Politically, Abortion change rests with NZ First so what does that look like?

By   /   March 16, 2017  /   22 Comments

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So how does it all play out politically? Where are the 4 Political Parties that will decide any change in abortion law on this?

The need to reform the ridiculous and condescending abortion laws are obvious to anyone with an education and basic reading skills.

Women having to pretend they have a mental problem with a pregnancy to get an abortion is the false compromise that NZ law makers came up with in 1977. Abortion wasn’t  made legal, but the mental health loophole was built in to allow it anyway.

Such gerrymandering of legislation for petty ignorance is beneath us as adults.

So how does it all play out politically? Where are the 4 Political Parties that will decide any change in abortion law on this?

National Bill English is hardcore anti-abortion, has been for years and won’t budge on it. Any National Party MP willing to risk never getting a promotion while English is Leader are ‘free’ to make a conscience vote, but I suspect it won’t really be ‘free’ at all.

Labour – They agree with a change and with Jacinda as Deputy, Labour has the most to gain as an identifiable policy with the wider female electorate. Won’t put an Abortion Bill in the ballot in order to not get distracted from its message of houses and jobs, but expect change if in a position to form a Government.

Greens – Totally in support of law change and very strong support from their activist base for change. Won’t put an Abortion Bill in the ballot for the same reason as Labour, doesn’t want to politicise the dormant but loud pro-life movement, but again expect change if they are in a  position to form a Government.

ACT – His vote won’t matter but Seymour wants reform.

United Future – Hopefully won’t be in the next Parliament.

Maori Party – Conservative on abortion.

MANA – I suspect that Hone will be personally conservative on abortion, but would vote for it or abstain.

But the real decision on Abortion law reform will actually be what NZ First’s position is as they are most likely to be king makers in the next Government, and after touching base directly with Tracey Martin, this is their policy…

What’s our view on abortion legislation?

Abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

We have a policy of citizen-initiated binding referendum, held at the same time as a general election – a policy we have had for 23 years – this is one of those issues for such a referendum. It should not be decided by temporarily empowered politicians but by the public.

We need a 12 to 18 month conversation around this issue and then let the people have their say.

Topics that we would be suggest be associated with this discussion would include: Moving the issue from the Criminal Act to the Health Act, ensuring women get the best possible advice, getting more research into “why” women find themselves needing to seek this service and how can we assist them to avoid having to seek this service.

…so, the most likely outcome for any Abortion Law reform will be a 12-18month referendum.

That sounds delightful.

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22 Comments

  1. Siobhan says:

    Yeah, 12-18 months of pro lifers marching around hospitals and town squares handing out plastic fetuses, as they do in my town, sounds absolutely appalling.

    NZ First seems to have a pretty reasonable stand. Just as long as the issue doesn’t somehow get tied in with immigration…like Winston deciding great waves of the yellow peril are setting up abortion clinics out in west Auckland or some such nonsense.

  2. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Well, well, well…

    So the TDB’s position is revealed to be Labour and NZ First. Interesting. National Lite and National Puce. I can hear the stegasaurii calling to each other in the bush…

    12 to 18 months?

    Should work as long as women can delay or prolong their pregnancies.

    Talk is brilliant; it saves on action.

    Doesn’t help our sisters right now though does it…

    • Strypey says:

      I think it might pay to read Bomber’s piece again more carefully.

      “TDB’s position is revealed to be Labour and NZ First.”

      He has factually described the policy positions of all parties currently in parliament on the issues of women’s access to legal, medically-supervised abortion (as opposed to the illegal backstreet kind that flourished where abortion is illegal). How does that in any way lead to your conclusion above?!?

      “12 to 18 months? Should work as long as women can delay or prolong their pregnancies.”

      This is NZ First’s policy, not something that is under Bomber’s control, thus the sarcastic “That sounds delightful” comment. I think Bomber made it pretty clear in the opening paragraphs of the piece (and in previous pieces on the issue) that if it was up to him, the law change would happen yesterday, not months down the track.

  3. Lara says:

    Here’s a really unpopular view.

    The idea of a national referendum is horrible. Because it allows the majority of people who have never been able and can never be able to be pregnant to make decisions for those of us who have lived lives with the threat of unwanted pregnancy.

    It’s my opinion that any decisions on abortion should not be made by any person who has never been able to nor will never be able to get pregnant. And that includes women who are infertile.

    ONLY people who live lives with the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy should be making decisions about abortion. And that includes women past menopause who lived most of their lives with the ability to get pregnant.

    I expect this is really unpopular because it excludes almost all men. And they do rather seem to like and expect that they can make decisions about women’s bodies and lives.

    • Actually, there’s an element of truth to what you say, Lara. Referenda are a way for “the majority” (of those who bother to vote) to decide an issue. This issue could be, for example marriage equality.

