Abortion

March 28th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

blogs:

The majority of New Zealanders think women considering have the right to be fully informed of the medical risks of – and the alternatives. 

In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Market Research this month, respondents were asked “Would you support a law that would require a woman considering an abortion to first see a doctor, who is not an abortion provider, to be informed of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?” 

64% supported this proposed law, 29% disagreed, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer. Interestingly, women were slightly more in favour of informed consent than men.

Now my company did this poll for . I was very surprised by the result, especially the fact more women (65%) than men (62%) were in favour of the proposed law.

I should make clear that my personal position is that the law should allow abortion on demand, during the period a feotus would not be viable. I would have answered “no” to the poll question.

When the result came out, I asked a couple of female friends what they thought, as I was puzzled that more women said they supported a law effectively making it more difficult to have an abortion. Their answer was that women want safety and quality in their healthcare, and many would interpret that question as leading to more rigorous process. I’m not sure if their view is why that result was obtained, but it is plausible.

One salient question I would pose on this issue is whether such a procedure would actually lead to some women not having an abortion due to “better” information, who do currently have an abortion – or would it just be an extra hassle and cost for every woman seeking an abortion, and not actually change anything.

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96 Responses to “Abortion”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Why not just require that abortion-providing doctors inform their patients of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?

    Adding another doctor seems inefficient.

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  2. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    I’m confused, paragraph 1 is some pretty words about women’s right to be fully informed, but paragraph 2 makes it clear he is actually talking about a new law to compel women to jump through a hoop.

    It would have been more honest to say:

    The majority of New Zealanders think women considering abortion have the right to be obliged by law to be fully informed of the medical risks of abortion – and the alternatives.

    There, fixed that for you, Bob!

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  3. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    I don’t understand Family First’s thinking. I see little that is family-friendly by forcing a woman to go through with a pregnancy when she does not want the child (not what’s proposed here, I know, but Family First is against abortion). The literature is quite clear that the resulting children are much more likely to be disadvantaged and go on to criminal careers.

    Surprise, surprise – women know when are are in a position to raise a child, and when they are not. Leaving a woman free to make up her mind about whether her circumstances are suitable for child rearing produces better outcomes for the child. As always, one size fits all rules produce unintended and deeply inferior consequences.

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  4. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that a law should be necessary, I’d have thought that most women would want to be reasonably informed of risks and alternatives. Surely they must consider them now anyway, except maybe for those who would not benefit from enforced information regardless.

    I don’t think a law is the right way to go about this – why not free easily available options to get better informed? I think it needs to be independent of the abortion providers.

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  5. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Family First’s thinking is very understandable.

    1. Abortion is murder.
    2. Murder should be stopped.
    3. Here is a legal change that could potentially stop at least some murders.

    I don’t actually know if Family First considers abortion to be murder as a matter of principle. Maybe someone can confirm.

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  6. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    The doctor who performs the abortion has a financial interest in getting consent. I guess the idea is that they get some independent information first, then go to the specialist for the abortion. I would have thought most women would see their GP first anyway – but perhaps I’m naive.

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  7. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    PS – and information on the risks of pregnancy should also be included.

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  8. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Shit, why have trials for people charged with violent crimes. They could just be a ‘hassle’.

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  9. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    The doctor who performs the abortion has a financial interest in getting consent.

    Well, perhaps that’s what should be addressed.

    Wouldn’t doctors who don’t perform abortions have a financial interest in talking patients out of them, to justify the legally enforced referral being suggested?

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  10. James Butler (74 comments) says:

    @Pete George – too true. I wonder if the people who push for this kind of law, here and overseas, actually know what the numbers are – or if they do, but plan to word things in such a way that only the risks, not the benefits (and I call them benefits for want of a better term) of abortion are mentioned.

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  11. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Also, most pro-choicers tend to favour abortion because of a desire for sexual freedom, rather than protecting women. I also suspect a majority have never seen ultrasound footage of an abortion, or even read about the details of an abortion. If they did, a majority would be shocked and sickened by what occurs and how vulnerable woman actually are.

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  12. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    The anti abortion lobby (whose Patron resides in the Vatican) has come to realise that they cannot persuade politicians to tighten up abortion laws directly and is having to come up with other strategies. I perceive this ‘informing’ strategy as the first part of a two stage process, the second stage being seeking a judicial review that Parliament intended such ‘informing’ as including horrible and frightening stuff intended to put women off abortion (in a similar manner to cigarette packet health warnings). It seems to me that ‘Family first’ has been persuaded by the likes of ‘Right to Life of NZ (inc)’ (apparent successor to SPUC) to consider adopting this as a family issue.

    The thing appears to be a nonsense anyway. Women already do have the right to be ‘informed’ on risks of abortion, etc. They merely need to ask a GP or support person or even Google it. Surely the ‘right’ to be informed includes the ‘right’ to not have to listen to pro Catholic SPAM and FUD as a pre-requisite to obtaining an abortion.

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  13. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    If Family First really want to put a stop to abortion, they should support legalising commercial adoption.

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  14. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    DPF – can you say if this was the only abortion related question asked?

    A single question does not determined the best way of doing it. As suggested by RRM the question could be tweaked quite a few different ways to get more or less preferable responses.

