Category Archives: pro-life

If Pregnancy Termination is Just a Medical Procedure…

According to Abortion Services in New Zealand:

You are able to have counselling after your abortion procedure also. Your partner may be involved if you request it.

This counselling aims to assist you with any unresolved issues or feelings related to the pregnancy termination and to support your emotional recovery after an abortion.

Hold on. My son has had an operation and he was not offered any form of professional counseling pre or post operation. My wife has had multiple operations and in no case was she offered professional counseling pre or post operation.

How often are we told abortion is a medical procedure similar in significance and complexity to an appendectomy.

My sister had an appendectomy. There was no offer of professional counselling prior to the invasive operation. There was no offer of professional counselling in the aftermath of the invasive surgery.

abortion medical procedure

Why the Offer of Counseling?

Maybe it’s because so many women are having abortions on the grounds that continuing their pregnancy would cause a serious threat to their mental health.

One would think in such situations, what is required is not a medical procedure in the sense of removing the pregnancy, but psychological and/or psychiatric care.

After all, if the problem is not the pregnancy in and of itself, but the mental health risk presented by the continuation of that pregnancy… address the issue, the mental health issue – not the physical circumstances that are simply drawing out that underlying problem.

Or maybe there is something more sinister going on.  Maybe there is no real mental health risk in play.  Maybe that’s just the easiest way for certifying consultants and abortion providers to offer their services on demand, regardless of the real reason.

I applaud those willing to go through the statistics and reports to expose the reality of illegality of the abortion industry in New Zealand.

Justifying Keeping Matters Under Wraps

Justifying keeping matters under wraps

Mum and Dad don’t need to know the haps

Why We Keep Things Secret

Families broken

Mum can’t know

Lest her daughter

Meet with blow

 

Permission needed

For panadol

Dark prevails

When wounding souls

Justifying Keeping Matters Under Wraps


The Health Select Committee has decided that parental notification regarding daughters being taken away from school to have abortions puts those daughters at unjustifiable risk.  Not the risk of abortion and it’s violent aftermath, but the violence of angry parents.  They have considered the possibility that angry parents, hearing that their teenage daughter is pregnant will subsequently murder their daughters.  Surely, those who would ever face such an abusive family environment would be so much in the minority, that our law-makers are making decisions based on rare and wild xceptions.

Justifying Keeping Matters Under Wraps

The Health Select Committee, through its decision, is denying the majority of caring and concerned parents the basic right to know what’s going on in the lives of their teenagers.

 

Dad’s Don’t Dance in the Darkness of Daughters Distress

I am a parent.  I love my boy.  What he thinks and says and does is of unparalleled interest me.  What is thought of him, said of him, and done to him interests me also.  There are times when that interest ought to be converted into concern.

It is not unreasonable that I’m informed about these thoughts, words, and deeds.  Often I am able to extrapolate that information from him directly, though being 4 years old, not everything that goes on in his word is communicated amidst our interaction.

Thankfully, Ashley picks up, in other conversations, things missing from father and son dialogue.  Should even their conversation fail to pick up on that, especially when  his world goes beyond the home, there are others who are more than willing to fill in gaps.

If he is at preschool and get’s hurt, Ashley (at the very least) is told.  There is no need to keep anything a secret.

The prospect of some preschool children attending an off-site gymnastics program requires that parents not only know but give consent.  His enrollment forms require us to grant permission for him to be given rudimentary medicines and basic first aid.

Dad's Don't Dance in the Darkness of Daughters Distress

Disappearing Daughters

I understand the differences and the complexity.  But many of New Zealand’s teenagers are being taken away from school for medical consultations without their parents even knowing.

What’s more, major surgical procedures are being carried out on many of these same New Zealand teenagers, all covered in the shroud of secrecy.

I’m talking about abortion.  Under current New Zealand law, there is no provision that a pregnant teenager’s parents be even informed (we’re not talking about consent) that their daughters are going through crisis.

Recently, Hillary’s Law made it’s way into the media.

She discovered that her daughter was suicidal.  But she didn’t know why.  It wasn’t until well after the fact that she was told that her suicidal daughter had had an abortion.  This teenager’s abortion procurement was something her school kept a secret from her parents.

On the back of that, Hillary knew she had to do something.  A petition was presented to parliament, to be considered by a Select Committee.

Knowledge Leads to Violence

The Select Committee decided that they would take it no further.  Instead, citing the possibility that some daughters would be met with fatal parental backlash, they decided it wasn’t in the best interests of kiwi teenagers facing crisis pregnancy that their parents at the very least, know what their daughter gets up to at school.

I know it’s not the same.  I know it’s complicated.  I know that there are nutty parents who would seek to do their daughters violence.  But their daughters are subjected to an unimaginable violence when they are lead into the darkness of the abortion industry without even the ability to grope for mum or dad’s hand.

