditions attached,” he said. “It is a scheme that will allow women the right and freedom to choose life instead of death.”

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  25. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    I do believe abortion is murder and I react to abortion the same way as I would to the State setting up clinics to kill 5 year old kids.

    Nicholas,

    Really? What do you do?

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  26. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    “Really? What do you do?” The same things that I do currently about abortion, making no secret of my beleifs, and blogging about the issue, atending protests if theres any being organised, and anything else I can do.

    Oh, as for the anti-smacking issue, most supporters of the Anti-Smacking Bill including Helen Clark support legal abortion up to birth.

    If you are one of those despicable people who like abusing children, and want to do it legally, how about giving birth to child, but waiting for some time before cutting the umbilical cord, smacking the child, beating it with horse whips, riding crops, even beating it to death, and rejoice that Helen Clark and most other supporters of section 59 repeal are supporting your “right to choose” (if you are a women) what you are doing to part of your own body.

    I am not recomending anyone does this, just showing how illogical their position that smacking a child is bad but killing a child (so long as it is unborn) is.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Most supporters of the Anti-Smacking Bill including Helen Clark support legal abortion up to birth.

    I don’t know anyone who supports abortion past the point where a child could survive separate from the mother. Where are you getting these statistics from, Nicholas?

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  28. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    I do believe abortion is murder and I react to abortion the same way as I would to the State setting up clinics to kill 5 year old kids.

    Yeah – if I really thought the government was exterminating tens of thousands of innocent people I’d sit just sit at home whining about it on the internet as well.

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  29. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “If a human embryo is a “person” it strikes me as being a very unimportant one, almost to the point of irrelevance.”

    Interesting. This is the exact same reasoning that was used to justify slavery.

    I always find it most interesting that those who wish to apportion rights to others, are more than happy to make sure that they have all the rights, while they always find a reason as to why others shouldn’t get the same rights they enjoy.

    “In fact, about half of all human embryos cannot attach themselves to the uterus lining and end up (often literally) flushed away. I don’t see anyone weeping over the scores of billions of human embryos that have perished throughout history.”

    Hmmm, so now we’re equating a tragic, but accidental, occurrence (embryos being miscarried) with a deliberate and purposeful act (aborting a human person in their early stages of fetal development).

    “Why don’t those who think human foetuses are worth saving set up surrogacy funds for unwanted pregnancies, to pay mothers to carry their children to term? That is the real test of their enthusiasm, not a desire to ban something they don’t like.”

    Um, have you never heard of organisations like Family Life International, who provide financial, material and practical support to women so that they can keep, or adopt out, their babies when they find themselves facing a crisis pregnancy.

    I guess it’s just easier and sexier to label and dismiss people who are pro-life without actually bothering to find out what their real position is, and the real compassion that they show to women.

    I know that Family Life International also provides counseling and support for women who have experienced the pain of abortion – yet I doubt any abortionists in this country would be wiling to be there to pick up the pieces after their patients find themselves and alone and broken by their experience of abortion.

    To me that is a real measure of many pro-lifers; the fact that they are prepared to help all women – not just those who happen to agree with their position on abortion.

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  30. kiwitoffee (380 comments) says:

    Life begins at conception. This is not simply a religious view but one which, I think, biologists and other scientists would have too.

    So, to wilfully destroy that life is a form of homicide.

    I can’t think of many situations where abortion would be justified but medical ethicists and others, including our religious leaders, could perhaps find some.

    Our abortion statistics are increasing annually. That is, more and more silent homicides are taking place in our hospitals and clinics which I thought were there to protect and preserve life.

    In the discussion we have about health care and rising health sector costs, nobody seems to mention the costs of subsidised abortions. And I don’t just mean the surgical people. There are ‘counsellors’ out there whose job it is – funded publicly – to assist women through what is a traumatic experience. (What a horrendous job that must be).

    We hear a great deal about women’s health issues – cervical cancer is one example. But we hear next to nothing about post-abortion trauma which I imagine is serious, complex and common. Why the silence? I feel deeply sorry for women who, having gone through an abortion, now regret it.

    In a country which is struggling with demographic issues – an aging population and a porous, almost corrupt immigration system – it is ironic that we are destroying life on such a scale

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  31. sean (373 comments) says:

    [DPF: Is getting raped an issue of personal responsibility? Is having a vasectomy fail?]

    …sorry I didn’t realise your post referred to just these cases, which is about 2%(?) of abortions. You should have made it more clear. Of course I am referring to the double-standard of right-wing liberals who speak of personal responsibility yet look the other way with the vast majority of abortion-on-demand cases – where it is simply done for convenience.

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  32. Hoolian (164 comments) says:

    Arguments around abortion are always centred on the mother and what she wants – however in the case of the Anti-Smacking law it was all about the children, yet when it comes to a process which systematically kills of unwanted children due to fickle convenience.

    If you turn the focus onto the child, then we actually kill 18 000 children every year in NZ. And this is NZ who stands up on their high-horse about infanticide in China or human rights abuses elsewhere. We’re such hypocrites.

    If pro-abortion people are right, what does society lose? But if pro-life people are right, imagine, just imagine for one second, the implications of that. We’re a society who supports the killing of children, just because they’re unwanted. It’s disgusting.

    Who are we to decide when life starts? Who are you DPF to decide for us when a child becomes worth something? Who are you to decide when life gains purpose and worth? If we as a society stand up for human life at all, then the unborn child is the first place we should start.

    The current law and the lack of desire to change it (either way) is actually total cowardice. FPA and co don’t want us or our politicians to face up and debate this in a public arena because it’s something people don’t want to think about. Abortion goes on in NZ and the world because people are too gutless to stand up and defend the most defenceless form of human life. It actually makes me sick.

    What Sean says is right – abortions as result of rape etc can be justified and maybe would be acceptable, if the other 98% abortions didn’t happen everyday just because people are so intrinsically selfish.

    The question remains, who is right? And furthermore, if one party is right and the other wrong, which one results in us having more to loose? I support the pro-lifers, after all they are for Life, for the defenceless child who has no voice, no chance to stand up for themselves and prevent abortions. But we do. So what are we going to do about it?

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  33. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    “I don’t know anyone who supports abortion past the point where a child could survive separate from the mother. Where are you getting these statistics from, Nicholas?”

    Ever heared of Partial Birth abortion? for those who don’t know what it is can see the website http://www.abortioninfo.net/facts/pba.shtml > As for those who support it, they include Hillary Clinton (who voted “no” to a bill to ban it in most cases, and criticised a Supreme Court decison to uphold the ban). Obama was not in the Senate when the Bill was voted on, but criticised the Supreme Court descison indicating support.

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  34. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    A massive travesty in this whole situation is the lack of informed consent, which battler alluded to earlier. Women who aren’t given all the information available on this topic are being cheated by the system. They are being told they are simply getting rid of “a product of conception” or a “group of cells” or anything that doesn’t offer insight into the humanity of their baby.

    And speaking of information, how can people justify girls being taken to abortion clinics by school teachers without their parents knowing? Keep in mind that secondary school students can’t get a flu shot or sometimes even take a Panadol without parental approval.

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  35. James (1,299 comments) says:

    From George Reisman…

    “…Hopefully, there will be a larger number of more reasonable people, who will be led to question the premise that abortion is murder. To do that, they will need to question the premise that a fetus, especially, in the early stages of pregnancy, is an actual human being. In reality, when, for example, a fetus must still be measured in mere tenths of an inch, it is simply not a human being. At that point, it is nothing more than a growth in a woman’s womb that has the potential to become a human being. Removing it is not killing a human being but simply stopping—aborting—a process that if left unchecked would result in a human being weeks or months later. Weeks or months later, there would be a human being. But not at the time of the abortion.

    Unfortunately, persuading people of this elementary fact of perception can be very difficult. There are far too many people for whom seeing is not believing, but rather, if anything, believing is seeing—that is, people whose mistaken ideas are held so strongly that they override the evidence of the senses. Epistemologically, the notion that a speck in a woman’s womb is a human being is not all that different than the notion, popular elsewhere in the world, that animals carry the souls of one’s ancestors. Both notions represent seeing what just isn’t there, based on a projection from inside one’s mind.

    Seeing a human being where there is none and consequently murder where there is none, serves to destroy the lives of women, and of families, who cannot afford the burden of an unwanted extra child, which they are nonetheless forced to accept because the possibility of abortion is denied them. Because of this distorted conception of things, a woman has only to become pregnant, and ownership of her body is immediately claimed by the State. Whatever plans she may have had for her future, such as gaining an education, pursuing a career, or simply enjoying her youth, are forcibly thrown aside, as she is made to live with no more choice in her own destiny than a pregnant animal. She is compelled to defer whatever hopes, dreams, and ambitions she may have had until she has completed what is tantamount to serving a twenty-year sentence in going through an unwanted pregnancy and then raising an unwanted child…….”

    Read it all here….

    http://georgereisman.com/blog/labels/Abortion.html

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  36. Scribe (80 comments) says:

    James,

    Have you — or George Reisman — heard of adoption?

    And since you’ve linked to his blog, you must agree with him on this. So I’ll ask you a question. Reisman talks about an unborn baby having the potential to become a human being. What happens to change the baby from a potential human being into an actual human being?

    Without intervention, using Reisman’s terminology, the potential human becomes a human. Only intervention stops the human baby from being born.

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  37. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    The reality is that a unborn child at 9 months is almost identical to a newborn one. There is no magic change that sudenly transforms a non-person into a person. Since the sperm and egg unite it has its own DNA and is made up of living cells (thus a human life). This is scientific fact, not religous belief.

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  38. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    If you turn the focus onto the child, then we actually kill 18 000 children every year in NZ.

    So, just to restate Ryan’s question for the fifth or sixth time – if you actually believe this don’t you have some kind of moral obligation to actually do something to stop this, other than just wringing your hands on the internet or protesting outside the occasional clinic?

    If you REALLY believe that 18,000 children are murdered every year then shouldn’t you be taking rather drastic steps to prevent this? And doesn’t your failure to do so mean you are at least partly responsible for this ongoing mass-murder?

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  39. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Danyl,

    What exactly are you trying to suggest – that pro-lifers should lower themselves and resort to the same violent disregard that is shown by a system which protects the act of killing unborn human beings in the womb?

    All we can do is present the truth to people, and how that one day we will realise that the unborn child deserves the same right to life as the rest of us enjoy, and that abortion is an act that is harmful to women.

    No legitimate pro-lifer would condone any form of violence to further the cause for the rights of the unborn child – that would be just as immoral as the act of aborting a baby is.

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  40. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    George Reisman is the one for whom seeing is not believing!

    He tries to deny the personhood of the unborn child, yet he fails to present one single piece of scientific or philosophical evidence to back up his assertions.

    His convictions are based on blind faith, not science or truth.

    Meanwhile in front of him, medical science is becoming more and more aware of the profoundity of the human person as it grows and develops in the womb.