    [DPF: yes it was the only abortion related question]

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  15. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Also, most pro-choicers tend to favour abortion because of a desire for sexual freedom, rather than protecting woman. I also suspect a majority have never seen ultrasound footage of an abortion, and even read about the details of abortion. If they did, a majority would be shocked and sickened by what occurs and how vulnrable woman actually are.

    It’s not either/or, though. We have phenomenally effective contraceptives available to us.

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  16. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    most pro-choicers tend to favour abortion because of a desire for sexual freedom

    What survey question supports that claim?

    What proportion of those seeking abortions think “ok fuck, this isn’t a good time for me or any prospective baby, it would be better to delay having kids to a better time”?

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  17. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Peterwn,

    You are simply wrong about how informed young female NZers are. It’s sickening to know that the feminist cabals are more concerned about protecting/entrenching a ‘right’, than about actually helping young NZ girls.

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  18. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    ” … during the period a feotus would not be viable.”

    When do you think that might be, David?

    When do you think a foetus becomes ‘human’?

    [DPF: I said viable, not human]

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  19. larryq (66 comments) says:

    Ben said he didn’t understand their point of view.

    Family First are a conservative christian lobby group and have views on abortion consistent with such a background. I don’t think they make a secret of this.

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  20. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Every time someone uses a condom, a baby is potentially robbed of its chance at life.

    I hope that Bob is also agitating for every box of condoms to be legally required to carry a photo of a beautiful newborn baby, looking mournfully up at you with its big blue eyes, to remind you that every condom takes a life, and that makes it murder! Murder, I tell you!!! Murder!!!

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  21. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Every time someone uses a condom, a baby is potentially robbed of its chance at life.

    I think you mean, “Every time someone uses a condom, a potential baby is robbed of its chance at life.”

    CORRECT PHRASING COSTS NOTHING, RRM.

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  22. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    ^^^Fair comment Ryan, received and understood.

    Furthermore, what to do about the shocking crime of coitus interruptus? Every time you pull out, you’re really pulling the heart out of another potential baby! There needs to be a law against it. There need to be education campaigns. Someone needs to do something about this.

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  23. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Peter George,

    No survey would show that because no one would admit it. I glean it from my study of the area and because I’ve never heard a robust argument for abortion. The counterfactual of “dodgy-back street abortions” is bullshit – if that’s what you actually want to avoid, you put massive penalties on it, charging abortionist on two counts of murder when it goes wrong. Equally facetious is the argument that it prevent kids growing up in bad families – are you saying that there are 18,000 families in NZ that shouldn’t have children in them? The argument that it empowers women might have some merit, however in my experience women who have abortions actually become emotionally crippled and more vulnerable.

    Like many things, it’s about sex.

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  24. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    When the result came out, I asked a couple of female friends what they thought, as I was puzzled that more women said they supported a law effectively making it more difficult to have an abortion.

    Not really, as I understand it women tend to be opposed to abortion.

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  25. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research this month, respondents were asked “Would you support a law that would require a woman considering an abortion to first see a doctor, who is not an abortion provider, to be informed of the medical risks and alternatives to abortion?”

    Only for this one type of operation? Providers of every other type of operation in existence can be trusted to acquaint their customers with the risks of and alternatives to the procedure, but abortion providers are so uniformly dishonest and venal that a law is needed to make the customer seek a second opinion? Does Bob have some evidence for that, or is he just talking out his arse again?

    To which you have to add: did 64% fail to understand the question, or is it simply that there are many idiots out there?

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  26. Socrates Wife (6 comments) says:

    I would support it.

    Abortion can have mild to severe health complications, none of which my two friends who had an abortion organised through our highschool clinic were informed about in the slightest (I only found out about the abortions about 3 years later, so I personally was no help!).

    If a women is going to have a surgical procedure she should have the legal right to be informed about all the risks and be given a second opinion.

    @ Linda, in small towns especially, girls that I know hate going to the Doctor for even mild female related problems, because most people know the Doctor/s on a personal level, and often various members of the family go there. An older woman (in her twenties) may find it easier, but a scared 16 year old would often rather go to the school nurse.

    If women are going to have the right to make this choice then they should have the right to make an informed choice. If my daughter was in the same situation I would want her to know exactly what was going to happen to her body, and exactly how that could impact her in years to come. I would also want her warned about the hike in risk for depression and suicide so that she could moniter herself carefully.

    Finally, I do think it is a good idea for females to be aware of the developmental stage of the child (foetus is a latin word for offspring…I prefer writing in english as I am neither a scientist or a doctor :-P ) so that they go into the procedure aware of what is happening and are not horrified by it years later when they learn about what exactly happens to the child and have to deal with the potential emotional fallout.

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  27. Campbell (6 comments) says:

    Grrr. Our abortion laws are already ridiculous… In essence, to get an abortion now, a woman must state that her ‘mental health’ is at risk. How insulting. I do agree that young women should be made aware of the all the issues/risks around abortion, but to force a ‘grown/mature’ woman to jump through more hoops, is just offensive…

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  28. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Fuck, if there’s one thing that makes my blood boil it’s ignorant men (I’m a male) who parade themselves as progressive and cool because they support womens’ rights. They usually have never looked into the abortion issue and have no idea how negative abortion actually is for women.

