The New Zealand Catholic Bishops today expressed concern about the proposed new abortion regime for New Zealand, whilst also looking forward to contributing to what they hoped would be an honest, respectful dialogue that explored the complexities surrounding abortion.

“The Bishops hear from a wide community of Catholic women and men on this important issue, and are also informed by the work of Catholic agencies who support the well-being of women and families,” said Cynthia Piper, speaking on behalf of the Bishops Conference. “We are mindful of the pressures and stresses that very often leave couples with seemingly little choice but to have an abortion. It is an acknowledged fact that, too often, a woman chooses an abortion because of poverty, social shaming, lack of community support, coercion from a partner or family or isolation.

“There needs to be a stronger focus on strengthening and extending policies and organisations that support women who are pregnant. Making abortions easier to get, as the new law proposes, does nothing to address these serious underlying issues. When you live in poverty, or are socially shamed, or are feeling coerced or isolated, ‘choice speak’ is meaningless because you don’t have real choices or options.

The Bishops strongly support the fact that, under the current abortion laws, the rights of the unborn are given statutory recognition, something they wish to see retained. “There is always a defenceless human life at stake. The way we look at it, abortion is both a justice issue and a health issue – the two are inseparable.

“We are particularly concerned that the proposed new law seeks to do away with any ‘tests’ for women up to 20 weeks gestation and only imposes a very vague ‘medical test’ for women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant.

“To treat the matter solely as a health issue for a woman is to ignore that there is another human life involved – a life that has no voice of its own. From a human perspective, this is less than honest. At the same time, it is also a disservice to the woman. For us as a society to pretend that there is not another life involved will only deny the woman concerned the chance to deal with their abortion as the significant and heart-wrenching moral issue that it is.

“The issues raised by abortion are many and they include both the immediate and long-term psychological, mental and emotional consequences of abortion. These consequences affect both women and men and impact on their other significant relationships.

Mrs Piper said, “We will be looking closely at the proposed new law and studying the other proposed changes concerning doctors’ freedom of conscience, the ready availability and desirability of counselling for women and the suggestion of safe zones around abortion facilities.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Catholics are notorious for trying to have it both ways.
    NZ elected a non-conservative, and it should be said it was also for financial reasons.
    Australia has done similar things, from Bob Hawke to Anastasia Paluszczuk.
    The upside is “a fair go” and “fair play” and “wages” etc.
    Margaret Thatcher asserted the argument that less socialism actually is better for the economy.
    Little people will actually be better off in the long term
    But then by not voting conservative, you fall into the trap of both multiculture, and Secular Humanism. The former allows those who refuse to assimilate into the country to outbreed the locals. The latter strives to downgrade every faith-filled institution and to redefine the laws so that they are not based on a Judeo Christian covenant morality, but an atheistic anti-God religion.
    So abortion becomes legal, and the birth rate falls.
    But gets worse. Once this lot get to change things, it is very difficult to get Catholics to turn it around and for the country to turn it around.
    Only in a place such as Catholic Poland whose Catholics suffered both Nazis and Communists, was abortion made illegal again after the Communists left. They were ordered to fund abortions outside their country but said a big NO.
    The EU did not like that. The EU with a built-in ideology.
    Catholics at some stage or another must face the truth. It is that heaven begins here, and Jesus is not a plaster statue.
    Jesus is real.
    The mother has no “rights over her child”.

  2. Please, less PR, less “mindfulness”, and “concern”. Fewer “representative” spokes-persons as proxies.

    Please, more courage but not the populist type you show at climate change protests and photo ops. Costly Apostolic courage.

    You have my prayers.

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