      It’s always struck me as patently absurd that the “majority” can decide whether or not a minority can enjoy the same universal human rights that the “majority” do. It would be like right-handed people deciding to vote on whether or not left-handed people should enjoy certain human rights.

      That’s one reason why I’ve never been a great fan of binding referenda that can determine the fate of a minority (or those without the vote, as Swiss men decided, in Switzerland in 1971).

      In a previous referendum, in 1959, 67% of men voted against women being able to vote.

      As a protest placard stated during the marriage equality debate “Can I vote on your marriage?”

      ref: http://chicago.indymedia.org/archive/usermedia/image/3/large/03__can_i_vote_on_your_marriage.jpg

    • Strypey says:

      Saying “we’ll put it to a referendum” means exactly the same thing when NZ First do it as it means when Andrew Little does in on cannabis law reform. It’s a way of saying ‘we’re too gutless to take a position in public’, while dressing it up in direct democracy drag.

      • Wrong Strypey.

        New Zealand First practices what it preaches. The party says it will put New Zealanders and New Zealand first – check out #1 in the Fifteen Fundamental Principles on which New Zealand First is founded.

        In accordance with that Principle, where it does not exist in policy we send to a referendum.

        I assume you have seen our manifesto from the last election? It was 100 pages at least.

        • Sam Sam says:

          Review of constitution are put to a referendum and im assuming criminal or civil matters are reviewed in differnt courts. So unless a judges opinion of law doesn’t match subject matter experts then my inderstanding is it wont be kicked to a higher court. Of course you can side step and go full on constitutional review but that takes money. A lot pf money. Then you have to ask is it worth it.

          Shall we spend presious little treasure on a long, long, long, long long fight or jam most of it into rape crises, womans refuge ect.

          Tbh if MPs cant come up with policies that work on an MP’s base salary then throwing more money at it will likelymake things worse for woman

        • Lara says:

          I think you totally missed my point. Please read again.

  4. Cassie says:

    Please provide PROOF of damage caused by the existing Laws.
    Otherwise you are simply going on about an imaginary problem.

    I have NEVER heard of any woman who has been declined an abortion, DESPITE current law ,and I know plenty of young women and their peers from all walks of life and have never heard of current law being a problem.
    I myself was in a position nearly 30 years ago where I had the option, and could have gone through with it, but chose not to..(thank heavens)

    Even back then- it wasn’t a problem.

    So….WHAT’s the problem?

    Answer = THERE ISN’T ONE.

    But changing the Law will ENABLE an international industry to gain a foothold =making $$$$ millions from killed foetuses by selling organs & body parts -JUST LIKE in USA!

    Imagine- An industry that Profits from killing foetuses and therefore encourages abortions.

    THAT is the intent behind the drive to change the Law.

    “Problem- Reaction- Solution” method .

    You Martyn are unwittingly supporting this by your ignorance but well meaning intentions.
    (good intentions paving the way to Hell).

    • selling organs & body parts –

      That’s quite an allegation, Cassie. What evidence do you have for it?

    • D'Esterre says:

      Cassie:

      “I have NEVER heard of any woman who has been declined an abortion, DESPITE current law ,and I know plenty of young women and their peers from all walks of life and have never heard of current law being a problem.”

      You may never have heard of such cases, but it by no means follows that they haven’t occurred. You’re relying on anecdote, rather than evidence. See this: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/90390584/hundreds-of-kiwi-women-told-their-abortions-were-not-justified
      Even if some of these women later got the abortion they were seeking, the fact that they were initially told that their abortions weren’t justified is a direct effect of the way the current legislation is structured. This would be a distressing and humiliating experience for any woman.

      “But changing the Law will ENABLE an international industry to gain a foothold =making $$$$ millions from killed foetuses by selling organs & body parts -JUST LIKE in USA!”

      Crikey….. I’m with Frank on this one. That’s a serious allegation to make; I’ve never heard that one before. I’d appreciate it if you’d supply evidence to back it up.

      “THAT is the intent behind the drive to change the Law.”

      So: you’re attributing this motivation to people such as me, who want the law changed, even though this is the first we’ve heard of it? This is wildly implausible, in my view.

      • And I’m with D’Esterre on this one, as well. Sorry, Cassie, but you’re not making much of a case for yourself. Especially the claim about “the Law will ENABLE an international industry to gain a foothold =making $$$$ millions from killed foetuses by selling organs & body parts -JUST LIKE in USA!”

        I’d like information on this as well.

  5. Cassie says:

    You like myself, Frank , are into exploring/investigating FACTS.

    I have looked into this non existing “argument” PLENTY, I assure you, and I know where it is heading.