    Abortion needs to be uncoupled from the right to vote, the right to by in the Army, the right to be a MP, CEO etc etc etc. It’s very different.

    Men who support abortion are, in my opinion, either unaware of the issue, or ignorant, or fucking cowards.

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  29. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Socrates Wife – your friends already “have the legal right to be informed…” all of the information is out there.

    If the information is important enough for Bob McCroskie to want to pass a law about it, why don’t they ask questions themselves?

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  30. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Look at these rightists, trying to assert property rights on the womb of a woman they don’t know. That’s just plain weird. The key fact of the matter however is that, if a person has a growth in their body, and they don’t want it their because it changes their whole life for the worse (at least in their perception), they will seek to have it removed. IMO if you guys want to see less abortions you should make it easier for sol parents to go about raising them – then the prospect of bringing a child into the world might not be so scary. You would save thousands of lives.

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  31. Lucia Maria (2,474 comments) says:

    Men who support abortion are, in my opinion, either unaware of the issue, or ignorant, or fucking cowards.

    Agree. Add to that, they will literally kill for sex.

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  32. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Magic Bullet you ignorant fool. I could equally retort, “look at all these pro-choicers asserting property rights on an unborn child”. Get an education you fucking moron.

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  33. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Men who support abortion are, in my opinion, either unaware of the issue, or ignorant, or fucking cowards.

    What about women who support abortion?
    Women who desparately want an abortion despite generally preferring they could be avoided?

    Lucia Marie – nasty. It’s not the men who decide to have an abortion. Many don’t know anything about it.

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  34. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Lucia Maria – that’s quite a powerful way of phrasing it.

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  35. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    Yes, David, I know you said ‘viable’.

    A straight dictionary definition of ‘viable’ can mean ‘capable of surviving or living successfully’. Another meaning is: ‘able to live after birth’. So, at some stage a foetus in becoming ‘viable’ also becomes ‘human’, yes?

    When do you think that happens?

    [DPF: I think a foetus becomes human when they are no longer in the mother's womb]

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  36. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    I’ve got to get back to work. I’ve said what I wanted to say. Hopefully one or two people will pause to think about the points I’ve raised.

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  37. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    EWS – learn the difference between a fetus and a child please. It’s kind of like calling an acorn, an oak tree. Kinda doesn’t make much sense you see. You “baby killer!” crowd would equate the crushing of an acorn, with the felling of an oak tree though. You see? Your position is nonsense.

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  38. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    and the religious nutcase is here, thread doomed.

    >>Men who support abortion are, in my opinion, either unaware of the issue, or ignorant, or fucking cowards.

    Fuck you right back. There is no issue to be unaware of, its her body she has the right to carry or not to carry a pregnancy to term. end of discussion, you and your imaginary friends can fuck right off.

    The cowards are the ones who think they have any right to tell someone what to do with their body, and then hide behind their bullshit ‘morals’ taken froma 2000 year old pile of dogma.

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  39. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    EWS, which of your points should we consider, the “fucking moron” reference or the “ignorant fool”?

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  40. Lance (2,662 comments) says:

    As David Bowie sang;
    ” I’ve been putting out fires with gasoline”

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  41. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    ” they will literally kill for sex” – that’s about the stupidest statement I’ve heard since ‘all men are rapists’.
    The issue of contraception at the time of sex is pivotal to your argument.
    If the man forces her to have sex without contraception then it’s rape.
    If the woman allows the man to have sex with her without contraception then responsibility for the outcome lies with the woman (and in this I’m taking the position that it is the woman’s body and she then has the ultimate decision on what action to take should she become pregnant).

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  42. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    magic bullet – I’m all for more abortions to prevent burgeoning multi-generational benefit dependency. Glad you and I are in agreement on something for once.

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  43. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    an abortion thread? 300 comments by 8pm tonight? lol

    why dpf why??? is a huge national scandal about to hit :P

    It does crack me up how the biggest prolife nutters are middle aged dudes. Just freakshows.

    Tell me prolifers. Is it just black n white with you? no abortions ever? what if the mother is raped? she should still have it? or is abortion ok if the dad is an assole?

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  44. stickshark (7 comments) says:

    Ethic’s of abortion aside…..

    Everyone has an agenda, the question is is that agenda so big or powerful you can’t be objective about something. For instance we don’t get valuations from a real estate agent. When it comes to medical things that might have risks (which most do) I always try to have a second opinion. Why (a) the doctor or specialist might not be 100% up to play (b) they might prefer procedure 1 instead of procedure 2 because it is easier/quicker/cheaper for them…. the list could go on.

    Given the ethical issues around abortion, I would suspect that those who practice abortion, would be very strongly predisposed (prejudiced even?) to telling the mother all about how safe, easy, simple things are. Why? because they would believe that abortions are a wise choose – otherwise they wouldn’t do them. And when people get criticized or condemned about a choose they made / believe in if they truly believe in it, they nearly always become stauncher in their support. Look at people on either side of the vaccination issue, or exclusive breathern or any cult like organization.

    Therefore independent advice would be wise. I suspect that most GP’s would tend towards supporting abortion because it is “normal” in the western world, that they are more likely to be positive than negative…..