    Every day science enables to better observe the reality of the life that exists within the womb, and everyday we are losing more and more excuses that we have used over the last 40 years or so to try and justify the act of aborting an unborn child.

    Reisman’s opinions are just that; opinions.

    He has no medical, scientific or philosophical proof to support his assertions, so at best his opinion about the human embryo is nothing more than an overstated uncertainty – and he is prepared to support an act that could well be the killing of an innocent human person based purely on a lack of certainty – talk about immoral and irresponsible.

    Reisman seems to have forgotten the most inconvenient truth of all – that he, and the rest of us, all started our lives as embryos, and if human embryos are not human persons then how come all adult human beings have to start as human embryos?

    Reisman is simply espousing the totalitarian idea that might makes right – in other word; those with all the power get to decide whether or not the weak will get any rights.

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  41. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Battler:
    >The law as it stands is not being applied. It should be.
    >However, if we were to change the law to allow legal abortion on demand, the following should happen:
    >1. All taxpayer funding for abortion should cease.

    So people who are rich enough to pay for it themselves can have abortions and everyone else can fuck off? Sounds like a really great society to live in.

    >2. All doctors should be allowed to opt out of performing abortions as their conscience directs them.

    This is actually the case already, they don’t have to prescribe the emergancy contraceptive pill either if they have a moral problem with it.

    >3. In cases where an abortion is being considered, the doctor, the woman, the father (except in rape cases) and the >person paying for it should all be shown an ultra-sound image of the actual baby to aborted, as well as quality high >resolution pictures of actual babies at their various stages of development, and high resolution pictures of actual babies >that have been aborted. The woman, the father and any relatives or support persons should have all parental support >options and adoption options presented to them for their information.

    Do you know what is actually involved in getting an abortion or do you think you can just walk in off the street and get it done before your afternoon hair appointment? I agree that people should get the information they need to make informed decisions. They should understand the consequences of their decision and all of the options available to them…what they shouldn’t get is a big dose of emotional blackmail from the people who are supposed to be helping them.

    >4. Except in cases of rape, the father of the baby should be given a right of veto on the basis that he accepts custody of >the child if the mother will not look after it.

    Absolutely not. Fathers do not own their partner’s bodies and neither does the state. Pregnancy and childbirth are huge things for women to go through that change them for the rest of their lives. The decision to continue a pregnancy and give birth should be theirs and theirs alone.

    >Further, no baby should be aborted solely on the basis that the woman doesn’t want it, if the father was not a rapist and >he is prepared to pay the woman for lost wages in the end stage of pregnancy, take custody of the baby and support it to >adulthood.

    Which would be fine if it was all about money but human beings (other than some ACT supporters and fringe loony libertarians) are a little bit more complex than that.

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  42. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    All we can do is present the truth to people, and how that one day we will realise that the unborn child deserves the same right to life as the rest of us enjoy, and that abortion is an act that is harmful to women?

    Okay – let me just make sure we have your position nice and clear, because its so utterly fucking ridiculous:

    Your response to 18,000 murders a year is to basically do nothing and hope that someday it somehow stops?

    If you really think the government is practicing wide-scale state funded mass-murder wouldn’t you, y’know, at least stop paying your taxes? Isn’t trying to prevent 18,000 murders a year worth a little jail time?

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  43. battler (116 comments) says:

    The question we should be asking is, why have we (western society in general) gotten ourselves into a position where we seem to want to do everything possible to prevent new life from coming into the world?

    Our “sex education”, “sexual & reproductive health”, “women’s studies / gender politics” etc and general discourse on this subject all come at the subject of Human Reproduction as though new babies are some sort of burden and that prevention of pregnancy / child birth is some sort of ideal.

    A large amount of the “Sex Ed” in schools is geared purely around contraception & STD’s, the Family Planning Association et al focus largely on contraception/sterilisation/abortion, “women’s studies” and “gender studies” etc present the idea that a baby is a burden to a woman.

    Even environmentalists are on this track – they seem to want everything in nature to reproduce except humans.

    Do people out there have such a miserable outlook on life that they don’t want to share their lives with any new people?

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  44. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Come on Danyl,

    What are you suggesting here – that pro-lifers are somehow hypocrites because they refuse to engage in immoral and illegal acts in defense of the unborn child?

    Come on man, since when did one evil act justify evil another?

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  45. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    The question we should be asking is, why have we (western society in general) gotten ourselves into a position where we seem to want to do everything possible to prevent new life from coming into the world?

    Aren’t there over 6 billion of us? And isn’t the population of the world increasing by about a billion people every 12 years? And isn’t the west currently experiencing a baby boom?

    Other than that, really good question.

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  46. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “Fathers do not own their partner’s bodies”

    Can we please dispense with the outdated 60’s feminist rhetoric?

    If we want to talk about equal rights then how about we start talking about the fact that a male is just as responsible for the creation of a new human life as a female is – yet males get no rights when it comes to the abortion issue.

    Can anyone say inequality?

    Or how about we start talking about the fact that unborn babies have bodies too – why don’t unborn babies have the right to decide what happens to their bodies, instead of being at the mercy of someone else?

    And if we are going to talk about women’s rights, then let’s start talking about the rights of unborn women – or do they not figure into the feminist picture of women’s rights?

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  47. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Danyl,

    Actually most Western countries are in massive population decline – with many countries even facing serious demographic crisis (which will harm their economies) if they don’t start having more babies.

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  48. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    What are you suggesting here – that pro-lifers are somehow hypocrites because they refuse to engage in immoral and illegal acts in defense of the unborn child?

    Since pro-lifers claim to believe that their tax-dollars are funding the extermination of thousands of lives then surely it’s far more immoral for them to pay their taxes? I don’t really understand why you’d continue to respect the laws of a state you consider utterly evil, let alone provide funds for the ongoing mass-murder. That simply makes no sense to me.

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  49. battler (116 comments) says:

    Danyl, what’s wrong with more people?

    Do you despise humanity so much that you want to limit the growth of the human species?

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  50. Hoolian (164 comments) says:

    Aren’t there over 6 billion of us? And isn’t the population of the world increasing by about a billion people every 12 years? And isn’t the west currently experiencing a baby boom?

    Um, no, no and no. Ireland and Poland – two countries in which have outlawed abortion – are the only two ‘Western’ countries who have a birth-rate above that of their death-rate and who can actually support their own population growth. UK, US, New Zealand, Aust, Spain, France, Norway etc all have more deaths than births, and rely heavily on immigration from Third World countries to boost their population. You’d find that that trend is continual over the globe as the human population grows, its mainly in areas in the poor, undeveloped countries such as India, Africa and Latin America.

    There’s an amazing quote, from whom I cannot remember, who says abortion would not happen if the uterus was clear and people could see the child growing within – i.e. abortion only occurs because people have been taught to regard a foetus as nothing more than just cells and that we can all individually decide on when life begins – there’s no absolute. DPF and his opinion is a perfect example.

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  51. Hoolian (164 comments) says:

    And don’t you love it how McCarten calls pro-lifers “anti-choice brigade”. He’s guilty of using emotive language to argue his point across, as opposed to debating it honestly and intellectually. Not that I’m surprised – McCarten is a moron.

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  52. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Nicholas O’Kane
    >Firstly, women are given the choice to make descisons with their own bodies. If they don’t want to get pregnant they >should not have sex (and only a very, very tiny number of pregnancies are caused by rape). The state by banning >abortions doesn’t force women into unwanted pregancies, the women bring unwanted pregancies upon themselves by their >own actions. As for unwanted kids do you believe that killing kids after they were born if unwanted is OK? If not, why >before they are born.

    I believe that up until the point where the baby is able to survive outside the womb (and even beyond in some cases e.g. where there is substantial risk to the mother in continuing the pregnancy ), the mother’s rights trump everything else. This should be her choice and hers alone and semantics and personal responsability aside your alternative would force women to have unwanted pregnancies . Everyone draws a line somewhere, thats where mine is.

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  53. battler (116 comments) says:

    Exactly Hoolian.

    And Pro-Lifers are anti-choice for who exactly?

    Mothers who are being coerced by FPA to have an abortion without being shown the truth of what an abortion looks like and without being properly informed about all of the alternatives to abortion?

    Taxpayers who are funding abortions against their will?

    The babies in the womb who are being aborted?

    The father’s of the children who rarely get any say whatsoever?

    The medical practitioners who are pressured to certify and perform abortions against the Hippocratic oath?

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  54. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Great, now I’m a feminist…I’ll keep the beard and the hairy armpits but excuse while I go and chop my dick off.

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  55. battler (116 comments) says:

    Innocent bystander –

    Except in cases of rape, who is forcing women to have an unwanted pregnancy?

    Has our “progressive” “liberal” education system omitted telling students that sperm + egg = baby ?

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  56. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    then of course..there is this..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/royal-college-warns-abortions-can-lead-to-mental-illness/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  57. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Dr Kenneth McAll writes in his book Healing the Family Tree;
    “I disagree with those who argue that if a pregnancy has lasted for only weeks the baby was not formed and did not count. Nowadays, an abortion is a commonplace happening. Nevertheless, the immediate psychological damage to the mother is profound while the long term effects may last a lifetime.”

    I believe society does not need more infanticides.

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  58. battler (116 comments) says:

    From: http://www.salient.org.nz/features/abortion-and-the-law-a-users-guide

    “If you have an abortion it’ll almost certainly be under the mental health provisions of the first criteria, like 98.7% of the other abortions that are performed in New Zealand. While the criteria sound, and were meant to be, restrictive and intimidating, Catherine Nelson, the education nurse at Student Health, has never heard of a woman who has been refused when she is sure she wants an abortion. At the moment all the Certifying Consultants do is add time and stress to the process.

    “How did we get here? With Certifying Consultants and the mental health problems and abortion rules no-one follows? Before the 1970s, options for legal abortion in New Zealand were severely limited; almost all women went to Australia or used back street abortionists. The law then was, as it is now, that abortion is a crime unless continuing the pregnancy was a danger to the woman’s life or health, including mental health.

    “In 1974, the Auckland Medical Aid Clinic opened. This was an abortion clinic that ignored New Zealand’s abortion law or interpreted the mental health provisions very liberally. The central question was (and pretty much still is) what the health of the mother meant – how dire did the health consequences of continuing a pregnancy have to be before abortion could be granted? AMAC’s doctors took the position that any unwanted pregnancy was a mental health hazard, and was able to provide first trimester abortions to most women who approached them. ”

    “The law has not changed substantially since 50 women a week were flying to Australia to have an abortion. What has changed is the way the law is applied. As Dr Margaret Sparrow, who did the first abortion in Wellington’s abortion clinic, said: “We took the attitude, well that’s the law, we’ll work within the law, we’ll make people fit.”

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  59. Adam Smith (724 comments) says:

    Having read some of the comments here, I think we should leave the matter alone.

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  60. battler (116 comments) says:

    Why is that Adam?

    What have people got to hide?

