The report of the Select Committee that considered the Abortion Legislation Bill confirms that the whole exercise is an ideological and undemocratic fait accompli.
The process already looked suspect when men were excluded from committee membership (apart from David Seymour, whose membership was unavoidable and passive) and when the committee refused to allow submitters who oppose the bill the courtesy of an oral hearing.
It appears that the policy position that pregnancy is a “health issue” has been a foregone conclusion at least since February 2018 when the Minister for Justice commissioned a report on “alternative approaches to abortion law that would align with treating abortion as a health issue”.
Little wonder, then, that the committee did not even consider whether or not the foetus is a human being, or at least human enough for its future to be of any interest. These unborn human beings never had a chance.
Despite this, and having already decided that a foetus is nobody, the committee actually fretted over the practice of gender-biased sex selection. A “health issue” does not have gender! This is the degree of stupidity that becomes possible when ideology runs amok.
This bovine insensibility is again apparent with the creation of “safe areas” around places where abortions happen. It is the womb that has always been regarded as the “safe space”, so much so that returning there is the theme of some wishful delusions and some approaches to meditation.
Not anymore. When this bill becomes law, the womb becomes an extremely hazardous place, in which you are nobody – valuable only as long as you are valued by the “pregnant person” (who used to be your “mother”). In the womb, you will be fair game, right up until you are pulled out by a doctor who is birthing foetuses today not killing them. Birthdays will now commemorate your escape from the womb into safety!
We are told that MPs will vote by conscience. No, they won’t, as they are no longer free to do so. Parliament has shown that it is ring-barked by the most heartless and ruthless version of wokeness on the market: MPs’ votes are visible and, in today’s new order, punishable.
The heartlessness of the Bill is visible in the report: “Some of us expressed concern about a foetus experiencing pain during an abortion”. Not “all of us”! This is wokeness with its gloves off.
And the ruthlessness of the new law is not confined to the foetus. It also deliberately exposes conscientious medical practitioners to the risk of dismissal and other punitive actions by their employer. Indeed, a doctor’s day-to-day legal and ethical obligations are now suborned by the notion that the “pregnant person” is the only patient.
Apparently, all those pregnant women and couples who think the woman is carrying their child are stupid and deluded. There is no child, it’s a “health issue”. No-one to speak to, no-one to name, no-one to sing to or play music to. At birth, that health issue is magically transformed into a human being: then, they have a child and can sing all they like, but not before. The woke ideologues on the Parliamentary Select Committee know better than the rest of us, and they are laying it down as law.
This appalling bill should be handed over to a referendum, where we vote by secret ballot (and cannot be punished for “voting wrong”). What are the chances of the woke ideologues ceding control to real New Zealanders?
Democracy has clearly been suspended for this Bill. Is this a one-off, or something we should try to get used to?