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  45. Jcw (95 comments) says:

    @ East Wellington Superhero, @ Socrates wife….

    I direct you to the following meta analysis, it systematically reviewed the literature on the mental health outcomes of abortion recipients:

    Abortion and long-term mental health outcomes: a systematic review of the evidence

    Vignetta E. Charlesa, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Chelsea B. Polisa, Srinivas K. Sridharab and Robert W. Bluma

    The abstract provides a nice summary of the findings:

    Claims that women who have elective abortions will experience psychological distress have fueled much of the recent debate on abortion. It has been argued that the emotional sequelae of abortion may not occur until months or years after the event. Despite unclear evidence on such a phenomenon, adverse mental health outcomes of abortion have been used as a rationale for policy-making. We systematically searched for articles focused on the potential association between abortion and long-term mental health outcomes published between January 1, 1989 and August 1, 2008 and reviewed 21 studies that met the inclusion criteria. We rated the study quality based on methodological factors necessary to appropriately explore the research question. Studies were rated as Excellent (no studies), Very Good (4 studies), Fair (8 studies), Poor (8 studies), or Very Poor (1 study). A clear trend emerges from this systematic review: the highest quality studies had findings that were mostly neutral, suggesting few, if any, differences between women who had abortions and their respective comparison groups in terms of mental health sequelae. Conversely, studies with the most flawed methodology found negative mental health sequelae of abortion.

    I encourage you to read the full article though.

    Regarding physical complications of abortion, they are rare – particularly at lower gestational ages. The risks to the mother are irrelevant, and are not at all a basis to ban abortion – its not the job of the state to be a nanny and tell us what is best for ourselves. Provided a woman is able to make an informed choice then there is no reason not to allow it, of course up to a limit of gestational age.

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  46. vexing (1 comment) says:

    “however in my experience women who have abortions actually become emotionally crippled and more vulnerable.”

    Anecdata, the BEST kind of data!
    Well, I counter your anecdata with my anecdata, which says that none of the women I know who have had abortions have had any emotional problems whatsoever.

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  47. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    I support a woman who is pregnant getting factual information from someone who does not have a vested interest in anything but her welfare.

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  48. andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    Number of New Zealand dead WW2 (1939-45) – 11,900
    Number of abortions per year – 17,000+

    It’s a holocaust

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  49. artemisia (242 comments) says:

    If the words ‘compulsory’ or ‘compelled’ had been used, instead of ‘require’, there may have been a different outcome. ‘Require’ is a word used in different ways, which weakens it. For example, it is often used to mean need or want, rather than compel or must have. For that reason alone it is likely to be a word which the eye skips over in a question, leaving the focus in this case on the concept of being informed of risks. And who would not agree with that? But in fact the question is about compulsion. And not so many would agree with that, I suggest.

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  50. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull, Andrei, etc: you come across as nutters by shouting. “Abortion is murder” is not a way to have a conversation. Your opponents simply don’t take that view on abortion. Reasonable people can recognise the values-based nature of that judgment and that disagreement is possible. Unreasonable people insist the other side is wrong, the end. That is a non-argument, and not a reason for your side to forcibly impose its views on the other. It is surely common ground among most on both sides that abortion so late that the foetus is aware and can feel pain is offensive. But that is not what is being discussed here.

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  51. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    Dime, it is never black and white mate, and, like you I expect this thread to be overrun with radical feminists and bible bashers giving us their opinion.

    I am not against abortion in the first three months, however I am passionately against partial birth/late term abortions.

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  52. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    You missed the really funny debate over at the double standard blog. It was Extreme feminists again Unoinist men. Even managed to drag in Chris Trotter. Hilarious stuff watching Labour voters beat up on each other. Very much Heads we win, Tails you lose.

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  53. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    bruv – same. late term abortions are messed up

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  54. berend (1,711 comments) says:

    How touching is this concern for the health of the mother.

    But what about the health of the baby?

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  55. Lucia Maria (2,474 comments) says:

    This whole issue of property rights that Magic Bullet brings up, doesn’t make sense.

    If you have a baby in your house that you don’t want, you are not allowed to neglect or murder it. Doesn’t matter if it’s your house or not, the baby has to be looked after. But, we come to the female body and suddenly a baby that’s in there that the mother doesn’t want can be killed because it’s her body.

    Bullshit. Every woman who gets pregnant should be bound by the same obligation to care for a defenceless baby until some one else can do the caring, no matter where it is or how old it is.

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  56. ladypenelope (2 comments) says:

    Perhaps, maybe, if men stopped considering it their right to have sexual access to women (as an expression of their love, commitment, ownership, power) and if women stopped considering that they have to give men sexual access (because that’s what popular culture says is “the norm” and “that’s what all women want” and “if you do it makes you a better person”) then maybe there would be fewer abortions for men to worry themselves about.

    yeah. go on. flame away.

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  57. grumpy (261 comments) says:

    berend, you know there is no baby, to these feminists a baby is not recognised until it starts school!

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  58. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    grumpy – OTOH perhaps a baby shouldn’t be recognised until it has started paying taxes.

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  59. nikkitheknitter (1 comment) says:

    “Informed choice and consent” is already part of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
    “Propoganda and coercion” however, is not.