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  61. grumpyoldhori (2,205 comments) says:

    David dear boy, that was like throwing bloody meat to
    the sharks.
    Yes, I agree with you, legal, and as rare as possible.
    It is with grim amusement I note that those against
    any abortion are often those who complain about the DPB.

    It seems we have people we would like to see South
    Dakota type laws passed in NZ, with abortion totally
    banned, even in the case of rape by a father.

    Still, going by Ireland, the extreme types do not have the
    moral or physical courage to check every women of child
    bearing age, to see if they are pregnant before they get on
    aircraft out of NZ

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  62. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    “So, just to restate Ryan’s question for the fifth or sixth time – if you actually believe this don’t you have some kind of moral obligation to actually do something to stop this, other than just wringing your hands on the internet or protesting outside the occasional clinic?”

    “Your response to 18,000 murders a year is to basically do nothing and hope that someday it somehow stops?

    If you really think the government is practicing wide-scale state funded mass-murder wouldn’t you, y’know, at least stop paying your taxes? Isn’t trying to prevent 18,000 murders a year worth a little jail time?”

    With PAYE it simply isn’t possible to not pay tax, except in some very small cases. And how are you meant to stop paying GST. I agree that pro-lifers should do more to stop abortion, but there isn’t any activst group that goes out picketing abortion “clinics” every day for me to join.

    I REALLY do beleive abortion to be murder, and would be interested in any non-violent actions you propose for me to carry out to stop it.

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  63. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Battler, I’ve been out of school for some time and honestly have no idea what the kids are being taught these days. On the other hand I have had people close to me have to make the difficult choice on how to handle an unplanned pregnancy so I do know what is involved. Its very easy to mouth off about abortion but until you’ve been in the situation of having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy you aren’t in a position to actually make an informed comment.

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  64. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    I would also like it if all those “pro-choice” people could start giving me a right to choose if I want to pay taxes to fund abortions or not. Or are you pro-choice for some, but give no choice to others. And yets remember that the one with the biggest stakes in the abortion descison, the unborn child, has no choice whatsoever.

    Lets take a look at the “choice” the pro-choice people stand for. For a pregnant women to be able to have a choice to kill her unborn child. No choice for the unborn child, no choice for the taxpayer, no choice for the father (its his unborn son or daughter), and in the case of some “pro-choice” people, no choice for the doctor.

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  65. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Oh thanks Innocent bys ; its a sensitive womens issue eh? I say culpable homicide.

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  66. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    Aren’t there over 6 billion of us? And isn’t the population of the world increasing by about a billion people every 12 years? And isn’t the west currently experiencing a baby boom?

    Um, no, no and no.

    This should be fun – what do you imagine the world population to be (current estimates at the sources I checked were all at around 6.7 billion. The global growth rate IS at about 1 billion per 12 years (I concede it’s possible you’re referring to another planet, possibly imaginary).

    Ireland and Poland – two countries in which have outlawed abortion – are the only two ‘Western’ countries who have a birth-rate above that of their death-rate and who can actually support their own population growth. UK, US, New Zealand, Aust, Spain, France, Norway etc all have more deaths than births

    The good ol’ CIA factbook reveals Poland has negative growth but that New Zealands is positive and that we are, in fact, enjoying a baby boom. Incidentally, so is Ireland – so you did manage to get a single correct fact in there, a ratio of about nine to one.

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  67. battler (116 comments) says:

    A birth rate of 2.2 per woman is hardly a “baby boom”. A rate of 2.33 is required to remain at replacement level.

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  68. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    “Its very easy to mouth off about abortion but until you’ve been in the situation of having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy you aren’t in a position to actually make an informed comment.”
    No, it isn’t a sensitive womens issue. It is a issue of whether state sponserd murder of inocent children should be legal.

    The pain and suffering of a women with an unexpected pregnancy is understandable. But because you are suffering and in pain doesn’t give you a right to kill someone else.

    What right does a women have to kill her unborn child? Because it is located in her body. She chose to have sex and thus risk pregnancy, and thus it can be considered her choice to have the baby inside her. The reality is that abortion is murder, and there is no real difference between the abortion holocaust today, or the nazi holocaust, or the Rwandan or Armenian genocides.

    I hope that in future history will see the abortion holocaust in the same way we see the nazi one, and that those responsible for it will be exposed as the mass murderers they are.

    The reality is that the unborn child has its own internal organs, brain, DNA and is no less human than you or I. The fact it requires to live in its mothers womb to survive, and for resources does not make the unborn any less part of the mother than an astronaut who needs to be inside a spacecraft to survive and resources is part of the spacecraft.

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  69. Rocket Boy (99 comments) says:

    Am I the only one here that thinks DPF is posting on abortion because he is desparate for some traffic on his website?

    [DPF: Yes and I paid Matt McCarten to write an article in the HOS on the issue, just so I could link to it. My god there are some paranoid nutters out there]

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  70. Peak Oil Conspiracy (2,439 comments) says:

    Rocket Boy:

    Am I the only one here that thinks DPF is posting on abortion because he is desparate for some traffic on his website?

    Am I the only one here that thinks you’re a waste of bandwidth?

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  71. enough rope (89 comments) says:

    “Am I the only one here that thinks you’re a waste of bandwidth?”

    Like, you believe that Rocket Boy should have been aborted?

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  72. Peak Oil Conspiracy (2,439 comments) says:

    Enough Rope:

    Like, you believe that Rocket Boy should have been aborted?

    I’d adopt DPF’s analysis here:

    As cessation of brain activity is what effectively marks death, I tend to regard life as the start of such brain activity (as measured by ECG, not just electrical activity) which is at around 20 weeks.

    The question: has Rocket Boy’s brain activity started, or is he just not engaging it on this thread?

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  73. Rocket Boy (99 comments) says:

    How many weeks do you think it will take for John Key to have measured brain activity? The evidence over the last couple of weeks is he is not yet troubling the ECG.

    My advice to Helen, have the election as late as possible and pop that CV back in the filing cabinet, it might yet not be needed.

    [DPF: 10 demerits for off topic]

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  74. battler (116 comments) says:

    So these babies lives hadn’t begun yet?
    http://www.abortiontv.com/Pics/AbortionPictures-FirstTrimester.htm

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  75. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “I believe that up until the point where the baby is able to survive outside the womb…”

    And what makes that totally subjective and arbitrary point the right time to cease aborting babies?

    All you have at that point is a change in development, but the baby hasn’t suddenly become more human at that point – it’s exactly the same entity as it was two days before it became viable outside the womb.

    And when you think about it, even a new born baby, or a 3 month old can’t exist without it’s mother – without the mother to feed, shelter and clothe the baby it would die within days.

    So why is it that you think it would be morally wrong for a mother to exert her so called ‘right’ to abort over a 3 month old, yet you think that it is morally okay to abort a baby that is 19 weeks old in the womb, and just as helpless and dependent on its mother – just in a different way.

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  76. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “Its very easy to mouth off about abortion but until you’ve been in the situation of having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy you aren’t in a position to actually make an informed comment.”

    Well I have had a lot of friends and associates go through an unplanned pregnancy, and I have even experienced this issue in my own life, yet I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    While people who HAVEN’T been through an unplanned pregnancy may not be able to pass informed comment about what it feels like to be in the situation of an unplanned pregnancy, they are still certainly able to comment on the abortion issue.

    One doesn’t need to have experienced armed robbery to be able to pass an informed comment about how they think that theft at gunpoint is an immoral act that shouldn’t be part of NZ society.

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  77. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    Nicholas O’Kane: I REALLY do beleive abortion to be murder, and would be interested in any non-violent actions you propose for me to carry out to stop it.

    Dad4Justice: I say culpable homicide.

    So when people quack on about how Germans of the Nazi era did nothing to prevent the Holocaust, we can console ourselves with the thought that if there’d been blogs back then, some Jerries would certainly have posted some very strongly-worded messages letting people know they personally didn’t agree with killing off all those Jews? There’s hope for the world yet…

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  78. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    That said, good on you Nicholas for at least having the bollocks to answer Ryan’s question. No others of the supposedly-morally-outraged on the thread seem to have the guts to try.

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  79. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    What would you know about morals psycho melt as you are devoid of a moral conscience? You are blinded by lefty ideologies.

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  80. battler (116 comments) says:

    “That said, good on you Nicholas for at least having the bollocks to answer Ryan’s question. No others of the supposedly-morally-outraged on the thread seem to have the guts to try.”

    “Pascal (and anyone else who claims to consider abortion to be murder),

    If clinics were set up where 5-year-old children were being routinely and legally murdered, how would you react?”

    I would do everything in my power to provide a place of refuge and safety for those at risk of being murdered, whilst lobbying for a change in the law and /or helping people emigrate to a state that doesn’t murder 5 year old children.

    In terms of Abortion in NZ, the major problem is that the law is being openly flouted:

    —“As Dr Margaret Sparrow, who did the first abortion in Wellington’s abortion clinic, said: “We took the attitude, well that’s the law, we’ll work within the law, we’ll make people fit.”

    “Catherine Nelson, the education nurse at Student Health, has never heard of a woman who has been refused when she is sure she wants an abortion. At the moment all the Certifying Consultants do is add time and stress to the process.”

    “In 1974, the Auckland Medical Aid Clinic opened. This was an abortion clinic that ignored New Zealand’s abortion law or interpreted the mental health provisions very liberally”—

    98.7% of abortions in NZ are certified under the “Mental Health” clause. Most of these women have no other “Mental Health” issue except for the fact that they are pregnant and it’s not “convenient” to have a baby and/or they are being pressured into having an abortion for whatever reason.

    In other words: Most abortions in NZ are being performed ILLEGALY.

    So the scenario of the 5 year olds being “legally murdered” is really the reverse of the Abortion situation.

    In the proposed 5 year old scenario, a law change is required and people with any morals would help those at risk of being murdered to escape.

    In the case of NZ’s abortion situation – the sprit and the letter of the law needs to be enforced. That should eliminate the vast majority of abortions, then we can get into the nitty gritty of why the remainder are being performed and what can be done about that.

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  81. Rocket Boy (99 comments) says:

    [DPF: Yes and I paid Matt McCarten to write an article in the HOS on the issue, just so I could link to it. My god there are some paranoid nutters out there]

    I thought I might get abused, just didn’t think it would be you DPF. Sometimes I can’t decide if you’re an intelligent and well balanced individual or an egotistical prick, but then again I’m a ‘paranoid nutter’ so what do I know?

    [DPF: What the fuck do you expect when you invent motivations for me? A Xmas present?]

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  82. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    “Legal, safe and rare”

    Sounds like something Bill Clinton would have said … (he did).

    The problem of a debate about our laws, is that it would mobilise those opposed to any abortion and with it a wider morality programme with it (because it involves the issue of whether government should adopt “the” moral position -about protecting life- through law).

    The trend in the USA, within the whole ugly culture war of their debate, is for the period of abortion availability to reduce – this occuring along with medical advances enabling the “unborn” to survive outside the womb.

