MEDIAWATCH: Lana Hart and the Left’s abortion optimism seems as brittle as the NZ Rights abortion denial


Why New Zealand won’t follow the US lead on abortion

New Zealand’s response to the shocking US Supreme Court decision removing the constitutional protections for abortion has been a fascinating tale of two countries.

With conservative politicians like Christopher Luxon and David Seymour coming out in support of our population’s strong pro-choice leaning, and framing of abortion as a health issue rather than a criminal one, the trajectory of Aotearoa’s abortion narrative remains on the same track as almost all European countries.

Meanwhile, as the US celebrates its Independence Day, it finds itself an outlier.

The certainty expressed by Stuff columnist Lana Hart that abortion rights could never change here in the wake of Roe vs Wade feels like brittle optimism.

Hart isn’t alone, most of the NZ punditry have all been quick to point to our centrism as a culture to argue there is no appetite for restricting Womens rights to an abortion.

I however am not so certain of their certainty and I think abortion could horrifically mutilate the 2023 election.

After watching four Republican Judges lie through their teeth during their confirmation hearings, I am deeply skeptical of Evangelical Christian Political Leaders who see abortion as tantamount to murder and refuse point blank to gloss over the possibility.

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The obscenity of the State removing a women’s autonomy over her own body is a move from a rigged Supreme Court who are replacing human rights with religious bigotry.

That can not be tolerated in any democracy that proclaims civil liberties, it is a philosophical and intellectual mutation, whose irrationality cascades over all other civil liberties.

It can not, must not, will not stand!

Fuck allowing any of that malice to merge out of the primordial psychological swamp of the ill educated and easily spooked kiwi electorate hinterland.

If there is any area of the NZ political spectrum in desperate need of an abortion, it is the swirling cocktail of social media hate algorithms of the far right Qanon, incel, evangelical Christian, Q feminism, anti-mandate, Q Freedom, Bannon alt right electorate.

Family First on Q+A last weekend were absolutely clear that Roe vs Wade had energised the anti-abortion movement in NZ and with them being kicked out of the Charities list (a stupidly political decision if you ask me), they will probably be sucking in huge amounts of American dark money from the triumphant American Christian Right.

There are few single issues that have the power to cross 5% threshold.

Feral lunatic anti-abortionism is one of them.

If the fringe right who usually waste as sub 5% vote could unite, their catch cry would be more restrictive rules if not a total ban.

If a NZ Conservative + Brian Tamaki Party merged and crossed the 5% threshold and were necessary to form the next Government, National and ACT would have to negotiate.

Luxon can say what he likes, but the naked politics of this will drive National strategists in the end. There is a solid 15% of the electorate who are God squad and whom will vote on Abortion as the only issue. In a highly polarised electorate, National being able to scoop up all that sub 5% Christian vote that normally gets wasted is going to be far too tempting to National strategists. Remember this?

The reason why Judy suddenly found God and had the media photograph her was because National strategists know there is a large God vote out there that normally votes fringe and gets wasted, the exact same dynamics will be at play now. The Anti-Abortion movement in NZ is ecstatic at this enormous Roe vs Wade win and they intend to push National hard to get some political wins in NZ.

What if a NZ Conservative/Brian Tamaki Party with Sue Grey as a candidate promised as a bottom line to make Luxon restrict abortions?

“We’ll make Chris listen to his heart and Jesus 2023”

There is enough febrile polarisation ripe for bad faith actors to manipulate in ways empowered by MMP dynamics.

If these lunatics get over 5%, ACT and National will have no choice but to negotiate.

Luxon can hand on heart claim not to have changed the law, just amended it, and here are the National Party dirty tricks they attempted to use last time…

Make it harder to get approval for an Abortion.

Require those providing abortions to consider religious considerations to abortion.

Require those providing abortions to consider conservative Māori views on abortion.

Remove requirement that health practitioners who don’t want to support an abortion must tell the woman the details of another provider who will.

Making it illegal to not hire anti-abortion drs.

Making it illegal to terminate a pregnancy for genetic abnormalities. 

Force women to tell the State how many abortions they have. 

Banning abortion for under 16 year olds.

…note they don’t make abortion illegal, but they certainly make it a hell of a lot more difficult to get!

The Left has to start viewing the 2023 election as the existential threat it is.

A National/ACT Government would be radical enough, a National/ACT/Q Christ Government would be fucking terrifying.

If you vote National, what Government are you actually getting?

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  1. The same applies to the left – vote Labour and get the Greens and the Maori party. As they would be dependent on both you will get:
    a). A wealth tax
    b). Co-governance
    Hell Matthew Tukaki will probably become Reserve Bank Governor.

    Let’s face it given our shallow puddle of political leadership it will be a choice of eating the steaming pile of horse manure we have right now or consuming the 3-day old cow pat on the other side. In a fucking stagflation environment with collapsing infrastructure and a state of lawlessness. Yummy.