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  60. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    So, what’s this firestorm to cover? The Nats up to no good somewhere again?

    When are we going to stop telling other people what to do and when? Under the current conservative regime no doubt McCroskie will be bring religious pressure to beare on a group of Catholics and Maori in Parliament. No action no money for their election expenses. You all know the drill.
    Bring on the Hindu’s for funds. They consider abortion normal. We could have an auction for the Nats and see which abortion, non abortion party fronts up with the most cash.

    If you want to slow abortions down stop subsidizing the act and start giving out free contraceptives and good sex education from an early age.
    That will fix it. But no they don’t even want to do that do they. The Pope won’t allow that either.

    Stupid old farts.

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  61. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    I don’t understand Family First’s thinking. I see little that is family-friendly…

    Family First have no desire to put the welfare of families first. Like many political parties their name is incongruent with their policies and actions (see also The Labour Party, NZ First, United Future). It is just a fundamentalist Christian group who loves to ban things, pass laws and control people’s lives.

    Fundo christians, it is NOT murder. It’s a bunch of cells. It’s a quick D&C. It’s an easy procedure. It’s like removing a tumour. We’d need fewer terminations if problem groups understood sex better – but you’re against contraception too.

    Easy access to abortion – fewer crims.

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  62. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    I support a woman who is pregnant getting factual information from someone who does not have a vested interest in anything but her welfare.

    So, is this something only the pregnant need and deserve, or what? If factual information from a non-vested interest is so important, shouldn’t we be requiring every prospective surgery patient to obtain a disinterested second opinion? (At their expense, natch – fucked if I’d want to foot the bill for it.)

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  63. pidge (56 comments) says:

    I’ll admit I’m biased on the issue of abortion, seeing as I’m only around due to my mother not having an abortion when one was available for medical reasons.

    OTOH, setting aside the cases of rape and actual medical neccessity, abortions could be avoided before being needed though a bit more forethought and responsibility on the part of the not-going-to-be-parents. But, alas, I’m probably expecting too much of people.

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  64. thedavincimode (6,803 comments) says:

    Milt, what is it that you are trying to achieve in injecting some logic into this debate?

    Anyway, the need for truly independent advice before getting your leg or your head cut off isn’t nearly as interesting a topic. What’s more, a pregnant woman is far less capable of getting independent advice than a potential amputee.

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  65. Dexter (303 comments) says:

    I’m definitely not a supporter of abortion as a form of late term birth control as the 40% or so of repeat abortions per year would indicate some use it as, but I hate the fact that any rational debate always gets derailed by the purile emotive dribble of religious bigots.

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  66. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    More process is the last thing we need.

    My 30-something wife and I chose to abort a few years back when the IUD failed to do it’s job. We weren’t pleased to have to make that call, but after considered discussion decided an abortion was the best way forward FOR US.

    So when we turned up to have the abortion, the doctor sat us down and started lecturing about contraception and condoms etc, like we were naughty teenagers or something. I got pretty wound up pointing out that a faulty IUD is hardly the same category as being lazy about rubbers, and could we please have an adult discussion.
    Then we got sent home and had to make another appointment for next week. Apparently the law requires 2 separate visits – I thought by law it required approval from 2 doctors, which I assumed meant there would be 2 doctors present at the appointment. It doesn’t, you have to go home and come back another day, and it would have been nice to have been told that.

    All in all, I was pretty unimpressed with the process. I understand the need for due care etc as abortion is definitely something that we don’t want to encourage. But I fail to see how adding extra layers of beaurocracy to an already layered process is going to make any difference, other than incur more costs.

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  67. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Dexter, please forgive this exploration of the “purile emotive dribble of religious bigots”. Contrary to popular belief, the teaching of Christian churches has not been consistent over time, and even within the Roman Catholic church there has been a change. The “Decretum Gratiani” [also known as the "Concordia discordantium canonum"] held abortion to be homicide only when the foetus was formed- and distinguished between classes of homicide. It is clear that the later in the pregnancy the abortion occurred, the more heinous the offence. Others, such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, held the same views.

    The distinction between embryo and foetus was a continual source of debate right up until 1869, when Pope Pius IX decreed in “Apostolicae Sedis” that excommunication was the required penalty for abortion at any stage of pregnancy. This remained in force until Pentecost 1918, when Pope Benedict XV’s revised Code of Canon Law (Codex Iuris Canonici) became the rule; it also held abortion to be murder, and included penalties for any medical personnel involved.

    I think that a major reason for the change in doctrine was the dogmatisation of the belief in the Immaculate Conception in 1854; once the idea that the Virgin Mary had been conceived without original sin (i.e. without the general condition of a tendency to sinfulness into which humans are born) had become required belief, permitting the termination of any conception became unthinkable, and has remained so to this day.

    Cave lector: pontifex non sum.

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  68. GAZMAN (21 comments) says:

    [DPF: I think a foetus becomes human when they are no longer in the mother's womb]

    Sorry David have to disagree with you here. Anyone who has seen a scan during a pregnancy will be able to testify that the image they see is a live human being.

    If a baby is born prematurely (say four weeks early) is that baby any less (or more) a human being simply because of the timing of its birth.

