The Abortion Reform Bill easily passed its first reading in Parliament on 4th August this year, with 94 in favour and 23 against.
MPs made passionate speeches for and against the proposal to move abortion from the Crimes Act, having it instead treated as a Health issue. A good change to come, as most will agree.
However, some citizens still object to abortion on moral grounds, and want to see it remain as a crime. They are entitled to their opinion and beliefs as are we all.
The length of gestation permitted for legal abortions will become twenty weeks!
(Note – abortion is available currently, provided two medical practitioners/specialists meet the mother to be and concur it is in her best interest to have access to an abortion. These are performed in hospitals, at no cost to the woman.)
I was “on the fence” for years. I’d chosen to carry my baby to full term, and allowed a wonderful family to adopt her and give her a far better life than I would have been able to. That, in spite of the general practitioner who, on confirming my pregnancy, offered me an abortion.
Last week, I saw this video, from Channel Mum site;
take 20 seconds to watch this 20-week gestational baby.
Then this week a personal friend gave me the guidelines for making a personal submission to the Select Committee charged with receiving and taking into account public opinion (and is charged with double-checking the Bill, to ensure it is ready for submitting for its second reading on Thursday 19th September.
(And ascertaining what effects its passing will have on any other legislation – though that should have been done already).
This morning I found the results of the first hearing, listing the ninety-four MPs who had voted in favour of the Bill. I sent a personal email to my small city’s general Member of Parliament, and our Maori Member of Parliament. Here follows the email.
“Please, regardless of how you voted in the Bill’s first hearing,
view this video of an ultrasound scan of a baby at twenty weeks gestation.
You will see a young child turning its head towards a sound, testing its strength, grasping its umbilical cord – its lifeline.
The video is only twenty seconds long. I’m sure you can spare that time. By the end of it you will be aware that a pre-birth baby at twenty weeks gestation is a sentient being.
By this stage it hears, responds to, and recognises the sound of its family members’ voice, preparing it to also recognise them after it leaves its life bubble.
No sentient being should be killed.
Permitting abortion up to twenty weeks gestation is morally wrong on so many levels.
Please Forward this email to every Member of Parliament who will be voting on the first hearing of the Bill.”
If you are a kiwi, and you too feel sick in the stomach to see how active and lively, how lovely, a twenty week gestational baby is, then do please, consider writing or emailing your Member of Parliament. Feel free to recompose your message, so they don’t get the impression it is a mass produced template. Make them realise it is Your opinion and request.
And close with your full name and address, of course.