VALUE YOUR VOTE 2017: Abortion

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The good news is that abortions are at the lowest rate since 1990. But some political parties want to ‘decriminalise’ abortion and consequently diminish safeguards that exist for vulnerable women. Decriminalisation will pave the way for late term and partial birth abortions, and ‘gendercide’ (abortion based on the sex of the unborn child, usually targeting female babies). Terminations could be possible up-to-birth, and not only because of ‘severe foetal abnormality’. Women’s health and the rights of the unborn child would be threatened. Coercion to have an abortion is a major issue and the current law goes some way to putting safeguards around that. A sound law should not leave women exposed to harms such as those recently witnessed in the US trial of Kermit Gosnell who operated a dangerous legal abortion facility resulting in a client’s death. A good law should promote informed consent and complete information about abortion and related risks, and provide women with independent pregnancy counselling. Abortions can harm women – a fact acknowledged by half of New Zealanders according to a survey in 2017. The abortion rate will continue to drop as knowledge of the prenatal development of the unborn child increases, and as an increasingly pro-life younger generation become parents themselves. The ‘bunch of cells’ argument which has driven the ‘right-to-abortion’ argument has now been exposed as simply poor science.

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