    At what point does the clock start ticking…. Yes it may be debatable exactly when a foetus does become human, but clearly, in my humble opinion, it is long before the mother gives birth!

    [DPF: I think a foetus is a foetus until they are born. At around six months they become a viable foetus and get legal protection]

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  69. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Contrary to popular belief, the teaching of Christian churches has not been consistent over time,

    Matt Flannagan covered this in his PHD I believe. He uncovered some quite serious spinning of historical fact produced by the feminist lobby – for example, a famous “abortion supporter” priest in antiquity turned out to be supporting the abortion of his own illegitimate child.

    See also my comment above!

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  70. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    Lucia

    “Bullshit. Every woman who gets pregnant should be bound by the same obligation to care for a defenceless baby until some one else can do the caring, no matter where it is or how old it is.”

    Even when they have been raped?

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  71. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Andrei – Number of New Zealand dead WW2 (1939-45) – 11,900
    Number of abortions per year – 17,000+
    It’s a holocaust

    Percentage of all conceptions that spontaneously abort and don’t make past the first month, usually without the woman even knowing she was pregnant: approx 50%

    Number of babies born last year: 64,000.
    Therefore number of spontaneous abortions: approx 64,000.

    THerefore, 17,000+ man-made abortions = the least of your worries, if you’re really concerned about foetuses that don’t make it ( as opposed to having power over women’s lives).

    Anyone who believes in an almighty invisible sky fairy who decides who lives and who dies, has some rather prickly questions to ask him about the 64,000 he kills before they get much further than a blob of cells.

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  72. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Correction, it’s an even larger number

    Number of conceptions last year: 64,000 born + 17,000 abortions = 81,000
    Therefore number of spontaneous abortions: approx 81,000

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  73. andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    . Contrary to popular belief, the teaching of Christian churches has not been consistent over time, and even within the Roman Catholic church there has been a change.

    No there hasn’t – abortion is called murder in the Didache (1st century). By a process of obfustication those who would have us accept the murder of infants invoke theological discussions of when the baby acquired a soul with the Churches teaching on abortion, which has always been consistent.

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  74. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    It’s impossible to prove the existence of a soul, let alone when it is acquired and when it is lost or whatever could become of it.

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  75. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Who pays for “abortion on demand”?

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  76. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    So, after 8 hours and 80 comments, all that the pro-choice commentators could offered was the same old worn out ‘arguments’. The red-herring of rape/incest (I’m not making light of it, but it’s not a strong argument for abortion on demand), half-baked ideas about womens’ property rights, bitching about religious people (I never mentioned God or catholicism or the church once but you seem to be preloaded to bring them up as some sort of strawman), half-baked stories about “my friend who had an abortion once”, half-baked comments about how it’s only middle-aged men who are pro-life, half-baked stories about what Catholics believe, or once believed, or will believe one day, and then some diddling (pun intended) around who has vested interests.

    What a joke.

    Just a bunch of liberals who think that because they went to uni that they’re now experts in philosophy, but can’t even put a decent argument together without revealing their obvious prejudices.

    As I said to Magic Bullet earlier. Go get an education.

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  77. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    The current system is really only a rubber stamping exercise. It is not really a system at all. It is almost abortion on demand..and to answer your question Kowtow , you pay for it. It was introduced at time when there were a lot of doctors in parliament. My memory is vague but I think this was before there were a lot of lawyers and after the farmers..A woman rocks up to a certifying consultant and says she will be mentally stressed if she goes ahead with the baby..he ticks the mental health box has a very short chat and puts in his claim form. How much are they paid these days? Some consultants used to make huge money out of it and I imagine some still do.

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  78. Dexter (303 comments) says:

    Bit ironic that Mr Superhero, given that your contribution has consisted more of juvenile name calling and swearing rather than any form of coherent factual argument.

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  79. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Vexing..I too have had a friend who went completely mental after an abortion..self harming ..etc..I am the only reason she is still alive. Many years ago , I worked for the Abortion Supervisory Committee. I have never forgotten a call I got from a distraught mother whose sixteen yr old daughter had had an abortion without her knowledge. By that stage , the young girl was very ill and in Porirua hospital. The mother was looking for answers. I certainly couldn’t give her any. I think mental illness after abortion is more common than is currently acknowledged.

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  80. nasska (11,589 comments) says:

    Nine hours of crap but at least a few sets of rosary beads got a workout & there’s many more Ave Marias winging towards heaven.

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  81. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    joana,

    in a way it was a rhetorical question. Delivered to the ostensibly “right wingers” here who demand public health for a private issue that is a result of a lack of individual responsibility that becomes a womans’ right.As to the lefties here,they are generally pro killing before birth ,but generally are against post natal abortion,something I think would concentrate the minds of serious criminals.

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  82. robcarr (84 comments) says:

    Hi David,

    From the sounds of the question it could in law being as simple as requiring people to be referred by a GP to get an abortion.

    You might wish to consider the fact this question in implementation would be a lessening of the current systems restrictions to be referred by multiple authorised people i.e. people pro-abortion on demand may say they support it thinking you are asking for a small step towards it so it could under reflect those who wish for increased liberalisation.