    So, if we were to enable on demand access to abortion services/counselling on the one hand and on the other have a more limited availablitiy in a later period in the pregnancy (with adoption services etc or support for the solo parent) we would be moving towards their developing consensus (but how to make this change without having the unpleasant experience of the issues divisive passion – the sovereignty of the individual and their bodies fertility and respect for human life).

    To those who oppose abortion, the question is of respect women and their choices and help families in need, to those who support the right of access to an abortion choice, what are they doing to reduce the need for them (help to families in need and preventing unwanted pregnacies – alcohol free youth venues, easy access to contraception/MAP etc, available employment or income support).

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  83. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “but how to make this change without having the unpleasant experience of the issues divisive passion…”

    I am stunned by the fact that people don’t seem to want to actually have a public debate about this vitally important issue simply because it would cause division of opinion.

    Wake up and smell the coffee people, this issue demands debate, yet we seem too scared to actually have the discussion, and I suspect all the posturing about ‘division’, etc, is nothing more than an excuse not to actually engage in this vitally important discussion.

    I suspect that this unwillingness to discuss this issue has more to do with a fear of the fact that any honest debate may cause many Kiwis who hold a pro-abortion position a large degree of discomfort and good old fashioned moral conviction about the positions they have unquestioningly held to for so long thanks to the general silence on this issue.

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  84. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    The Americans do the whole religion on crusade against modern secular society thing, so much better than us, and its not a debate everyone needs to have – the same way patents operate, we can simply take note of their evolving consensus … and focus on the productivity renewal we so badly need.

    Some people want the right to deny sex education to young people, deny MAP’s and abortion access, require singles to birth children and then adopt them out, because of their pro life morality, but will not support universal health care and foreign aid to keep the poor of the world in food and with health care. Many of these same people support the death penalty, three strikes and you’re in prison for minor offences (whites get diversion) also supported the war in Iraq etc …

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  85. Seán (373 comments) says:

    “I suspect that this unwillingness to discuss this issue has more to do with a fear of the fact that any honest debate may cause many Kiwis who hold a pro-abortion position a large degree of discomfort and good old fashioned moral conviction about the positions they have unquestioningly held to for so long thanks to the general silence on this issue.”

    Nail. On. Head.

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  86. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    Exactly. Nail On A Head. It’s the issue behind which “religion” goes on end time crusade against secular society – “as in the days of Noah, so those days shall come again” … because people “marry and give in marriage” (pre-marital, extra-marital sex, divorce etc) end time prophecy …. It’s about using the law to bring morality back into the lives of individuals. The old crusading “hammer of justice” … and the knocking on the doors of the immoral for a warning of judgement of “sin”.

    Ultimately it is about the obsession with judgment of sex, outside of procreation on the marriage bed, while barely raising any equivalent passion for protecting the lives of hungry or ill born human beings is … (even what focus on aid there was on Africa, was within the greater need to pose as opposed to facilitating sexual activity – by blocking the provision of condoms).

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  87. battler (116 comments) says:

    SPC it’s ultimately about the fact that the secular – humanity loathing -abortionists have abandoned truth and latched on to the ancient false religion of earth worship.

    They are more concerned about carbon emissions, plastic bags, saving the kiwi and the snail and the whales and the rain forests than they are about the tens of millions of innocent children whose lives are taken through the barbaric practice of abortion before they even have a chance to taste their mothers milk.

    There are people who make more of a fuss over how many plastic bags the supermarkets are using, how many whales have beached themselves or how many snails are living in a coal mine site than they do about the loss of human life.

    These people are ushering in their own demise through their abolition of man.

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  88. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    Quite so, the issue is the Trojan horse for a crusade against secular society, which of course involves the prophecy of judgment of an unsaved world. Three groups have said they are at war against secular society. One the Catholic Church headed by John Paul 11 and Benedict 16, Moral Majority and Christian Coalition.

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  89. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “It’s about using the law to bring morality back into the lives of individuals. The old crusading “hammer of justice” … and the knocking on the doors of the immoral for a warning of judgement of “sin”.”

    Oh please; not that old chestnut.

    All law is about morality – the NZ law which outlaws the killing of innocent human beings imposes itself upon everyone in this society, as does our law prohibiting theft, or drink-driving, yet I am pretty sure that you are more than happy to have those moral laws imposed upon every individual in this country – why? Because such laws benefit the individual and the society.

    Why then are you so opposed to the possibility that there is also a clear cut morality regarding abortion?

    This is about pre-born human beings, and our unwillingness to actually ask the hard questions about the way in which they are treated within our so-called civilized and enlightened culture.

    What does it say about us if we aren’t even willing to entertain the possibility that we have enshrined in legislation an act which ends the lives of 18, 000 innocent New Zealander’s every year?

    Our unwillingness to ask the hard questions regarding this issue is a gravely immoral act in and of itself, and it shows that our pro-abortion laws are not built on any sound foundation of truth and fact, instead they are built on a blind ideology.

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  90. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “the issue is the Trojan horse for a crusade against secular society”

    Come now SPC – this isn’t about a crusade to destroy freedoms.

    This is about honesty, and our modern culture’s lack of it when it comes to moral issues.

    Don’t try and turn this into a vast and sinister conspiracy to bring down modern Western culture – we don’t need any religious groups to do that, we are doing that quite well ourselves without any help from religion.

    Your attempts to frame this debate in religious terms is a lazy way of trying to avoid the hard issues at the heart of this debate.

    You obviously hope that by labeling and then dismissing this issue as nothing more than a religious plot to take over the world, you can then smugly reassure yourself that all is well, and that it is safe to return to position of blindly following the pro-abortion ideology without question.

    I’m sorry my friend, such intellectual dishonesty is not good enough for me.

    As a man of science and reason, I demand answers to the hard questions – not red herrings and distractions which fail to actually answer the questions that we ALL have an obligation to ask BEFORE we adopt a position on this issue.

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  91. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    It’s plainly obvious where the pro life cause gets its momentum and advocacy and it is part of a world values division. It’s premised on the idea that the woman not a virgin and not breeding on the marriage bed is immoral and to be judged, it’s the end time religion symbolism based on the story in Genesis (where the woman is to be punished with painful child birth for her sexual activity). It’s not a debate about the facts, if it ignores the disparate world views and motivations of some involved.

    If its a limited debate about facts, why are there those who

    simply want the existing act enforced, because they say illegal abortions are being performed

    and yet also those who

    say its the fault of the act that all the abortions are being performed and thus the act must go …

    One question as a man of science and reason – do you think the morning after pill and RU486 abortion pill should be legally available and if not, would you charge with murder those who make them available to others? This speaks to the consequences of pro life definitions applied on the lives of real people.

    If every life is truly sacred, why are nations not obliged to provide their historic aid commitments to the poor of the world .7% of GDP in aid … . Why are those pro life not at the forefront of a campaign to have this country meet our .7% commitment (or in the USA either) … . Or is more about imposing on others, via law, a judgment of their personal sexual lives –

    it’s premised on the idea that the woman not a virgin and not breeding on the marriage bed is immoral and to be judged, its the end time religion symbolism based on the story in Genesis (where the woman is to be punished with painful child birth for her sexual activity). It’s not a debate about the facts, if it ignores the disparate world views and motivations of some involved.

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  92. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “Ultimately it is about the obsession with judgment of sex, outside of procreation on the marriage bed, while barely raising any equivalent passion for protecting the lives of hungry or ill born human beings is … (even what focus on aid there was on Africa, was within the greater need to pose as opposed to facilitating sexual activity – by blocking the provision of condoms).”

    Where does one start with such a sweeping generalization?

    It sounds to me like you have been reading the pro-abortion apologetics manual.

    Too bad that this is all smoke and mirrors.

    The most passionate pro-life people I know are also strong supporters of those in poverty, or facing hardship, and most of them donate generously to helping the poor here and abroad.

    It is a myth to suggest that being pro-life means that you don’t give a rats arse about other forms of injustice or poverty.

    The abortion debate is so vitally important because ultimately it is about the most fundamental and important of ALL human rights – the right to life.

    If you aren’t afforded the right to life then you will never experience the right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the freedom to own property, or to vote in an election, etc, etc, etc.

    The right to life is the foundational human right upon which all our other human rights are built – you take away that foundation, and what sort of system of rights do we really have?

    If we are prepared to play fast and loose with the most fundamental of human rights then what hope do we have that our other rights and freedoms will be respected and upheld?

    If we aren’t even prepared to afford just and moral treatment to the most innocent and defenseless of human persons – the child in the womb, then doesn’t this make all our other efforts in regards to social justice seem gravely hypocritical?

    Oh, and I don’t want to hi-jack this thread and debate the issue of condoms in Africa, but no population wide HIV epidemic has ever been arrested, or reversed, with condoms.

    In fact, since 1989 over 4 billion condoms have been shipped into Africa, and not only has their HIV problem not abated, it has simply got much worse.

    Like I said, that issue is a completely different one, for another thread on another day – I am merely trying to point out that your arguments might be as sound as you think, and this issues is not as straightforward as you imply it is.

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  93. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “If its a debate about facts, why are there those who simply want the existing act enforced, because they say illegal abortions are being performed and yet also those who say its the fault of the act that all the abortions are being performed and thus the act must go … “

    Huh?!

    I never said that everyone was reading from the same song sheet regarding this issue, what I said was that we are not currently asking the hard questions and seeking truth when we should be doing exactly that.

    Is it any wonder that there is such confusion and diversity of opinion when there has been such a shameful silence surrounding this issue?

    I suspect that if there was a more open and honest discussion (and I’m not talking about a shallow ratings driven episode of Campbell Live) of this issue then a lot more people would not be so willing to continue to endorse a pro-abortion position – which I suspect for most Kiwis is based more on a lack of knowledge rather than a full assessment of the facts.

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  94. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “It’s premised on the idea that the woman not a virgin and not breeding on the marriage bed is immoral and to be judged, it’s the end time religion symbolism based on the story in Genesis”

    Excuse me?

    Sounds like you’ve been reading too many year 1 womyn’s studies text books.

    The pro-life position is grounded firmly in Aristotlian philosophy, and in case you aren’t aware, Aristotle predates Christianity by hundreds of years, oh, and he was Greek.

    But really, that’s not the important point, because you are still trying to frame this debate in religious terms in the hope that such desperate label and dismiss tactics will mean that you don’t actually have to face up to the hard questions that demand answers when it comes to abortion.

    You can wax lyrical till you are blue in the face about virgins and marriage beds, but ultimately that isn’t why I am pro-life and it certainly isn’t what the pro-life arguments are based on.

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  95. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “If every life is truly sacred, why are nations not obliged to provide their historic aid commitments to the poor of the world .7% of GDP in aid … . Why are those pro life not at the forefront of a campaign to have this country meet our .7% commitment (or in the USA either)”

    Hmmm, I’m not sure about you, but I only have 24 hours in my day.

