...if you said one of two people have to die, one is a chartered accountant and one works at Pak ‘n Save, is their status in society any basis for choosing which one would have to die?
Nexus interviewed Prolife Waikato to find out whether abortion is killing children and whether a chattered accountant is an equivalent to a fetus.
First, some simple questions. When does life begin and why do you believe this?
Well, I think that life begins at conception and the reason I believe that is basically just a matter of logic. A lot of the arguments against it, for example, level of development and the environment that the entity in the womb is in, all centre around what changes between pregnancy and birth. I don’t think anything changes, for example, you know, it’s not like you’re born and then you suddenly stop developing — you’re always aging, you’re always growing. So there’s not really any point where you can actually say, well, this level of development or this level of development is where you say this person is now a human being. It seems to start right from the beginning. And they all pretty much centre around the same point.
One of the ones is viability. People will say, oh well, you know, “A fetus isn’t viable outside of the womb”, and we say, well some people that have horrific accidents and depend on, you know, wheeling around machines with them to live, they’re not viable either, but they’re still human beings.
So, a lot of people usually assume that would be religious beliefs, is that not the case?
Well, no, it’s not really. I’m a religious person, but the logic behind it I don’t think is. I know a lot of people who are in the movement that are not religious at all — atheists, agnostics, and, you know, even people from lots of different religions. They all basically agree the same thing — the same reasons for why life starts at conception.
Is a fetus of the same value as the woman carrying it?
Would you say that any one human being is worth more than another? I mean, most of the stuff here centres around if you can agree on whether or not the entity within the womb is a human being or not, and if it is, then you can’t place the value of one human being above another.
A lot of people would argue that a grown woman with relationships and a fully developed brain and body would be of more value than a fetus.
I suppose I can see how people would come to that. I don’t necessarily agree. For a rough example, off the top of my head, if you said one of two people have to die, one is a chattered accountant and one works at Pak ‘n Save, is their status in society any basis for choosing which one would have to die?
I guess the argument would be that there is a much greater difference in the instance between a fetus and a fully developed human being.
Yeah, I guess the point I was driving at was that where would you draw that line? It’s a continuum, there’s no set point where suddenly that should become, “Oh yeah this is enough; this is okay, to value one human life over another.”
Around 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and usually around the same time an abortion would take place. Are miscarriages also killing children?
No, it doesn’t. Obviously in both cases, children die, but in the case of a miscarriage, it’s death by natural cause — whereas in the case of an abortion, you’re actively killing what is there. So, if you take it as “that is a human being”, then it’s effectively murder.
So do you think that people who have abortions are on par with a common murderer in today’s society?
Absolutely not. I think that the abortionists need to have a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror — they’re the ones that are actually doing it. I definitely support any woman who finds herself in a crisis pregnancy, it’s got to be an amazingly difficult situation, and I don’t think the society we’re living in at the moment particularly gives them the support they actually deserve.
Yeah. The World Health Organisation estimates that 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, with 68,000 deaths and millions more women injured.
There is little evidence that highly restrictive abortion laws lower abortion rates, so why not just make them legal so fewer women will die?
I guess again, that sort of comes round to the, can you justify… This is definitely a hard question. Actually no, first of all, I’ll start off with the case — have you ever heard of Kermit Gosnell?
He was an abortionist in Philadelphia. This was a state where abortion was perfectly legal — he had a legal clinic. This wasn’t some sort of dodgy backstreet organisation. He has been convicted of the murder of three children who were born during attempted abortions. I won’t go into the details of what people found when they raided his clinic because it’s quite graphic and absolutely disgusting. But the point is, that can happen in a state where abortion is perfectly legal, it’s accepted, it’s the norm. So I don’t know if that says that just making it safe, making it legally okay, does make it safe.
Because I read that it is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the world — actually safer than childbirth, and these deaths — 68,000 deaths, 97% of them are actually occurring in undeveloped countries where abortions are often illegal on request.
While it may be illegal, I don’t know if you can attribute it just to the fact that it is illegal in those countries. If they’re underdeveloped countries, they’re also going to have poorer medical care, poorer equipment, and probably less well-trained medical staff. So, you know, it’s a pretty big jump, I think, to just pin it on it’s illegal in these countries therefore it’s causing deaths.
So if abortions are unethical, does that make birth control unethical?
Birth control is actually not something we as a club are interested in. I mean some people think that birth control is bad. We’ve also had some Prolife New Zealand members arguing for handing out condoms at clubs’ days and things. It’s not directly related to the issue. I suppose what is important for us is that people recognise that sex is the biological act of reproduction and if people want to have sex then they need to at least be responsible for themselves and their actions, like use protection, and you need to understand that if that falls through — they need to understand that you are sort of gambling a bit with the fact that you may create this human life if things don’t go the way you want them to.
What about recreational sex?
We’re not for or against. We’re just for people being more responsible I guess.
Your club is also against voluntary euthanasia, stating that it is unethical to willingly end your life. If life is unbearable, why can’t a terminally ill person choose to end their life?
Again, it sort of comes back to the whole, you know, “if it’s killing, it’s murder” kind of thing, and also there’s the slippery slope argument — they’re two different issues. One of course, is to say, if killing any human being is a bad thing, then killing yourself must be a bad thing, regardless of the state of your life, and that’s not to say these people don’t have troubles because I know they really do have some really horrific cases sometimes. But the other problem with this discussion is the slippery slope that people bring up time and time again. So if you look at the Netherlands, they started out with euthanasia, or assisted suicide, in cases of the terminally ill, and that’s gone from euthanasia in cases of the chronically ill and then to euthanasia in the cases of the physically ill, to the point now where people are being euthanised just because it’s a slightly more convenient legal solution for mental illness. A recent study by the Dutch Government has concluded that more than 1 in a 1000 cases of euthanasia, have actually been the doctor actively causing or hastening the death without the patient’s consent. I suppose that probably doesn’t answer your original question.
No, it’s close. It’s interesting.
Last question, or final statement. Any final words you want to give to Nexus readers?
I guess the most important thing is we seem to get a lot of flack for being sort of anti-women, sort of women-hating and all that, too controlling and things. I want to reaffirm that the reasoning is the exact opposite. We do what we do because we care about women, we want women to be safe, and we also want people to be as best informed as possible before they make their choices.