    So either prepare yourself for 20 swift hard kicks to the balls or drop your pants and grab you ankles……or catch the next flight to the GC.

    • A wealth tax is a really good idea (first annually on net assets over $M and then as an estate tax). It provides revenues in lieu of untaxed CGT and slows the development of an intergenerational have and have not division in our society.

      And given

      1. co-governance in management of public land (conservation) and water assets is part of honouring National signing us up to indigenous rights at the UN and the bare minimum as per the Treaty


      2. it is an outright lie to call it a threat to democracy.

      For me LGM is an easy choice.

  2. Family First are a frightening organisation. Even climate change measures are a problem for them. Bob is one scary individual

  3. the right wants to oppress women on the basis of biology
    the left wants to pretend that womens biology does not exist and that being a women is ‘feelz’ that anyone can have but no one can define.

    maybe both parties are total and absolute shite for women?

  4. There is not 15% of the electorate who will vote solely on abortion.
    There may be 5% who will vote for a unified Christian Party, though not so far in 9 MMP elections. Maybe if NZF is included.
    However, it would take a Members Bill to get into the system. There won’t be a majority of MP’s in support. There is absolutely no way that National MP’s could be whipped to support such a Bill.
    Five percent parties on the edge don’t get to decide the composition of the government. They have to be in the centre, able to go both ways to have such an influence.
    Is there any conceivable scenario where a Family First dominated party could ever go left, and also demand a change to the abortion laws. If combined with NZF, Winston would never allow them such power.

    • 1. Whether there would be a majority of MP’s to support (conscience vote issue) depends on the size of the national caucus – 35 of them voted against decriminalisation (there were little more than 50 – this is about 2/3rds).

      2. National has already formed coalitions with the right wing ACT Party – not one in the centre, so why not a Christian Party?

      3. Coalition partners do get wins on the policy platform. One might be supporting minor party bills on conscience vote issues getting a first reading.

      National could see off a Christian party by including more evangelicals in electorates or on the list – this is a reason for vigilance in identifying their positions on conscience issues. And it might even work with a Christian party to engineer a majority of MP’s all the while denying it – as the GOP and their Justices did before the Senate Committee.

      • How do you convince Nicola Willis and like minded liberal MP’s to go along with such a strategy? There is a zero chance you could convince them to abandon their conscience vote for Family First, a party that at best represents 5% of the population. Such a strategy would tear National apart.
        And as a matter of practical politics there is no need. Since Family First can only go right, they won’t get much in terms of policy wins. There is no imperative to give them much.

        • How aware would Nicola Willis be of the selection of MP’s for electorates or for the list?

          Would such been aware of the EB funding or the SB/Botany Bay bag money back in the day?

        • Nicola Willis and the rest of the so called liberals will cede a conscience vote if they had a sniff of the treasury benches

  5. So Luxon is guilty of lying over his abortion law stance after saying he won’t change it, and he’s only the leader of the opposition. Labour has lied for five years and are the government, and want to stay the government because they, and their followers believe they deserve another chance. Oh ok, no not in my opinion.

  6. @Reactionary Bratwurst

    You are correct.

    Alas, if only there were a political vehicle that would allow the sensible adults who do not subscribe to either of these extremes representation.

    There are and have been, many real solutions espoused by people far more erudite than myself on this blogsite.
    Solutions we would have a mandate for, thanks to that vehicle?

    Wouldn’t that be great.

    This turns out not to be the case.
    We have moved to the US style of one party politics to all functional intents and purposes, nevermind the conservative and self interested PMC types who actually run the show.

    At one time the bold dream was sweeping systemic change designed to benefit the mass of the people, driven through working class political thought.
    In this time the most incremental, meaningless change is offered in its place.

    Serves us right for believing the high priests of capital.

  7. Brian Tamaki is a gang leader. Plays the system like a fiddle. As do all evangelists. Preach neo-liberalism and call it “God”. Religious freedom from tax is an odd outcome in a country that is supposed to separate church and state. In Matariki we can find a spirituality that need not be monetised or capitalised, and in that there is true hope. But the citizens of Aotearoa have long been too burdened with reality to perceive the evil that pervades all sectors. I personally (through youthful abandon) forced two women to have abortions, one on a back street in Brasil. And denied biological connection to a child in Colombia. And now, via the family court, cut off by my Venezuelan ex, from the two children for whom I took responsibility. Crime pays, love destroys. But women deserve the right to decide what to do with their bodies after a man who needs suffer nothing can be Gone with Wind. “Quite frankly my dear, I don’t a damn” No doubt gospel to supreme court judges and Lex Luthor

    • Incidentally, when does Tamaki’s Church lose it’s tax free status? I mean relentlessly up and down the country over the last year he and people of his church were acting as a political movement.


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