It’s a lot to process.  I’m not suggesting my blogging is going to make much of a difference, or that my comparisons do any justice to the issue – but I hope that I can contribute to the discussion – as a parent who loves his boy in such a way that I am interested in what’s going on in his life.

Hillary’s Law Calls for Parental Notification

Having faced the attempted suicide of her teenage daughter, kiwi mum petitioned the government, asking that there be a law change.  Hillary’s Law calls for parental notification in cases where there teenage daughters are taken by education providers for abortions.

Sadly, the Select Committee decided the consequences of parents knowing what’s happening to their daughters is not something they are willing to contend with.  Instead, it’s better that no parent know what’s going on.

This is my poetic reflection:


Hillary’s Law Parental Notification

So your daughter needs a panadol

There is a much greater toll

In things of which you ought to know

 

She’s going on a school field trip

For that you’ll sign a permission slip

While others are lead away

Hillary's Law Parental Notification

Hillary is lost for words

Like her voice has not been heard

Other’s silenced too

 

Why can’t they know about their girls?

When treated like stolen pearls

Why darkness must you remain?

 

Kiwi parents, they ought to know

When daughters dealt a massive blow

That often proves too much

 

Daughters being whisked away

During the darkness of the day

To have more than just a panadol

 

What do they think behind closed doors?

When loving kiwi mum implores

To care is first to know

 

It’s not a question of consent

When innocence is being spent

One knows and so one cares

 

Hillary’s law has been shot down

Makes MP’s sadistic clowns

While daughters cry in darkness.

 

New Zealand Nurse Changes Her Mind about Euthanasia

I’m a NZ nurse who used to support euthanasia, but what I’ve seen has changed my mind

I’m a registered nurse, of admittedly only a short career of seven years. I worked for three years in the hospital wing of a rest home as I studied, and since graduation I have worked in various hospitals around the country.

When I began this career path I was on the fence about the issue of assisted-suicide and euthanasia. As a practising Catholic it was never a choice that I would make for myself, but I felt I could not in conscience deny others, who did not share my beliefs, this supposed ‘right’.

Yet, frighteningly, it did not take long for my opinion to completely change based on events I witnessed.

There was the family that stood in the corridor of a very busy ward and argued about why the individual who held power of attorney was wasting everyone’s time by requesting medical staff keep the patient alive, and that they instead needed to refuse treatment and let nature take its course otherwise, on discharge, the patient would have to go into care and that would eat into their inheritance.

What was this horrible disease that was stripping this individual of their dignity?

A chest infection, which was responding well to intravenous antibiotics.

Then there was the case of the elderly patient who suffered a stroke, nothing too serious, and they started to recover – they were actually a little more peppy, their quality of life rallying. However, the frustrations of adult children and a tired spouse resulted in this patient being placed on a morphine pump. They were dead within a week. While I was only a witness to this situation and obviously didn’t have the full story, to this day I doubt very much the patient was aware of their impending fate.

There was another patient, who, other than being elderly and frail, had no significant co-morbidities and was not in any way terminally unwell. They were not suffering from disease effecting cognition or memory, and they certainly weren’t in any pain.

Yet the choice was made by family, in conjunction with medical staff, to install the morphine pump under the official assumption that a cererbal event had taken place. Again, dead within a week. Again, the patient’s knowledge of this decision was questionable.

There’s been countless family members who tell me that the patient is no longer their parent, their spouse, their sibling, that they’re dead inside, and could I please just give them more morphine to hurry things up a bit.

Then there’s the recent media attention over the practice of “granny dumping”.

This is where a family, for whatever reason (usually frivolous), dumps their elderly relative at the emergency department so they can take off on an overseas holiday, or because they just can’t be bothered checking in on them over a long weekend.

I once overheard a family member tell their hospitalised relative to inform staff that they were experiencing chest pains so that they could remain in hospital in order that the healthy family member wouldn’t miss their flight to Fiji.

I have found myself comforting many elderly patients who, through heaving sobs, recount their belief that they are a burden on their families, that they’d be better off dead, that they are cutting into their family’s inheritance, that they are of no more use to anyone, or that they are a constant nuisance on myself and my colleagues.

They often relate their desire to die as if it was their own idea, free of duress and the heartache of abandonment by those closest to them, yet their body language betrays them and tells a completely different story about what is really going on.

Sometimes it appears as if the family’s desire for their hospitalised relative to pass is driven more by their own fears around illness, death and a powerful aversion to suffering, or even being around those whose suffering cannot be quickly resolved.

Then there’s the family members who have absolutely no shame in admitting they want their relative dead.

I had a family member even ask me once if I could just cut the fingers off a deceased relative in order to remove the expensive rings.

I have heard similar comments made more than once, and it was never in jest.

People in support of euthanasia speak of fear mongering by those in opposition to a law change, and that with adequate safeguards we can ensure the system is not abused.

The media bombards us with tragic stories of intelligent, beautiful people with terrible diseases seeking legal recourse to have a doctor kill them. We are shown images of these dying people from better, healthier days – stunning wedding photos, exotic holiday shots, a happy family celebrating a graduation.