    There are already groups that are fighting and lobbying for this very issue, and I fully endorse their efforts – as do all the other pro-lifers I know.

    Not every person can address every social issue!

    I could just as easily ask why groups fighting for the GDP issue don’t spend more time engaging the abortion issue, but I know that this is simply a red herring that just sidetracks this debate.

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  96. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “One question as a man of science and reason – do you think the morning after pill and RU486 abortion pill should be legally available and if not, would you charge with murder those who make them available to others?”

    I think you already know the answer to this question.

    Of course they shouldn’t be freely available.

    Number one: they are chemical poisons which cause chemical abortions.

    Number two: they pose serious risks to the female body

    Why would I support a chemical that kills unborn human beings and exposes women to physical risk?

    Would you support the sale of arsenic to solo mums who want to rid themselves of their infant children?

    Did you really even need to ask that question?

    If I am going to be true to reason then I must be consistent in my principals, and that means not supporting any act which would bring about the death of an innocent unborn child.

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  97. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    The Dumb Ox

    Yeah sure, for the campaign here in New Zealand any pro life campaign would have to attach itself to a wider demographic than just our religious, so I can see why you would want to avoid the religious heritage involved here, but your citing of a premise on a fundamental right to life, is equally matched by another natural right equal right to liberty …in terms of the equality of the human being regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political creed etc.

    You can deny you are influenced by religious values in your position, but many of those involved are. Your own negativity to “woman studies”, as if this is some source of criticism of patriarchal religion judgmental of women raises some questions … and somehow implies critical thought of religion on this is to be naturally associated with such a source opposed to your own position on the issue …

    If you argue for right to life and based on such definitions of life as from conception (even to the point of banning the morning after pill which involves a debate in itself about when life begins – for would you not claim that as soon as sperm was placed with an egg there is life, even outside the womb?) and are prepared to criminalise the suppliers of the morning after pill, I cannot see why one is not seeking a pro life position across the board, rather than citing lack of time – it’s more a choice of where people think the state should begin imposing a right to life policy.

    The USA is the most organised pro life group nation, yet the nation can continue quite happily with little debate on a .7% aid commitment being unmet, a continuance of the death penalty and a lack of health insurance for all …and given the religious strength there, the chastity movement, the opposition to sex education, making solo mothers work for their welfare, it all being of a judgment of their personal sexual lives is fair comment.

    I restate the following

    it’s premised on the idea that the woman not a virgin and not breeding on the marriage bed is immoral and to be judged, its the end time religion symbolism based on the story in Genesis (where the woman is to be punished with painful child birth for her sexual activity) and ending with the idea of fallen woman of many nations being judged (as in the days of Noah). It’s not a debate about the facts, if it ignores the disparate world views and motivations of some involved.

    This is a big part of the issue in the USA, where the debate has and is occuring, it speaks to the religious passion of those contributing to it, as would happen here while such a debate continued.

    The right to life of the unborn child case does not need to be based on religion, or religious arguement, as you have pointed out, but there is also the right to liberty and sovereignty over ones own body. It is all very well to claim a primary right which women must be responsible to, or that they have their right to liberty while responsible to the life of the unborn child and not otherwise. But this leads to the question, do women have the function of being breeders. Some of religion see women as validated only by becoming mothers (there have been nations where rape victims and women at some danger
    being required to give birth, does the right to life have exceptions and where is the judgment of greater right to life made)

    I am aware you wish to avoid the religious arguement, but there is the idea in the NT that God created mankind to procreate and thus sexuality must be procreative to please God (not much different to Genesis except where birth pain is said to be of some punishment for disobedience by the first woman, except in the NT sexuality not procreative is associated with same likeness kind idolatry).

    Debates about issues seldom occur within a vacuum, and this issue is one loaded with related meaning, whether you like it or not.

    The ultimate question on right to life morality is this – is right to life is absolute,or conditioned on innocence. You used the word innocent to describe the unborn child, in doing this you imply that the unborn are different to the born human beings who might not be innocent. It’s a very religious word this word innocent. It allows the death penalty for the guilty and many pro life Americans accept this line. It also allows the term deserving poor for the religious/the saved … .

    So your use of the word innocent speaks to accepting judgment to death for the guilty, and this is a religious concept – when God is said to preside over ultimate judgment and authority over death, not man or woman. The question is of ones perception of God and ones hope in continued life despite being imperfect. If God redeems all, should we also not redeem all, or is that expecting the perfect of the imperfect and then finding fault with them for that. Whereas if God redeems some and not others, this being the Creator of life’s right and authority, what then of the procreation of our sovereign body and our authority over it?

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  98. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    So we have on this thread people who genuinely believe the state is intentionally killing 18,000 NZ children per year, that “history will see the abortion holocaust in the same way we see the nazi one,” and whose response to that is to lobby for a legislation change, encourage people to emigrate, or would be to join an activist group picketing clinics if only there was one near them.

    I may be “devoid of a moral conscience” and “blinded by lefty ideologies” as Dad4Justice says, but even in this morally moribund condition, I’d like to think that if I genuinely believed our govt was murdering 18,000 children a year I’d take action a little more direct than whinging about it on a blog. The fact that those whinging in this thread are taking no further action than described above suggests that in reality, they’re aware that this claim of “murder” is merely a rhetorical device to assist the expression of faux moral outrage over other people’s sexual practices, that most people differentiate between aborton and murder, that they would in fact be treated as nutters if they genuinely acted as though this was murder, and so on.

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  99. Pascal (1,187 comments) says:

    Ryan: If clinics were set up where 5-year-old children were being routinely and legally murdered, how would you react?

    That is a very good question, and it certainly shows that those who are opposed to the wholescale, commercial ease with which abortion is treated are not acting as they should. I’m guilty of just that, because I’ve restricted my activities to writing to MPs and exercising my opposition to this in a democratic way. What other options are there?

    Yes, you could take an extremist viewpoint and firebomb abortion clinics. Or follow the doctors and nurses who work at those clinics home and take care of the problem there. But those are the actions of an extremist. And by joining those who are doing an evil deed you yourself become like them. There are democratic means, which also involve swaying public opinion.

    My ideal solution would be to address this problem at its very root. The percentage of abortions required because of rape is low. I do not recall the exact number, but it is very, very low. Which means we have a situation where people having unprotected sex because of a number of factors are making the choice to abort a human life. It is a tough, tough choice that bring with it a sea of agony, pain and emotional scars for the person making the choice. (I hope) I’d prefer it if we could advocate a solution where the person is spared that and where the human life is not aborted. Which is what I am doing.

    I look at my daughter, a mere 2 and a half years old now, see the beautiful person she is growing into and realize that I could never have made the decision to have her killed. I do not have that right. My wife feels the same. And she was entirely unplanned.

    As to your original question. I would imagine that if clinics were set up where 5 year old children were routinely and legally murdered, my reaction would be different. I would not be living in a nation where the democratically elected government decided to legalize the death of 5 year old children.

    Now that you can feel gratified in having exposed a weakness, how would you react?

    Psycho Milt: I’d like to think that if I genuinely believed our govt was murdering 18,000 children a year I’d take action a little more direct than whinging about it on a blog

    Perhaps. Ultimately however this is a battleground for the hearts and minds of people. You do not win such a battle through foolhardy measures. If activists go out and kill the doctors and nurses responsible they’re no better than those who perpetuate this. Public opinion, the voice of democracy if you will, would turn against them and make the battle all the more difficult.

    But if a reasonable voice can offer solutions that negate the need for this and do so in a calm, logical fashion there is perhaps a chance that we can save both the children being aborted and the parent(s) who need to make that very, very tough decision.

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  100. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    “morally moribund condition”
    Oh yes I forgot to add psycho melt is a coward who is hated by most members that run the No Minister blog. You are one sick and sad unit walter mitty but what else can I expect from a vindictive and cowardly principality puppet!!!

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  101. Psycho Milt (2,431 comments) says:

    Dad, I wasn’t calling you morally moribund. Read it again.

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  102. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Look psycho we serve different masters and it is pointless to continue a debate with you as you are so firmly entrenched in protecting your dark prince. Murder is murder, but people get complacent and whats the worry eh ? It’s really a matter of having to except things we cannot change. We will realize one day that abortion is homicide.

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  103. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    Perhaps. Ultimately however this is a battleground for the hearts and minds of people. You do not win such a battle through foolhardy measures. If activists go out and kill the doctors and nurses responsible they’re no better than those who perpetuate this. Public opinion, the voice of democracy if you will, would turn against them and make the battle all the more difficult.

    I suggest that the main reason the pro-life lot are losing this battle is because they don’t seem to believe their own rhetoric. Several pro-lifers on this thread have argued that the alternative to doing nothing (their current response to state-sanctioned mass murder) is to carry out their own acts of violence. This is obviously a false choice: you can carry out a campaign of civil disobedience, go to prison, go on hunger strikes and do all those things that people fighting for a cause you deeply believe in routinely do. And since you live in a democracy you can do all those things without the fear of physical violence and death.

    Of course, all this would be terribly inconvenient, and much less satisfying than sitting around on the internet passing judgment on others and making yourself feel morally superior. Obviously you’re never going to effect any change whatsoever with the current approach – or save any childrens lives – but its become pretty apparent it was never about that in the first place.

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  104. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Mention the words principality and dark prince and surprise, surprise, Danyl turns up with another diversion.
    I rest my case.

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  105. Pascal (1,187 comments) says:

    Danyl, what is wrong with:

    (a) Writing to MPs
    (b) Discussing alternatives on blogs where one can influence *some* people

    I would recommend getting off your judgemental high horse.

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  106. Innocent bystander (163 comments) says:

    Dumb Ox:
    I didn’t say people who haven’t had an unplanned pregnancy couldn’t express an opinion. I said that they couldn’t express an _informed_ opinion. What I was talking about was things like knowing how difficult the decision is, the actual process you have to go through to get an abortion and the after effects etc. You don’t need to know any of that to take a moral position on abortion.

    Dumb Ox and Nicholas O’Kane:
    If we want to be brutally honest about this, the point where you can generally no longer abort your baby isn’t based on morality or the baby’s development, its based on the foetus being too difficult to suck up in a vacuum cleaner.

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  107. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    If there occurred the legally sanctioned slaughter of thousands of 5-year-old children in New Zealand every year, I would…

    1. Not be able to sleep at night.
    2. Refuse to pay taxes wherever possible, and seek income where that is possible.
    3. Form large groups outside murderous institutions and use force to prevent parents from bringing their 5-year-olds in to be slaughtered.
    4. Damage whatever property and equipment that would most efficiently halt the slaughter.
    5. Work towards a general strike, attempting to shut down the country until the slaughter was ended.
    6. And yes, I may well consider serious violence against those murdering the 5-year-olds. I would consider my own inaction and passivity tantamount to helping kill the children myself.

    If I really believed that any of you considered the abortion of a foetus that could not survive independently was morally equivalent to the murder of 5-year-old children, I would be utterly appalled at your response: writing to MPs, online handwringing, etc. If you really would respond identically to the slaughter of thousands of 5-year-olds, I am horrified.

