Another atrocious day in Parliament

In a shocking display of human rights abuse in New Zealand, an amendment to the Abortion Legislation Bill which required the care of a child born after an attempted abortion was only supported by less than a third of MPs last night. 80 MPs voted against it (and another 3 did not vote at all). 37 MPs voted for it.

The amendment of National MP Simon O’Connor clarified that a qualified health practitioner who performed an abortion that results in the birth of a child after an attempted abortion has a duty to provide the child with appropriate medical care and treatment, no different than the duty owed to provide medical care and treatment to any other child born.

We should be protecting the lives of innocent babies. We should be making abundantly clear, especially in this abortion legislation, that this is an obligation on medical professionals. This amendment would simply reinforce this obligation. But this vote is actually just confirmation of how extreme and radical this bill is – and the agenda of its supporters. Last night’s voting was a shameful display of an utter disrespect for human rights. This is not about politics – this is about having a heart.

Other key amendments voted on last night:
* requirement for abortion procedures post-20 week to ensure that fetus does not feel pain (as per the Animal Welfare Act which requires vets to ensure that animals don’t feel pain) – DEFEATED  
* tightening of definition of ‘health practitioner’ to doctor, midwife or obstetric nurse (to avoid unsafe abortions) – DEFEATED
* abortions post-20 weeks only for extreme circumstancesDEFEATED
* keeping conscientious objection standards the same as they currently are (the bill currently weakens the protections) – DEFEATED 
* restricting employment discrimination on grounds of conscience – DEFEATED
* cultural considerations to be considered consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi (woman’s wellbeing protected by recognising her whakapapa and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of her family, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family group) – DEFEATED
annual reporting of abortion statistics (bill only requires reporting for 18 months after passing!) – DEFEATED
* In an amusing moment, “safe areas” were made illegal (in a close vote) – but then the pro-abortion MPs messed up their voting and the effect was that it’s now not possible to enforce “safe areas” 🙂

Other important amendments still to be voted on:
* holding a referendum
* an explicit ban on sex selection and disability (or possible disability) abortions
* parental notification
* replacing definition of “woman” with “woman or other persons” (because men can get pregnant, apparently. Yeah – it’s a Green party one!)

And YES! We will be publishing the voting record of each MP – once the Hansard records are published.

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