    In terms of wanting people to be informed I think most people are conscious of that. So long as you say that will happen or happen more with your proposal a lot of people will support it regardless of what it is.

    My personal preference is abortion on demand but being required to be given a talk on medical risks and emotional issues immediately prior to it so people don’t go into it not knowing what they are doing (although most already would know).

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  83. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    EWS – “Just a bunch of liberals who think that because they went to uni that they’re now experts in philosophy, but can’t even put a decent argument together without revealing their obvious prejudices.”

    OK, let’s see what we can learn fromt the”decent arguments” Professor EWS has contributed…

    Ludicrous non-sequitur: “Shit, why have trials for people charged with violent crimes. They could just be a ‘hassle’.”

    Ridiculous assertion: “Also, most pro-choicers tend to favour abortion because of a desire for sexual freedom, rather than protecting women.”

    Just making stuff up and attributing it to your “studies” – “No survey would show that because no one would admit it. I glean it from my study of the area and because I’ve never heard a robust argument for abortion.”

    Sheer nonsense – “The counterfactual of “dodgy-back street abortions” is bullshit – if that’s what you actually want to avoid, you put massive penalties on it, charging abortionist on two counts of murder when it goes wrong. ” – there were massive penalties on it, and it still happened. It’s not “counterfactual”, it was fact when abortion was illegal.

    Dishonest straw man – “Equally facetious is the argument that it prevent kids growing up in bad families – are you saying that there are 18,000 families in NZ that shouldn’t have children in them?” No one is saying every abortion comes from a bad family, you made that up. The argument is a disproportionate number do.

    More unsupported assertions from your own mysterious experience: “The argument that it empowers women might have some merit, however in my experience women who have abortions actually become emotionally crippled and more vulnerable.” And how do you think the ones trapped into having a baby they don’t want would be feeling?

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  84. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    EW Superhero – I think abortion is quite a natural response to higher survival rates. Having large families because you expect a few kids not to make it to adult-hood is a notion past it’s time, just like stoning people to death for adultery.
    We like to and because we’ve still got animal instincts to preserve the species by shagging lots of different partners and conceiving dozens of little bastards. But the attrition rates have dropped to bugger all and consequently we need to limit the amount of offspring we pump out. Safe and timely abortions are in that respect morally equivalent to the morning after pill.
    The remaining debate is about the parameters we’re prepared to tolerate.

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  85. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    thats: ‘we like to root and we’ve still got…’,
    edit amlunfction

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  86. Fletch (6,410 comments) says:

    Magic bullet, it’s also true that when you destroy the acorn, you’re destroying the tree it will become. To me it doesn’t really matter where along the timeline you kill the child, you’re still killing it. I also think DPF’s in or out of the womb (which he generously amends to within 6 motns of birth) is very arbitrary. The simple fact is, if you let nature take it’s course and do not interfere, you end up with a baby boy or girl. I’m working full time now, or I would have posted on this earlier. I do have stats from the US (which I will post when I can, and that are put together by the company that Planned Parenthood set up, so no bias there) that show 98% of abortions in the US are done for convenience sake – that’s the reason given by women.

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  87. Fletch (6,410 comments) says:

    Here you goReasons given for having abortions in the United States updated 2008

    It gives totals for States, and a total at the end. “Personal Choice” makes up 98% of the reasons for having an abortion of those taking part. Rape makes up about 0.3% (0.1-0.6), incest 0.03%, the physical life of the mother 0.2%

    So those who say it’s needed in cases of rape or danger to the mother – it is needed very little for those reasons.

    Also I don’t buy this “it’s ok because it’s not viable” bullshit. What does “viable” even mean? That it can exist outside the womb on it’s own? NO newborn baby can exist on it’s own outside the womb. It depends on it’s mother to feed it, change it’s nappies, change it’s clothes, put it to bed, put it down for a sleep – in other words, it still depends on it’s mother for care and nourishment every bit as much as when it was in the womb, only now the womb doesn’t seem as safe a place to be. More danger of being killed there.

    It’s interesting that in a Planned Parenthood brochure from 1952, PP admits that abortion “kills the life of a baby after it has begun”. This was before they started making money from abortion, you see. They were still only doing contraception then, and tended to be a bit more truthful on abortion.

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  88. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    Nothing less than an end to the barbaric practice of abortion is acceptable. As an aside I love the reasoning of posters on here supporting the murder of innocents:

    The resulting child might be disadvantaged

    Oh boo hoo. I would suggest that being murdered in the womb is pretty disadvantaging to the child as well. Is this really the best the proponents of abortion can do justifying this evil? Come on guys, your ability to rationalise evil is surely better developed this late in the game. Eh?

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  89. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    If a woman is to have 2.x children in her lifetime that survive sex and pregnancy (abstention, timing, contraception, miscarriage, abortion and stillbirths) how important is it in the whole scheme of things which combination of eggs and sperm end up being the successful ones?

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  90. ladypenelope (2 comments) says:

    You think abortion is wrong? Don’t have one. I think corporate wars over oil are wrong, so I’m not in the army. My tax dollars still go to fund it, though. My tax dollars also fund educational systems that fail kids, a legal system that benefits only the extremely rich or the extremely poor, and the salaries of Jacinda Ardern, Peter Dunne, Hone Harawira, Murray McCully, Catherine Delahunty and Hilary Calvert, all of which I find disgusting. Abortion is a legal medical procedure, why do people go overboard making sure tax dollars don’t fund it when it’s got to be a tiny percentage of taxpayer money?

