[Synopsis Only] Reasons Women Seek Abortions

Cynthia Piper

Cynthia Piper highlights the reasons why women seek abortions, something that is not often explored. Women facing an unexpected pregnancy are inevitably frightened and distraught. The prevalence of socio-economic drivers indicates the need for adequate and independent pre-decision counselling and support to empower women to make real choices.

The full article is available by subscription to The Nathaniel Report

[Synopsis Only] Mind the Gap: Every Pregnancy Needs to be Celebrated

This true story of one woman’s experience of an unexpected pregnancy, offers personal insights into the social and cultural challenges women can face. As this case reveals, the response of those within the Catholic community can vary. Catholic faith communities should be the safest place in New Zealand for a woman to be pregnant, whatever the circumstances of the conception.

The full article is available by subscription to The Nathaniel Report

GUEST EDITORIAL: Poverty and abortion

Lisa Beech

Last year I encountered a young woman’s abortion story.  She described sobbing as she saw the results of her pregnancy test.  Her husband heard her, came into the bathroom and hugged her and cried.  She said to me they didn’t need to talk about it, they both knew they couldn’t afford another child.  

Although they had both been working, they couldn’t pay their bills on one income; she had just finished maternity leave after the birth of a previous child and needed to go back to work. She said in another world she would have liked to have another child, but she couldn’t see how it could be possible.  

Her feelings after the abortion were primarily of relief, that they would manage to cope financially.  The rent would be paid; power wouldn’t be disconnected; there would be food in the cupboard.  However, what I heard above all was a sense of pride that - despite their feelings and wishes - they had managed to do what they thought was the responsible thing to do; they would not have a child that they could not afford.

It’s rare for people to talk me about their abortion – the cross around my neck usually precludes this.  But the subject of our conversation hadn’t been the ins and outs of pro-choice and pro-life positions, or the dignity of human life, or the point when human life begins.  

The conversation was about poverty. And these two lovely young people, teritary educated, were in low-paying jobs with little long-term security, without any hope or possibility of home ownership, frightened of being evicted from a cold rental home which they couldn’t afford to heat in winter; trying to keep an old car on the road in order to go to work in service jobs which started and finished at hours when no public transport was available.

What saddened me was that they thought abortion was a satisfactory outcome, even though they would have welcomed another child.  What alarmed me was that they had absorbed and internalised messages that they alone had the responsibility for keeping their family out of poverty.  What outraged me was that because of their own experience, they agreed with politicians who argued that beneficiaries who had additional children should be penalised.

Forty percent of children in New Zealand living in poverty are in homes where at least one parent is in employment.  There are numerous reports about what poverty in New Zealand means in practice: the child poverty monitor of the Office of the Commissioner for Children (www.childpoverty.co.nz) is one source of information. Families living in poverty are usually experiencing deprivation in multiple areas – for example, living without warm clothing, adequate food, a bed for each person  and participation in the community.  It looks different in different settings.  

Statistics tell us some of the picture; what I hear and meet are stressed and worried parents who cannot see any way out of poverty, whether on benefits or in paid work. While this is a societal responsibility, the outcome of deliberate public policy decisions over the past 30 years, the message society sends to parents in these circumstances is one of judgement, condemnation , guilt and shame.

Consequently, too many people living in poverty have absorbed the political rhetoric of individual responsibility, and now see hardship primarily as an individual matter about which they alone have made their own choices.  It is especially heartbreaking and unjust that some parents regard abortion as an answer to poverty; as a solution to their problem of  high rents, low wages and unaffordable childcare.

A consistent ethic of life affirms that we care about life from conception to natural death; however, that isn’t what comes across to people in mainstream rhetoric about abortion. What many people perceive is that anti-abortion/pro-life organisations and voices are only concerned about life before birth, and are content to leave a child  to live in poverty after they are born.  

Welfare policy continues to be a strongly debated topic, and not every pregnancy that is ended is because of financial hardship. However, it is an area where we can find common ground with people of different perspectives.  At a Welfare Working Group forum in 2010 I unexpectedly found support from a representative of a family planning group when I stood to oppose proposals that would have penalised women who had additional children while receiving a benefit. We had different philosophies and different approaches to issues of welfare and sexuality.  But we were able to stand together and publicly agree that poverty is the worst possible reason to have an abortion.  

Rather than just focusing narrowly on the debate about the legal availability for abortion, we need to be visible participants in working on issues around low incomes, housing affordability and job security. So our society becomes one where a working family does not just sob in the bathroom at the news of an unexpected pregnancy, but where parents know that they can afford to welcome another life into their home and that they will be supported and cherished by the wider community.

Lisa Beech is Justice, Peace and Development Advisor in the Archdiocese of Wellington. As a sole parent, at different times on wages and on a benefit, she raised three children, who are now adult.

Submission to ACART on Posthumous Reproduction: A review of the current Guidelines

Staff of The Nathaniel Centre

In July 2018 the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART) sought public feedback on significant policy issues about whether and in what circumstances posthumous reproduction is acceptable. A summary of the Nathaniel Centre’s submission to ACART is printed below.