    But I don’t believe you would be so apathetic and basically callous if 5-year-old children were being slaughtered. So I don’t believe you consider first- and second-trimester abortion to be equivalent to the slaughter of 5-year-old children. I have no doubt you find it distasteful and immoral, but I don’t think you find it as severely distasteful and immoral as the murder of 5-year-old children.

    Which really doesn’t make you that much different from those other people in the community who, like you, can stomach abortion being legal.

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  108. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Well said Pascal.

    It seems to me that certain pro-abortion supporters here are deluding themselves about the way in which the abortion issue must be addressed.

    Hunger strikes are a pointless way of addressing this issue – who would listen in our current climate of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to abortion?!

    The simple fact is that all those here passing judgment on the actions of us pro-lifers here have absolutely no idea the level of commitment we give to this issue.

    The reality is that blog discussions like this are vitally important because this is a serious social issue, and like all social issues policy is driven by the way that people think about this issue.

    So we must engage in these discussions so that people are challenged to think seriously about the hard questions surrounding this issue – because not until ordinary Kiwis realise the full damage that abortion does to NZ women and their babies will we ever see change.

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  109. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    The slaughter of 5-year-olds is not a “serious social issue”. I would not care if others had to be “challenged to think seriously about the hard questions surrounding this issue”. I would do nothing other than attempt to stop the slaughter. How could I sit down for a drink with friends while 5-year-old children were being slaughtered at the request of their parents?

    Actions speak louder than words. You guys don’t consider the two things equivalent.

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  110. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    You are dreaming my friend.

    I’ll give you this – your argument is one of the most original I have seen, but unfortunately that doesn’t make it a valid one.

    You are merely posing a red herring which simply distracts from the real issue – that of aborting babies before birth.

    Instead of debating the morality of that act, you are simply debating a side-issue that avoids the hard questions associated with abortion.

    You can talk of murder clinics for 5 year olds until you are blue in the gills, but the fact is that no such evil exists in this country, however clinics which regularly kill 11 week old pre-born babies DO exist in NZ, and that’s the issue we should be debating.

    Not whether or not you think the pro-life movement meets your subjective standards of acceptable forms of protest action.

    You talk as if we are on a level playing field regarding this issue, but we are not.

    All the money is tied up in the pro-abortion side of this discussion, as is the power of government, and thanks to the general silence many people in this country are ill-informed about this issue and have formulated a pro-abortion position based on misinformation and lack of information.

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  111. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “Actions speak louder than words. You guys don’t consider the two things equivalent.”

    Who died and made you Darth Vader?

    You have no idea the level of commitment that I give to this issue, which I do happen to back up with actions, both financial and practical by the way.

    You’re some guy sitting at a PC who doesn’t know me from Adam, and yet here you are passing judgment on me because I don’t meet your personal standards of acceptable protest actions.

    If you want to talk about unbending and judgmental attitudes, I suggest you start by taking a long hard look in the mirror.

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  112. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull, would you really?

    Do you beleive that what the Janjaweed militia is doing in dafur, or the Chinese Government is doing to Tibetan protesters and falun gong to be as distasteful and immoral as the murder of 5 year old kids?

    If so, why can you sleep at night?
    Why don’t you refuse to buy Sudanese or Chinese goods at supermarkets, as some of the money from those goods would end up in those governments coffers?
    Obviously points 3-6 are not possible in for the war in Dafur and events inChina, but protests outside the Chinese embassy are.

    The reality with humans (including pro-life people and in some cases including me) is that when injustice ossurs, when it is not happening to us or people we know, we look the other way.

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  113. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Keep trying SPC!

    “You can do et!”

    It seems to me that it is you my friend who wishes to debate this issue on religious grounds, in fact it seems to me that you are more bound up with religious thinking regarding this issue than I am.

    Oh, and the reason I have very little time for womyn’s studies is because it is nothing more than a propaganda class for outdated 60’s feminist rhetoric – it is a place where people go to learn how the sad world view of an aging minority of militant feminists – a world view that very few women have any time for today because they see it for the flawed ideology that it is.

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  114. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    You’re some guy sitting at a PC who doesn’t know me from Adam, and yet here you are passing judgment on me because I don’t meet your personal standards

    My unintentional irony meter just went into the red.

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  115. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Ox,

    If you considered first- and second-trimester abortion to be murder equivalent to the slaughter of 5-year-olds, you would react in the same way to them both.

    You are telling me that if clinics were set up where 5-year-old children could be legally slaughtered at the request of their parents, there would be no change in your behaviour, except to add “and stop those 5-year-old slaughter clinics also” to your letters to MPs, and “I really don’t approve of those 5-year-old slaughter clinics” to your blog posts and letters to the editor.

    I simply do not believe that. I am not arguing that abortion is moral. I am pointing out that you demonstrate clearly that you, and others like you, do not consider abortion to be murder. You may well consider it immoral. I personally consider the eating of animal flesh to be immoral. You may wish it didn’t happen. I personally wish the eating of animal flesh didn’t happen.

    But your actions make it clear that you do not consider abortion to be murder in the same way that killing 5-year-olds is. Just as my actions make it clear that I do not consider meat-eating to be murder in the same way that killing 5-year-olds is.

    This is not distracting from the real issue. This is clarifying where it is that pro-lifers/anti-choicers stand.

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  116. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Nicholas,

    Because I do not believe my actions could stop those atrocities you list from occuring, I do not feel my passivity to be tantamount to being an accomplice. If the New Zealand government was doing anything like that, I would.

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  117. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    Oh, okay Danyl, so it’s okay for you to pass judgment on the actions of people like me, but if I dare to suggest that I might have a problem with the act of abortion then I am doing something terribly immoral?

    Hmmm, my unintentional hypocrisy meter just went into the red.

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  118. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Ryan your “5-year-old children could be legally slaughtered ” story is straight from the gallery of absurdity.
    You write some meaningless woffle.

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  119. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    So Ryan, if the New Zealand Government was murdering 5 year olds, and you realised that your actions could not stop this from happening, you would not feel that your passivity is tantamount to being an acomlice and would do nothing? right.

    I actually partly agree with you Ryan, and I think that pro-lifers should do more to stop abortion than what is currently happening. But there is no group in New Zealand I can join that goes out picketing clinics and forcibly stopping women from having abortions.

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  120. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “I am pointing out that you demonstrate clearly that you, and others like you, do not consider abortion to be murder.”

    Ryan,

    I had no idea you were a god – yet here you are telling me how I think and feel about an issue.

    Gee I sure am glad that you clarified that for me, because I could have sworn that I DO actually consider abortion to be murder, and also that I do take more positive action than just talking about it.

    You really don’t get it do you?

    Your example of murder clinics for 5 year olds is not a valid one.

    If you wanted to make it a valid one, your example would go like this…

    Imagine if the majority of people in NZ believed that 5 year old children were not human persons, and they didn’t believe that 5 year old persons should be given the right to life. Then a group of militant feminists started a movement to change the law to legalise the killing of 5 year old kids, because they claimed that a woman should have the right to kill her 5 year old kid if it becomes an inconvenience to her.

    Then imagine that these feminist ideologies became popular with those in power, so they enacted a law which legalised the killing of 5 year old kids, and clinics to kill 5 year olds were set up all over NZ, and they were fully funded by tax money.

    And anyone who tried to speak up against the act of killing 5 year olds was called a nutter, and then simply ignored, and if anyone protested against the act of killing 5 year olds they were meet with hatred and anger by the media, the politicians and the majority of the public.

    Now the people who opposed the killing of 5 year olds did not believe in violence, so they could never attack these clinics or the people who work in them because such a response would be repugnant to them.

    Now that is an example which more closely resembles the current situation!

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  121. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Nicholas,

    If the NZ government was murdering 5-year-olds and I believed that my actions could not stop this from happening, I would not feel that my passivity was tantamount to being an accomplice and I would not feel cowardly and pathetic for only writing about my disapproval.

    But if the NZ government was murdering 5-year-olds, I would – with a group of like-minded others – be able to stop at least some of them. And if I saved even one 5-year-old’s life and was imprisoned for it, wouldn’t that be worth it?

    I’m not shocked by your response, because it is clear that you do not consider abortion to be murder equivalent to the slaughter of 5-year-olds. You can say the words, but I cannot believe you would respond similarly if 5-year-old children were being murdered daily.

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  122. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Ox,

    Your description is what I meant by my example.

    Why would you not attack the clinics? Do you consider the destruction of property to be equally as violent as allowing people to murder 5-year-olds? I do not. I would burn a slaughterhouse down to prevent it from being used to murder 5-year-olds. I would destroy power lines to prevent power from being used to murder 5-year-olds. I would block off roads with nails twisted together, in an effort to dissuade or prevent people from bringing their 5-year-old children in to be murdered.

    Would I be so afraid of being ignored, or hated by the media, the politicians and the majority of the public that I wouldn’t do these things? Would I let that fear result in the deaths of 5-year-old children? Perhaps, but if so, let’s call a spade a spade: I would be a coward.

    I am not suggesting you go out and destroy property to stop abortions from occurring.

    If you considered abortion to be murder, you would already have done these things. You would be doing them right now.

    So, your behaviour tells me (I don’t have to be a god to see it) that you don’t consider the two to be equivalent.

    And there’s no shame in that. But if you’re going to campaign against abortion, you’d better be more clear about what exactly your problem with it is, because it clearly is not that it is equivalent to murdering 5-year-old children, just as my problem with animal slaughter is not that it is equivalent to murdering 5-year-old children.

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  123. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Ryan tried to play “god” on Ian Wisharts site. This is one rather unusual specimen who doesn’t take a good photo.

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  124. Nicholas O'Kane (147 comments) says:

    Ryan, I repeat again, I consider abortion to be murder, and would react the same way to 5 year old children being killed by the state in the same way I do now to abortion.

    “But if the NZ government was murdering 5-year-olds, I would – with a group of like-minded others – be able to stop at least some of them. And if I saved even one 5-year-old’s life and was imprisoned for it, wouldn’t that be worth it?”
    I agree, but there are no like minded others I have met who can stop one of them.

    “I’m not shocked by your response, because it is clear that you do not consider abortion to be murder equivalent to the slaughter of 5-year-olds. You can say the words, but I cannot believe you would respond similarly if 5-year-old children were being murdered daily.” I take offence that you don’t believe in the sincerity of my views on abortion. What am I suppose to do to prove to you that I would take the same actions to stop 5 year olds being murdered. The only definite proof would be if the Government actually legislated for their murder, which fortunately is unlikely to happen.

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  125. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    I have to go. I’ll reiterate something to be clear: just because you don’t consider abortion to be equivalent to the murder of a 5-year-old child, doesn’t mean that you approve of abortion.

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  126. battler (116 comments) says:

    Ryan,

    A lot of people do stop abortions from happening. Just because it is not blogged about or covered in the left wing main stream press doesn’t mean that a lot of work isn’t going on.