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  91. Fletch (6,410 comments) says:

    Pete, because Christians believe that each baby is a unique – given a unique soul by God; it’s not like a batch of cookies where if you burn them you can just throw them away and make some more – doesn’t work like that.

    Lady penelope, yes I believe abortion is wrong, but your argument of “don’t have one then” doesn’t hold water. You may as well say, “don’t believe in murder? Don’t kill anyone”. You don’t have to not kill anyone to still be against murder. It’s anyone with a conscience job to stand up for those who cannot speak and are being killed.

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  92. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I don’t think it is a small amount of money..Does anyone have the facts?
    Who is currently on the Abortion Supervisory Committee? Does this Committee still consist of three people? How much do they get paid? How many consultants are there? How much is each of these people making? How much do all the clinic facilities cost? How many facilities are liscenced to perform abortions? How many have limited liscences? How many have full liscences? How many late term abortions are performed?
    Statistics on annual abortions would be helpful. When I worked for the committee , there were about 10,000 a year..now I understand it is about 17,000…so it is an increasing cost and should be carefully examined as all other costs are currently being examined. It should not be a feminista sacred cow.

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  93. Courage Wolf (557 comments) says:

    Fletch (1,890) Says:
    March 29th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Pete, because Christians believe that each baby is a unique – given a unique soul by God; it’s not like a batch of cookies where if you burn them you can just throw them away and make some more – doesn’t work like that.

    Are we talking about the same God of the Bible here? Jehovah? YHWH? The Three in One who did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it?

    1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ”

    The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered.” O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

    “Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders. “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded. “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!” So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.” (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

    And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died. (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

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  94. YT (3 comments) says:

    This discussion is full of people waxing eloquent about a topic that appears to be, for most, in the abstract. A lot of people seem to have opinions about what abortion is like, how it affects people, whether or not it’s evil, and when/how/why someone should be allowed to do it. What I haven’t seen is anyone speaking from experience.

    I do not speak for all women. I speak only for myself as an autonomous human being.

    I have had two abortions. The first was at age 19, the pregnancy a product of immaturity and irresponsibility. The second was 6 years later, a product of a rape that occurred while I was breastfeeding my son and thus not using contraceptives. Here’s how it went.

    I had to see a GP, who advised me on the procedure, what would happen, and the risks involved. The two main risks outlined were infection and potential sterility. The GP then referred me to see two counsellors on separate occasions, who counselled me on the emotional impacts of abortion, the alternatives to abortion, and what I could expect. They were checking to be sure this was what I wanted. I had to say that to proceed with the pregnancy would risk my mental health and given the circumstances both times, I believe this was true. However, it is more or less a formality – the process exists to ensure the woman is aware of her own issues and has been counselled to make the best decision for herself. I was also required to have an ultrasound to check the ‘age’ of the pregnancy.

    The procedure itself was straightforward and there were no complications. The people I dealt with were professional and I was well taken care of, and offered counselling afterwards.

    I did not become an emotional cripple. I knew I had made the right decision. At no point in the considerable time since then have I regretted those two decisions, in fact I count them amongst the best decisions of my life. The worst feeling I had was in relation to the first one, which was asking myself how I could have been such an idiot as to allow myself to become pregnant in the first place. When I reflect on my life and think about how things would be if I had had three children starting at 19 (an immature and irresponsible 19 at that), I feel happy that I did not inflict that life on myself and other human beings. I have one child that I love very much and have been able to provide a good life for, instead of three unwanted children living in poverty at the expense of my fellow citizens.

    I would like other people to have the freedom to make this choice. Discussing the rights and wrongs of abortion as an abstract thought experiment is not for me. I don’t care what the pontificators think. I care about the ability of people to make autonomous decisions that are right for themselves and their potential families. The Family First suggestion would add nothing useful to the process, therefore I reject it.

    Judge away, if you think you’re qualified.

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  95. juliryan (1 comment) says:

    Extra hassle and cost. This type of legislation seeks to restrict access to abortion, not to help women. Women are able to make informed choices without being made to jump through these hoops.

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  96. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    “This discussion is full of people waxing eloquent about a topic that appears to be, for most, in the abstract. A lot of people seem to have opinions about what abortion is like, how it affects people, whether or not it’s evil, and when/how/why someone should be allowed to do it. What I haven’t seen is anyone speaking from experience.”

    That’s exactly what I thought when I posted about our experience above. Although to be fair, it’s hard for someone who is anti-abortion to actually get first-hand experience with this.

    Our circumstances were totally different to yours, but like you, we gave the matter careful consideration and in hindsight have absolutely no doubt that we made the right decision. None whatsoever. Abortion, while not nice, was preferable to an unwanted child, or having to go through all the emotional trauma + time off work (and associated financial hardship) that comes with seeing the pregnancy through and adopting out. Probably like you, I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what Family First thinks about our decision. Some people seem to think they have all the answers but it’s all academic unless they have the experience of an unwanted pregnancy thrust on them at a bad time.

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