Citizens in the Provinces also have a Right to be heard!
Right to Life asks, why the Special Abortion Legislation Bill Committee is continuing to discriminate by refusing to hear the 2,740 submitters who have requested the right to make a ten minute oral submission on the highly contentious abortion Bill conceived and sponsored by Jacinda Ardern. The Committee is prepared to grant ten minutes for an oral submission to only an estimated 150 submitters.
The Committee refuses to conduct hearings in major Provincial centres such as Hamilton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wanganui, Whangarei, Gisborne, Tauranga, Masterton, Nelson, Timaru, Invercargill and Dunedin. Why does the Committee refuse to hear the views of citizens who reside in the provinces? Has the Committee already made up its mind on the bill and therefore does not want to hear of peoples concerns?
The Committee which has six months to the 8th February to hear submissions and no other business, is conducting hearings in only three centres, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for an estimated 20 hours. The Committee was in Christchurch for only two and a half hours to hear an estimated twelve submissions. These were the only submissions heard in the South Island.
The chairperson of the Committee, Hon Ruth Dyson said: "The committee welcomes hearing from a wide range of people on their views. We understand that this is a sensitive and important topic, and we look forward to engaging in a respectful and open discussion.” Why then is the Committee refusing to hear from the 2,740 submitters who have requested to be heard?
This Committee should follow the commendable example of the Justice Select Committee that considered the End of Life Choice Bill for sixteen months. It received 39,159 written submissions, travelled to fourteen centres to conduct forty-two days of hearing to hear 1,350 oral submissions.
This controversial bill if passed will have a profound effect on our respect for the right to life of our unborn children, our respect for women and freedom of speech and assembly and the ethics of the medical profession. It is the wish of the Prime Minister that the killing of the innocent and defenceless unborn should no longer be a crime and should become “a reproductive choice for women,” effectively for any reason up to birth. Right to Life believes that more than 500,000 unborn children will have their lives terminated within the next 40 years under this Bill which will make the violent dismemberment of the unborn a “health service.”
The most dangerous place for a New Zealander today is in its mother’s womb. Nearly one in five New Zealanders is killed before they are born. Since the CS&A Act was passed in 1977 more than 520,000 children have been killed before birth in their mother’s womb. In 2018 there were 13,282 abortions reported, that equates to 35 children every day being taken to a hospital or clinic to be aborted.
What is the priority for this Committee, protecting the lives of women and the unborn or rushing this bill through the Committee with urgency to ensure that this anti- life and anti- feminist Bill is passed this year? Would this be to ensure that it does not distract the electorate from re -electing a Jacinda Ardern Labour led government at the general election in 2020? Right to Life requests that the Committee act in the best interest of women and our unborn by graciously consenting to hear oral submissions from the 2740 submitters who have asked to be heard. Why is the media silent on this freedom of speech issue?