    If people wern’t taking action, the abortion numbers would be even higher.

    In the current climate, the actions that you suggest would do nothing to help the unborn children whose lives are at stake in this issue.

    Taking violent action or using abusive rhetoric against pregnant women, doctors or clinics would only serve to cement the pro-abortion activists in their determination to succeed in mainstreaming abortion and it would give them a tool with which to swing public opinion in their favour – at the same time enabling them to avoid having to engage in the discussion about the fact that every unborn baby is a human life, that they are engaged in killing human life, and that the vast majority of abortions they are performing are under present law ILLEGAL.

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  127. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Ryan always finds an excuse to go when he is beaten.

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  128. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “If you considered abortion to be murder, you would already have done these things. You would be doing them right now.”

    What absolute nonsense.

    One doesn’t have to resort to violence or vandalism in an attempt to get their message across.

    Have you ever considered the possibility that I find such acts morally unacceptable?

    Or have you ever considered that such action would harm the pro-life cause and simply turn more people away from the pro-life position, and thus harm any efforts to protect the unborn child?

    You reasoning is riddled with holes, and I am quite astounded that you think that can actually pass such definitive judgments on the intentions and thoughts of people based purely on the way they act (or don’t act)!

    Like I said, you must have superpowers to be able to know so much about people you don’t even know!

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  129. The Dumb Ox (29 comments) says:

    “But if you’re going to campaign against abortion, you’d better be more clear about what exactly your problem with it is…”

    Okay then, and the circle of life comes around again.

    Exactly how is one meant to be “more clear” about the problem of abortion without actually engaging in open and frank discussion about it?!!!!!

    Can you see now why discussion is so vitally important?

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  130. Lucyna (24 comments) says:

    Ryan, you would never “save” that 5yo child. You would be arrested and then the 5yo child would be murdered anyway.

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  131. Matthew (110 comments) says:

    The Dumb Ox, Nicholas and others. I think your arguments are compassionate, well thought out and understandable. Well Done.

    The purpose of my comment is to put Ryan’s arguments about the (supoposed) inconsistency of your approach to how to oppose abortion in a wider context. I am NOT attempting to hijack the thread, or to engage in a character assisination of Ryan. Instead I want to show his his beliefs are dangerous and unsafe in our society. I do believe that his approach reveals a lot about himself and the damage he would do efforts to protect the unborn baby.

    I have debated with Ryan Sproul extensively over at TBR before and it ran to hundreds of comments in the end. Ryan states that he used to be a Christian, but has now passed that worldview and is a Buddhist. Ryan’s approach is to legistimise the creation of anarchy and tear down all the parts of society that he thinks are relevant to the abortion clinics. This is dangerous for several reasons. The creation of disorder will bring a country to its knees and make it unable to have any positive impact for the people in that country. Abortion is rife today, but imagine if we added to that tragic disorder and destruction the following: riots, damaging property, attacking people, resisting arrest, fighting the army and ultimately refusing in your heart to respect authority. That is Ryan’s world and in part gives me a clearer understanding why he left Christianity and thereby ensure he doesn’t have to submit to authority. Secondly, and more seriously, it is true for all of humanity, in all times and in all places that no other human being can force another human being to go against their will. Jesus, when addressing his disciples who expected him to overthrow the government (or occupying power), said that you cannot overthrow governments, which undelies this principle. Furthermore, to subject people to violence and coersion to go against their wills in the area of abortion and say that it’s OK, then opens the floodgates in other areas. All moral decisions that one person makes would then be subject to the will of another person in Ryan’s world which in turn destroys both the good and evil in human affairs and ultimately ensures the complete downfall of all of human society. Imagine a world where everyone followed Ryan’s edict and at that point you can say goodbye to everyone, if you take his principle to its logical conclsuion. On that basis I believe it reflects Ryan’s approach to order and authority more than how to stop abortion. History is littered with many examples of one group of people forcing their will on others. Communism, parts of the church, governments, murderers, people who commit genocide, people who force others to love God have all failed and will fail if tried again. On that basis, only a free choice, within the confines of human knowledge and capacity, is valid. Note that I say “within the confines of human knowledge and capacity” as a precondition.

    Ryan will continue to propsoe his path as the way forward, but in reality he is the same as the abortionist: a heart of rebellion towards others who do not agree with his version of how things must be. Restraint, humility, unconditional love towards both people who do right and wrong is the best way forward. (Of course there is the issue of a Hitler, but this post is too long already). Justice, on the other hand, can happen if enough people are able to dispense it with grace and without condemnation or hatred. (Just go into any Court room in New Zealand to see how that happens, especially with the more serious offenses in our Criminal Law.) Abortion, as morally wrong and despicable as it is, falls into that camp at present, and if we are to save the unborn, we will fail with Ryan’s method because of our rebellion. Do not follow Ryan’s path, and by every means see if he can be entreated back towards his Christian roots and a respect and submission to authority. For without it he has no hope. God bless you Ryan.

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  132. battler (116 comments) says:

    [DPF: Is getting raped an issue of personal responsibility? Is having a vasectomy fail?]

    DPF,

    Why should the baby have to suffer a grizzly death because of the actions of somebody else?

    Was the baby responsible for the rape or the vasectomy failure?

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  133. battler (116 comments) says:

    “Now my personal position on abortion is it should be legal, safe and preferably rare”

    SAFE IS DEFINED AS: secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk.

    In all cases of abortion, the baby comes out dead – even in the rare legal cases – how is that safe?

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  134. kiwitoffee (380 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt

    People who oppose the routine abortion arrangement we currently have in NZ do act in ways other than ‘just’ blogging about it.

    There are silent protests outside abortion centres such as the one in Dominion Road, Mt Eden. A large group of people standing silently outside, some praying, is quite a moving experience to observe. You might like to try it sometime. I think I will.

    I’m by no means a single-issue person but when I saw the numbers on a government website (the Ministry of, er, Health?) a few months ago, I was astounded.

    So I wrote to Ms Clark. As the PM, a woman and my local MP, I thought I’d ask her to comment on the rising abortion figures and ask if there is a case for encouraging alternatives. Her reply was a standard acknowledgement – nothing more – from one of her staff.

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  135. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    As for those who think it is too hard to get any change made in laws regarding the value of life, do you not think the environmentalists have been pretty successful regarding trees, whales, etc?

    So don’t give up on the value of life in a human foetus.

    And every time you see eco-freaks canvassing in public, engage them in conversation about “the value of every living thing”, get them well and truly committed, making extravagant statements about trees, whales, etc, then casually throw in; you mean that for human foetuses too, of course?………….

    Gets them every time…….

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  136. PhilBest (4,757 comments) says:

    Another beeaauuuutiful hypocrisy, concerns the rationing of life-saving operations, heart bypasses, etc……..

    So if we’re so desperately under-resourced, how come not one single person misses out on their abortion before it was too late, because the service provider was short of resources?

    I smell a further rat…….I don’t KNOW this, but I BET that the abortion clinics are all efficient privately-run affairs, with the only role of the State being payment for the “interventions”……….I bet those bloody hypocrite Socialists KNOW that this is what they HAVE TO DO when they REALLY actually WANT to get the job done……..

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  137. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    The Dumb Ox

    “It seems to me that it is you my friend who wishes to debate this issue on religious grounds, in fact it seems to me that you are more bound up with religious thinking regarding this issue than I am.”

    You claim to want to have human society ordered around some thinking you got from Aristotle, an idea where you claim all human rights derive from right to life and a prime responsibility to right to life – yet focus on making this manifest only in one area, control of womens fertility. Not feed the world, not world health care, not a ban on military activity, not a ban on weaponry etc, but on womens fertility. Because you do not have the time to focus on the other issues – they are part of the one issue, that is if you really believe in your Aristotlian idea and it is not simply some ruse to see if a kite can fly. And given this is a secular society and the religious line taken in the USA would not work here …

    “Oh, and the reason I have very little time for womyn’s studies is because it is nothing more than a propaganda class for outdated 60’s feminist rhetoric – it is a place where people go to learn how the sad world view of an aging minority of militant feminists – a world view that very few women have any time for today because they see it for the flawed ideology that it is.”

    I think the attitudes expressed here explain why you wish to assert control over the fertility of women under your right to life banner. I have pointed to where religion asserted responsibility to women to be virgins who breed for men to justify themselves to the patriarchy as obedient brides (and how judgment of a woman of all peoples and nations for their sexual independence – as in the says of Noah – is a role taken on by churches trying to show they are the worthy bride of Christ in the end time). The desire to use law to judge humanity born to woman, is of course part of religious heritage in the rule of peoples and nations.

    In your position as moral law giver, you want conception of life to be defined as when the egg is offered sperm – thus you would deny the morning after pill, no doubt also ban the fertilisation of eggs by sperm (with storage) because there is no guarantee the embryo would be used. By the way, the morning after pill’s use is when no one in medical science can identify whether the woman is pregnant, so how could it be a threat to any life – unless your actual arguement
    is potential of life, in which case you would next ban the contraceptive pill and condom on the ground that they prevented the possibility of conception of life while procreative sexuality was occuring. Then onto the idea that sexual acts have to be procreative to be valid etc. Exactly how far does your right to life directly parallel the policy platform of a certain church and does it differ on any issue?

    A slightly cynical SPC, that men as anti-woman as TDO do not have their comfort in some religion to justify their judgement as holy. Or is being a man enough validation for being holier than thou on women and their fertility issues. The issue of responsibility to bear life is how greater than the responsibility to sustain life born? Why are the same people big on this issue, not also passionate about fathers and their support for their children and protecting the life of the children of others around the world. Why is the USA not full of passion for the .7% GDP foreign aid commitment made in the 1970’s …,

    Oh and TDO, you evade the issue of your use of the term innocent unborn child – the cop out of the Americans who support the death penalty for the guilty … you obviously have a less than fulsome regard for the right to life of all humans … so what then as prime human right the right to life …

    et al

    the issue of God and the creation of life and the sustaining of that life is relevant to the issue of right to life, even if only on the basis of an ideal world above and our attempt to progress our own. I know of no religious group that is pro life that can adequately say why a woman is responsible to bear all conceived life as a procreator and and yet God as Creator
    can condemn to hell the guilty, show or bear no equivalent responsibility. Unless they expect a higher standard of their mothers and daughters, sisters and wives than they do of God. Maybe because in claiming to be made in the image of God
    they know they would want this better self or half in their own companion and family. That it they and it be full of compassion and be slow to judge.

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  138. SPC (5,682 comments) says:

    The Dumb Ox

    “It seems to me that it is you my friend who wishes to debate this issue on religious grounds, in fact it seems to me that you are more bound up with religious thinking regarding this issue than I am.”