These stories are all very well and good, and I empathise with them – I have seen people die utterly awful deaths due to delays in initiation of palliation. I know what these people could face if the system fails them.

Yet they have networks of friends who support them, family who love them, and oftentimes celebrities and high profile pro-euthanasia groups getting behind them with funding and public relations campaigns designed to change the law.

The problem though is that their personalities and their photogenic natures are usurping intelligent debate about this very serious life-and-death issue.

And these slick, cleverly marketed, and highly emotive PR campaigns aimed at trying to legalise assisted-suicide are also distracting attention away from the truly vulnerable people in this debate – the elderly widow with a lot of money and a touch of dementia, the adult with Downs Syndrome whose parents are now dead, the old man with cancer who is estranged from his children while a grandchild wants his property, the lonely schizophrenic with a history of self-harm.

Furthermore, a lot of what appears in the media presenting the pro-euthanasia view is very disingenuous.

I have never worked in palliative care, but I have been a part of the process for patients outside of a hospice setting, and there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it actually is. A patient is not just dumped in some cold bed in a creepy old house with a grumpy nurse who chucks a few paracetamols at them from time-to-time, while they wither away and die in agony wallowing in their own faeces.

With palliative care there is a beautiful attention to holistic nursing, a consideration of the entire person, their symptom management, and a care that encourages involvement from their Whanau and friends.

Likewise, some articles present the concept that assisting a terminally ill patient with powerful analgesics is somehow euthanasia when it is definitely not. Instead it is morally legitimate and a part of good disease management to ensure a terminally ill patient is provided with adequate pain relief.

There may come a time when those medications are increased in dose to combat the discomfort, with the unintended side effect of the patient drifting into deep sleep and then into death, but this is not euthanasia, it is not unethical and it is definitely not illegal in New Zealand.

There is not so much a reasoned debate going on as there is just a slew of stories and slogans designed to tug at the heart, to illicit sympathy and stir in us an emotional desire to demand death from our doctors for these beautiful people.

But what about the elderly? The mentally disordered? Those with intellectual and physical special needs? The lonely? The poor?

What will they get out of all of this? Humanity has gone down this road before, it didn’t end well.

There’s a saying: hard cases make bad laws.

To those who support euthanasia, please do the research, please look into the danger that your support for euthanasia presents to the truly vulnerable. Please look into the wonderful work being done by palliative health care professionals in New Zealand.

As I reflect on the many instances of heartlessness that I have seen over my career, it strikes me that there’s no predictive formula for abuse. It cuts across all demographics, all areas of life, all diseases and disabilities.

My experience tells me that there can never be any sort of effective safeguard written into an assisted-suicide law that will ever give protection to the most vulnerable members of our community.

That’s why we need to focus our efforts on ensuring that people live with dignity whilst dying, as well as ensuring that they are afforded care and protection when they are at their weakest by medical professionals who have been encouraged by the state to uphold life and it’s inherent sanctity.

Exclusive article cross-posted from The Leading Edge blog.

New Zealand Nurse Changes Her Mind about Euthanasia

Activ8 Pro-Life Internship

I may go a bit quiet next week.  Access to the world wide web will be limited, which isn’t an altogether bad thing, right?  I will be away from my normal environment and associated means of -communicating with the digital world.  I will be at the 5-day, residential Activ8 Pro-Life Internship hosted and sponsored by Focus on the Family New Zealand.

This is an annual, targeting training program for 18-35 year-olds (though this year the age range has been voluntarily extended).  The aim is to equip young(ish) people, enabling them to build the culture of life in a society where life seems somewhat disposable.  Abortion represents the main dumping ground.  Sadly, the euthanasia debate may prove to open other fronts.

Activ8 Pro-Life Internship

Activ8 Pro-Life Internship

Though it has been through several incarnations over the 6 years it’s been in existence, over 90 people have been armed and readied in what really is a culture war.   This represents young people on both sides of the Tasman Sea.  These young people are involved in a multiplicity of vocation and vocational training.  I myself attended in 2012.  I must say that it was the single most effective means of equipping me to fight for life with all its ages, stages, and challenges.

The Internship has been extremely well resourced, facilitated by some of New Zealand and Australia’s leading voices for life.  This has included front-line workers in the fight against abortion.  Soldiers in this fight have been working both as the fence at the top of the cliff (Crisis-Pregnancy, etc) as well as the ambulance at the bottom (Post-Abortive care, etc).

Followers of this blog may be interested to know that following my own internship, I took to editing and publishing a monthly periodical known then as The Life Times.  Sadly, the busyness of my own life swallowed up what little time I did have to devote to it.  As a result, my voice has been somewhat hushed.  But though the volume of my voice has been turned back, the passion in my heart has never been affected.  Next week may prove to reignite passion and fire for this most worthy of fights.  A report of my own experience, as an intern, can be found here.

Pro-Life Movement Alive and Well

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