Every year Voice for Life holds an annual weekend conference that seeks to inspire, educate and motivate pro-life advocates across New Zealand. The 2016 National Conference will unpack the key life issues we’re facing this year in NZ, and highlight the importance of compassionate and professional care towards the many people in our country who are affected by abortion and euthanasia. The conference speakers include Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, Dr John Kleinsman, Catherine Gillies and Stephen Penk. Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins is a Democratic Labour Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council in Australia. She recently fought to have the Infant Viability Bill passed in Parliament in Australia. Dr John Kleinsman will be speaking on the battle against euthanasia law reform in NZ and updating us on the current status and how we can help in this crucial issue. Catherine Gillies is an experienced post-abortion counsellor, previous Voice for Life president, and passionate pro-life worker. Catherine will be explaining how post-trauma counselling can bring hope and healing to those suffering after an abortion.
Stephen Penk is an Associate Professor, and Associate Dean, at the University of Auckland Law School. Stephen will be speaking to what we should know about the legal aspects of the Euthanasia debate. The conference will be held in Hamilton 30 September – 2 October. For registration information, visit voiceforlife.org.nz/get-involved/conference
In 2004, when MP Judith Collins proposed a law change requiring that doctors tell parents if a daughter aged under 16 is seeking an abortion, a NZ Herald Digi Poll showed 71% support for parental notification.
On 26 May 2015, NZ a petition from a NZ family to Parliament dramatically highlighted the need for parental notification. Hillary Kieft’s underage daughter was taken to have a secret abortion during the school day without her parents’ knowledge. Later her daughter became so distressed that she attempted suicide, but fortunately she was rescued in time. Tragically, NZ law continues to permit parents’ rights to be informed, involved and consent to their underage children’s medical procedures to be ignored for only one procedure – abortion, even though the parents will be the ones who pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
Hillary has now set up a website to bring about change, hillaryslaw.org.nz. Phone Voice for Life on (09)4430995 for more pro-life information.
Have you ever wondered what actually happens in an abortion? It is possible to discover the truth about what really happens in an abortion on Voice for Life’s new website: www.voiceforlife.org.nz. The revamped website has a section under the heading “Abortion” where the various techniques are described in detail, including a description by former US abortionist Dr Levantino testifying to Congress. There is a prominent warning that this section on abortion is not suitable for children. The pictures tell the story. Medical scientific illustrations in colour reveal how first, second and third trimester abortions are performed. These pictures show the grisly medical reality behind the soothing bureaucratic euphemism of “removal of the products of conception”. The next question is whether one should just get upset, or resolve to join those working to end this evil shedding of innocent blood. Phone Voice for Life on (09)4430995 for more pro-life information.
Family Life International has recently concluded its Pro-Life Speakers Tour, which featured inspiring speakers from New Zealand and abroad. International speaker Claire Culwell has been affected by abortion more than most: she survived the abortion which killed her twin brother. When it was discovered that Claire’s birth mother was still pregnant a month later, another abortion was scheduled. Fortuitously, the second abortion did not go ahead because Claire’s amniotic sac had been punctured during the first abortion. Claire was physically affected by that first abortion procedure, and experiences ongoing effects even to this day. Claire is now the mother of a two-year-old daughter, and noted that had the abortion been successful, not only would she have died but her daughter would not be here either. The effects of abortion carry on into future generations. The other international speaker was Father Boquet, a dedicated witness to the Gospel of Life. Transforming the culture was been a key theme in Father Boquet’s talks. He reminded audiences that each one of us, as followers of Jesus, are called to be “salt and light” to the world. He used St John Paul II’s great encyclical Evangelium Vitae as a guide to understanding what needs to be done to change our culture into one that celebrates and affirms the value of life. For more information on pro-life issues, visit FLI’s website at www.fli.org.nz. For help with a crisis pregnancy, ph. 0800 367 5433.
It is likely that most of the population, including euthanasia supporters, would be completely unaware that the proposed legislation by the NZ Voluntary Euthanasia Society contains clauses that would allow anyone over the age of 18 to request assisted suicide, based on perceived insurmountable mental or physical difficulty. NZ already has a problem with teenage suicide. It is not disputed that suicide can be linked to a perception of insurmountable difficulty in the circumstances the individual is facing at that time. Where, rather, is the help? In 1992 the World Medical Association stated that “physician-assisted suicide is unethical, and must condemned by the medical profession.” A patient’s right to decline medical treatment remains in place. One of the co-founders of the 2002 Netherland’s euthanasia law reform, Theo Boer, served as a member of one of the supervising regional panels. However, he has now recanted his support for any euthanasia law. Seven years ago, Professor Boer argued that a “good euthanasia law” would produce relatively low numbers of deaths. He now recognises that the very existence of a euthanasia law turns assisted suicide from a last resort into a normal procedure. (UK DailyMail July 9, 2014). The Netherland’s euthanasia death rate had doubled within six years, and was expected to treble by 2014. For more information on pro-life issues, phone Voice for Life on (09)4430995 or visit www.voiceforlife.org.nz.
In October 2009, Abby Johnson, a young woman with a strong desire to help women facing unplanned pregnancies, walked out of the Planned Parenthood facility in Texas where she was clinic director. Her conversion had taken place only days earlier, when she had assisted in the ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week pre-born child. Over the last five years, Abby has become a powerful pro-life advocate. Through her ministry And Then There Were None, more than 100 clinic workers have been supported through their own journey out of the abortion industry. Abby Johnson will be visiting New Zealand to share her story, in Wellington on December 7th. Abby’s talks are personal and inspiring. Her inside information provides an enlightening insight into what is needed to effectively help abortion-vulnerable women and those who work in abortion facilities. For more information visit Family Life International’s website: www.fli.org.nz
Planned Parenthood has been running an ad campaign in the US called “Not in Her Shoes”. It conveys the message that abortion is not a black and white issue and people should not be labelled “pro-life” or “pro-choice”, as this is too limiting and doesn’t actually “reflect how people feel about abortion”. American feminist writer and columnist Kathy Pollitt disagrees with Planned Parenthood’s message, observing that abortion is a black and white issue. Rather, the feelings around it aren?t black and white. Pro-life Christians with a sound understanding of life issues would no doubt concur with this observation. Abortion is a black and white issue – it is either morally right or wrong. However, where Kathy Pollitt suggests that stigmatisation of abortion is what leads to its criminalisation, Pro-life Christians would argue that it is the realisation that abortion ends a human life, and society’s recognition of its responsibility to protect the vulnerable, that justifies the criminalisation of abortion. Phone Voice for Life on (09)4430995 for more pro-life information or visit www.voiceforlife.org.nz
On 20th September, most New Zealanders of voting age will make time to carry out their civic responsibilities and vote in the elections.
For Christians the elections this year will have a marked effect on whether abortions up to birth and for whatever reason – become the law of the land. The code word for such a radical move is a “review of the law”. The Greens, Labour and Mana should they gain a majority, are committed to tasking the Law Commission to carry out such a review. However, the real intent is to “manage” the review to recommend doing away with any abortion law. Abortion would become merely a “health” issue.
We know this is the underlying strategy because abortion advocates have stated it in their “Road Map for Abortion Law Reform”, published in May 2010.
Your vote as a Christian is important and if you want to know how your MPs have voted on pro-life and family issues, Family First have published an election guide accessible at: www.valueyourvote.org.nz. For more information on pro-life issues, phone Voice for Life on (09)4430995 or visit www.voiceforlife.org.nz.