    You claim to want to have human society ordered around some thinking you got from Aristotle, an idea where you claim all human rights derive from right to life and a prime responsibility to right to life – yet focus on making this manifest only in one area, control of womens fertility. Not feed the world, not world health care, not a ban on military activity, not a ban on weaponry etc, but on womens fertility. Because you do not have the time to focus on the other issues – they are part of the one issue, that is if you really believe in your Aristotlian idea and it is not simply some ruse to see if a kite can fly. And given this is a secular society and the religious line taken in the USA would not work here …

    “Oh, and the reason I have very little time for womyn’s studies is because it is nothing more than a propaganda class for outdated 60’s feminist rhetoric – it is a place where people go to learn how the sad world view of an aging minority of militant feminists – a world view that very few women have any time for today because they see it for the flawed ideology that it is.”

    I think the attitudes expressed here explain why you wish to assert control over the fertility of women under your right to life banner. I have pointed to where religion asserted responsibility to women to be virgins who breed for men to justify themselves to the patriarchy as obedient brides (and how judgment of a woman of all peoples and nations for their sexual independence – as in the says of Noah – is a role taken on by churches trying to show they are the worthy bride of Christ in the end time). The desire to use law to judge humanity born to woman, is of course part of religious heritage in the rule of peoples and nations. Particularly in the case of daughters of “Eve/woman” who challenge male primacy.

    In your position as moral law giver, you want conception of life to be defined as when the egg is offered sperm – thus you would deny the morning after pill, no doubt also ban the fertilisation of eggs by sperm (with storage) because there is no guarantee the embryo would be used. By the way, the morning after pill’s use is when no one in medical science can identify whether the woman is pregnant, so how could it be a threat to any known life – unless your actual arguement is potential of life, in which case you would next ban the contraceptive pill and condom on the ground that they prevented the possibility of conception of life while procreative sexuality was occuring. Then onto the idea that sexual acts have to be procreative to be valid etc. Exactly how far does your right to life directly parallel the policy platform of a certain church and does it differ on any issue?

    A slightly cynical SPC, that men as anti-woman as TDO, do not have their comfort in some religion to justify their judgement as holy. Or is being a man enough validation for being holier than thou on women and their fertility issues. The issue of responsibility to bear life is how greater than the responsibility to sustain life born? Why are the same people big on this issue, not also passionate about fathers and support for their children and protecting the life of the children of others around the world. Why is the USA not full of passion for the .7% GDP foreign aid commitment made in the 1970’s … .

    Oh and TDO, you evade the issue of your use of the term innocent unborn child – the cop out of the Americans who support the death penalty for the guilty … you obviously have a less than fulsome regard for the right to life of all humans … so what then again was your prime human right, the right to life … . If this is limited by later behaviour/other rights, then you make the right limited. Then the issue of a person’s right to have sovereignty over their own body.

    et al

    the issue of God and the creation of life and the sustaining of that life is relevant to the issue of right to life, even if only on the basis of an ideal world above and our attempt to progress our own. I know of no religious group that is pro life that can adequately say why a woman is responsible to birth all conceived life as its vehicle/procreator and yet God as Creator can condemn to hell and or death the guilty, show or have no equivalent responsibility. Unless they expect a higher standard of their mothers and daughters, sisters and wives than they do of God. Maybe because in claiming to be made in the image of God, they know they would want this better self or half in their own companion and family. That his companion be and family be full of compassion and be slow to judge.

    But back to the underlying religious theology. A God authority to judge the “guilty”, those not innocent, and thus not worthy of life – except in punishment in hell or death. And the idea that it is only in birthing the male line of God child that a woman redeems herself and thus mankind, thus the condemnation of abortion this week was, of course, part of someones crusade of the Cross for Easter. For the church claims that Mary’s son was the one to place his heel on the snakes head and end the rebellion of man from God, bring in the rule of God over humanity. Thus of course for them, restoring their morality into the law of this world or at least “bearing” witness to their values and the religious heritage of their faith.

    (a manager could delete the above post – too late completing the editing).

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  139. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Matthew: If you’re going to assassinate my character, at least have the good manners to spell “assassinate” correctly. While you’re looking that up, check out “ad hominem fallacy” and have a big ol’ read.

    No one is going to go to such extreme lengths to prevent abortions from occurring, because none of them really consider abortion to be equivalent to murdering 5-year-olds. If abortion is murder, then Western governments are committing murder on a scale comparable to the Nazi holocaust. I’m sure that most people here consider armed resistance rather than hearty letter campaigns an appropriate response to Nazi murder camps.

    Lucyna: You may well be correct that I wouldn’t save the child and would just get locked up and the child would still be murdered. That’s a good reason to find something else to do. But I still simply can’t believe my options would be whittled down to letter-writing and online handwringing. Would you alter your behaviour if 5-year-olds were being murdered along with unborn babies? Would it make any difference besides numbers?

    dad4justice: You gave me your word that you would treat me respectfully in discussion, and only address what I’m saying, rather than making personal insults. Please keep that in mind, and do not break your word again.

    Nicholas: You’re right, there’s no real way for you to prove that you would behave the same if the government started killing 5-year-olds. It’s a little unfair on you, I know. But I still can’t bring myself to believe it.

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  140. Ryan Sproull (7,361 comments) says:

    Looking at this logically, here’s what I was originally saying:

    1. There are pro-lifers who claim that abortion is morally equivalent to murdering 5-year-old children.
    2. If the 5-year-old children were being legally slaughtered in New Zealand, I would be “extremist” in my response.
    3. Other people have similar morals to myself.
    4. Pro-lifers are not “extremist” in their response.
    C. Therefore pro-lifers do not really feel that abortion is morally equivalent to murdering 5-year-old children.

    The objections were…

    Disagreement with (2) – that if the situation was equivalent, including the overwhelming public support for the murders, the bias of the media against the idea that the murders are wrong, etc., then I would not actually do anything extreme (either because I would recognise it as ineffectual or because I would be too acclimatised to the murders to feel as outraged as I would if people started murdering 5-year-olds overnight).

    Disagreement with (4) – that pro-lifers actually do far more than write their disapproval on blogs and letters to MPs and editors, and that their actions are more effective in bringing about an end to the slaughter than direct action would be.

    Disagreement with (3) – that I’m strange and unusual for suggesting that I might react violently to people committing government-sanctioned slaughter of 5-year-olds in my neighbourhood.

    Just as Nicholas can’t prove to me that he would not react differently if 5-year-olds were being murdered along with unborn children, I can’t prove to Nicholas that I would react differently from pro-lifers if I had grown up in a country where child murder was accepted, legal, government-funded, and opposition to it marginalised. When I say that I would resist the government by any means necessary if they started killing 5-year-olds, I’m imagining a situation where it happened overnight, rather than having grown up with it. People can get used to some very odd things.

    Matthew suggests that it would be immoral to bring the country to a halt through the direct action of the pro-life minority, because of the collateral damage that would be caused. Certainly, cutting off power to a hospital that performed abortions would kill more lives than it would save, for example. If we ignore his chilling exhortation to obey authority regardless of its moral content, we get a rational reason not to rock the boat too much: others could get hurt.

    That leaves us with a kind of dilemma between the action I’ve labelled ineffectual – letter-writing and blog-posting – and actions I agree should be labelled immoral – direct action that harms innocents. I can’t help but think that it is a false dilemma – there must be more that could be done to stop abortions (or, in our thought experiment, 5-year-old children being murdered) from occurring that doesn’t fall into one of these two groups.

    I know that there are pro-lifers for whom opposing abortion is their life, and I respect that far more than those who hold “abortion is murder” as merely a kind of theoretical stance to be argued for and against. I would really like to think that, if I truly felt abortion to be as immoral as I currently consider the murder of 5-year-olds, and if there were others who truly felt the same, we could come up with action more effective than letter-writing, while avoiding the immorality of causing further harm.

    If I was to become convinced by your arguments that you really do consider abortion to be morally equivalent to child murder, then I would also believe that people could become complacent in the face of such abomination simply by virtue of being outnumbered and used to it, and I would be very frightened indeed of mankind’s ability to get used to terrible things.

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  141. infused (584 comments) says:

    “I hope that in future history will see the abortion holocaust in the same way we see the nazi one, and that those responsible for it will be exposed as the mass murderers they are.”

    hah, get a fucking clue, please.

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  142. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    That leaves us with a kind of dilemma between the action I’ve labelled ineffectual – letter-writing and blog-posting – and actions I agree should be labelled immoral – direct action that harms innocents. I can’t help but think that it is a false dilemma – there must be more that could be done to stop abortions (or, in our thought experiment, 5-year-old children being murdered) from occurring that doesn’t fall into one of these two groups.

    It’s ironic that most people opposing abortion do so from within a religious tradition but seem to consider their only options to be (a) do nothing, or (b) bomb the clinics. Wouldn’t a good old non-violent campaign of passive resistance be just the thing here? Earlier I suggested refusal to pay taxes and hunger strikes as valid approaches and this would probably be a good place to start.

    A casual study of the lives of Gandhi and King would offer countless more ideas for ethical and peaceful protest.

    Perhaps one of the reasons that society in general doesn’t believe abortion is murder is because – as has been shown on this thread – anti-abortionists themselves don’t actually act as if they believe abortion is murder. If people started going to prison and starving themselves to death they would show they have the courage of their convictions and have an unbeatable platform from which to argue their viewpoint, and thus a far greater capacity to effect change than the current strategy of writing letters and whining on blogs.

    This approach does have a drawback though – it would involve anti-abortionists making sacrifices in their own lives instead of sitting around loudly demanding that the rest of society make sacrifices to suit them.

    I like to think that if 5 year olds were being legally murdered down the street I’d be prepared to make some sacrifices in my own life (ie court fines, prison) to make it stop. But apparently no one in the anti-abortion movement feels the same way.

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  143. dad4justice (6,595 comments) says:

    Danyl your comment is utter gutter trash . Abortion is murder @!!!

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  144. Jum (137 comments) says:

    The soul of a human being does not enter the body until just before birth. Abortion is not murder. If you believe in reincarnation, the soul has already chosen their path and the pregnant woman has a lesson to learn from the abortion.

    Rape is attempted murder. War is murder. A woman is murdered every 2 and a half weeks. When you people start being shocked about that, I might believe you actually give a … about babies. But no. It’s all about control over women. If you can stop them having abortions you effectively control their very lives, because even their bodies are not their own.

    The idea of men having the last say on a pregnancy raises all sorts of horror scenarios.

    I knew the tax money argument would be raised for when abortions are safely performed in public hospitals. No one rushes out to pay women for raising children though and certainly begrudge the DPB, which is nothing more than a payment to shelter, feed and clothe the child. No one gives these women any respect, especially if they are solo or single mothers. All we hear is that mothers are worth nothing, which is obvious when everyone on this thread thinks they have the right to decide women’s futures. A perfect example is the disgraceful way some of you posters treat the Prime Minister.

    Why on earth do women have children at all, in this sort of world? You spucs should be grateful the number of abortions is so small!

    Also, many abortions are performed on non-New Zealanders here. What are the figures on that?

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