Pro-life groups disappointed at abortion number increase

A pro-life supporter holds up a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 2 on the morning the court heard oral arguments in a challenge to a Texas law imposing new standards on abortion clinics and requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters) See SCOTUS-TEXAS-ABORTION March 2, 2016.

Pro-life groups and advocates have expressed their alarm and disappointment at the latest abortion statistics, which show a 6.8 per cent increase in chemical and surgical abortions from the previous year.

On November 1, Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health published abortion statistics for the 2022 year. There were 14,164 abortions, up from 13,257 in 2021.

The report stated that this reflected “the increased accessibility of in-person first trimester abortions, as well as the availability of a national telehealth early medical abortion (EMA) service”.

There were 193 abortions for every 1000 known pregnancies in 2022, up from 183 the previous year.

Voice for Life stated that the rate has not been this high since 2012. The report described the same statistic as remaining “consistent with the minor fluctuations in abortion trends observed over the preceding decade”.

Voice for Life described the abortion numbers as “a truly alarming and horrific outcome for our nation, and it is a direct result of the extreme abortion law passed by Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government in 2020”.

“Not only does this represent abortion deaths on a scale not seen in our nation for over ten years, but it is also the result of a system that has abandoned humanitarian and caring solutions for women and families facing pregnancy-related challenges, in favour of the violence of abortion.”

Family Life International pointed out that close to 39 young human lives are lost every day in this country because of abortion.

“To put it in perspective, that’s around a class and a half of children dead daily,” FLI stated.

“These sobering statistics ought to move all people of goodwill to deliver services and provide support to women and families, allowing them to embrace the gift of new life when it comes.”

Right to Life requested that “the incoming National-led government dedicate itself to promoting a culture of life that will stop the violence against women and their precious unborn”.

“The previous Parliament deluded itself by believing that killing innocent and defenceless children in the sanctuary of their mother’s womb was no longer a crime, it was a health service. Will the new government legislate to recognise the unborn child from conception, as a human being endowed by its Creator with an inalienable right to life?”

The report also noted that the “abortion workforce” increased from 162 to 348 in the year.

“This represents a massive increase in taxpayer healthcare funding being used for the purposes of aborting our country’s unborn children,” Voice for Life stated.

There were calls for churches to make working to end abortion a higher priority.

Right to Life stated that the “government-funded killing of the unborn is also supported by the media, and by the silence of the majority of churches who should be at the forefront in defending the life of God’s precious infants. Why is there a deafening silence?”

Pro-life advocate Brendan Malone stated in a facebook post that the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference “urgently needs to reprioritise this issue, and become bolder and more focused in their efforts regarding this pressing social justice matter”.

“One important first step that could be taken by the Catholic bishops is to restore back into the New Zealand liturgical calendar an annual Sunday that focuses solely and specifically on the issue of abortion, so that we can be united in prayer for the unborn children who are the victims of this grave injustice, and for their often vulnerable mothers and fathers,” Mr Malone wrote.

Earlier this year, the New Zealand Catholic bishops updated and expanded their 1997 document “Te Kahu o te Ora – A Consistent Ethic of Life” that inspires active protection and promotion of all life.

The document described (direct) abortion as “an affront to the God-given gift of life and [it] must always be rejected”.

“The unborn child is clearly one of the most vulnerable, innocent and defenceless of all human beings. This imposes a significant moral obligation on us all,” the bishops wrote.

But the bishops also noted that “every pregnancy involves at least two lives – the child and the mother – and often impacts many others”.

“This means that we need to remember that our obligations and responsibilities extend to creating an environment within families and society, where pregnant mothers and their partners are supported, and children are made welcome.

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