    I am awaiting Martyn’s reply meanwhile to my challenge, to provide actual PROOF (ie list of actual no.s of victims of current law)
    Have you heard of “Planned Parenthood” ?
    Sounds innocuous doesn’t it. But don’t let the name deceive you.

  6. D'Esterre says:

    So, Cassie: no evidence forthcoming, to back up your assertions above?

  7. Cassie says:

    Well D’ESTERRE I’m calling bullshit on your “proof”.

    As they say, “one should always read the fine print” first.
    That Stuff item is propoganda, because it MISLEADS people into thinking there’s a problem.

    Did you miss the parts where it says –
    a) “Figures on actual “denied” abortions are not collected “,
    b) A “not justified” certificate did not necessarily indicate a denied abortion..”

    So, STILL NO PROOF.

    This is how it starts- first pressure to change the law.
    Next they’ll allow partial birth “abortions” ( killing fully formed babies just before they come out), which has been happening in USA for some time.
    Then voila – a profitable market for baby parts.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjCs_gvImyw

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tgez97aG74

  8. Cassie says:

    And here are more videos that you really need to watch :

    Arizona
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtpdYlcbVRQ

    New York
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eipSl72hsmI

    Washington DC
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHjclypoBD4

    THIS IS WHY the law in NZ must not be changed, because this is where it’s going. The slippery slip to hell !

  9. D'Esterre says:

    Cassie: “not justified” certificate did not necessarily indicate a denied abortion..”

    I conclude that you did not read closely my response above. Here’s what I said:
    “Even if some of these women later got the abortion they were seeking, the fact that they were initially told that their abortions weren’t justified is a direct effect of the way the current legislation is structured. This would be a distressing and humiliating experience for any woman.”
    This is proof of the deleterious effects of the legislation. And we have no way of knowing how many of those women were eventually denied an abortion.

    I watched those clips you adduce as evidence, and I note their provenance. I’m very sceptical. This emanates from the US, where the organisations which post these clips take an essentially religious approach to the abortion issue. I’m not religious – I’m not even a theist – and, like many people, I’m of the view that the secular perspective will serve us better here in NZ.

    There are two things to say, though: even were this happening, it doesn’t in any way justify restricting access to abortions here. Or anywhere, come to that. It’s a helluva trip to put on women needing an abortion, to make them responsible for what might happen to the aborted fetus. Secondly, in virtue of what would you suppose that this sort of thing couldn’t already be happening here in NZ under the current legislation?

    I think that we all understand your position: you oppose changes to the abortion law in NZ. I think that you could also be characterised as anti-abortion. Fair enough: you’re entitled to your opinion, and nobody is asking you to have an abortion. But it’s not for you to tell other women that they can’t freely access an abortion. It isn’t your business – or mine, or anyone else’s – what decisions women make with regard to a pregnancy. It isn’t us who must carry that pregnancy to term, with all the attendant consequences.

    An abortion is a health procedure: attempting to restrict on-demand access makes no more sense than attempting to crimp demand for hysterectomies. We need an environment in which the law is silent on abortions.

  10. Cassie says:

    D’ESSTERRE :

    I OPPOSE change to current law , because it IS ADEQUATE.

    – Adequate enough to make it NOT MUCH PROBLEM to get one.

    Golly gosh. A few moments of acting “distressed” to get your own way is a small price to pay . Don’t you think?

    It’s only for a short time, after all.

    AND – Does a BRIEF time of having to act distressed – prove that the Laws are “DELETERIOUS” (as you put it) ???
    (So that it MUST be changed?) . I think NOT.

    ***********

    ..But you are suggesting NO LAW .. for “abortions”.

    The RESULT of having no law can be seen in any of above evidence that YOU SAW. It is happening already in USA. Do we REALLY want to go THERE?

    *********

    Did you really feel NOTHING ? NO qualms ? Think it perfectly ok to KILL preterm Humans? As seen above, no Laws.
    No RIGHTS ?? For ALIVE & Pre Term ( WAITING TO BE BORN) Human babies?
    ( & WTF does that have to do with “religion”????)

    **************

    To SUMMARISE,
    I STAND FIRM in the law AS IT STANDS. Because it WORKS ENOUGH.
    ie
    1)Women who got pregnant as a result of RAPE = Automatic Pass.
    2)Women who opened their legs up to ill chosen man= some “uncomfortable feelings ” but still get Pass
    3) Women who as above , but apply for termination too late (ie when a mere foetus has developed into a fully formed unborn child) – No Pass.

    THAT is how it should be.

    END of STORY. NO law change needed.

    PS: I omitted to also point out that “reasons for denial ” in your given “Stuff” link article – “were NOT given” & the only likely scenario would be be cases where it was simply too late. ie women applied for abortion when ” a mere blob” was already clearly a fully developed human being.
    Would that not prick the conscience of any DR whose Medical OATH is to PROTECT LIFE?



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