Introductory Comments:

  1. A Catholic-Christian approach to the moral/ethical issues associated with posthumous reproduction rests on a number of core values and principles. Those that are particularly relevant to this Consultation Document are listed below in no particular order:

  1. Respect for the dead
    The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity. A person’s identity is always an embodied one and respect for a person involves respect for their bodies, something which holds true in both life and in death.

    While enduring respect for a deceased person includes the duty to uphold their previously expressed wishes, this does not mean acceding to all their wishes. Just as a person’s wishes are not treated as absolute in life but remain subject to the considerations of others, including the common good of society, so the wishes of a deceased person must be weighed up against the demands and impacts on others.

  2. Unconditional respect for human life at all stages of its development
    Catholic teaching holds that, without exception, the living embryo has, from the moment of fertilisation, an absolute right to life. A unique human life is begun - it is already the human being it will always be and will only grow in size and complexity. On that basis, all embryos are entitled to be treated with the same respect as persons and each has its own ‘intrinsic dignity’ which is independent of the wishes and desires of any related adults. By virtue of the fact that embryos already possess an inherent right to life, we submit that the posthumous use of gametes involves different ethical and legal considerations from the posthumous use of embryos.

  3. The rights and well-being of the child
    This implies a commitment to reflect on the ethical issues from a perspective that actively considers and gives primacy to the rights and well-being of the child that is to be conceived. The voice and interests of children are routinely overshadowed in our society, characterised as it is by a neo-liberal framework which privileges autonomy and, de-facto, privileges the rights and choices of adults, in many cases to the detriment of children.

  4. Upholding the genetic, gestational and social dimensions of parenting
    Catholic teaching on the transmission of human life reflects a 
    commitment to holding together the genetic, gestational and social dimensions of family and parenting. This commitment is demanded by our status as relational beings. It is also demanded by the nature of parenthood which, we argue, brings with it a responsibility to ‘parent’ a child. Within the Catholic tradition of moral teaching, upholding this principle rules out the use of third parties in assisted reproduction. The posthumous use of gametes involves knowingly disconnecting genetic parenting from social parenting; there is the deliberate conception of a child who will be denied the prospect of ever knowing or being cared for by the deceased mother/father.

  1. We have argued in previous submissions to ACART that to set out to deliberately deprive children of their genetic or social parent, for the sake and needs of the adults involved, constitutes an injustice to the child concerned. When, as sometimes happens, a man dies after conceiving a child but before that child is born, this is rightly considered a tragic event. While such children can and do grow up well-adjusted, it is ethically speaking quite something else to allow the inherent relational integrity that characterises natural human procreation to be intentionally fractured.

  2. We have also argued that no-one has an absolute ‘right’ to have a child. To the extent that there is a right to have a child, we would argue that it exists as a ‘negative right’i rather than a ‘positive right’. The 1994 Report on Assisted Human Reproduction concurs, noting, in addition, that “Any right to found a family must not be seen in proprietary terms. It is not a right to have or own a child, whom many see as a gift.”ii

  3. In our considered view, proper respect for the dignity of any child who might be conceived, for the deceased person and for the nature of human procreation precludes the use of posthumous conception. Thus, we oppose posthumous conception in all its forms.

  4. We use the term ‘conception’ very carefully and deliberately to reflect what is an important metaphysical distinction between the moral status of embryos and that of gametes (as noted above). In line with our belief that every embryo represents a unique human life already begun, we argue, drawing on an ethic of care, that embryos (presumably created with the consent of a deceased spouse/partner) already possess a right to be implanted by a surviving spouse or partner without the need for further explicit consent.

  5. We note that the Consultation Document employs rather loose language in a number of places. For example, n.25 refers to a person having “agreed that in the event of their death they wanted to become a parent.” Philosophically and socially speaking, we would argue that it is nonsensical to speak in such a way given that, in common parlance, parenting implies a commitment to be an active part of the child’s life, something that a deceased person cannot do. At best, a person can only give advance consent to become a ‘biological father or mother’ to a child conceived after their death in the sense of contributing their gametes. The inability of a deceased person to be a parent in the fullest and normal sense of that notion goes to the heart of the issue when considering the implications of posthumous reproduction for the welfare of any child.

  6. Posthumous conception is not simply an extension of the normal experience of deciding to have a child made possible by developments in technology. The normal experience of proceeding to have a child involves genetic and social parenting in the case of a male and a female and gestational parenting for the female partner. Thus, posthumous conception is most accurately described as a significant deviation from normal human reproduction, and the legal and ethical processes surrounding such decisions should reflect that, including the need for explicit consent and an external review process.

  7. In ethics, attention to language includes recognising that the way in which practices are described shapes one’s ethical analysis of the issue at hand. With respect to assisted human reproduction, the legal issues associated with the storage of gametes and embryos and their use often revert to arguments around ownership and control. We regard this as inadequate for a number of reasons, in particular because a ‘property-based’ approach that leans heavily on rights and consent fails to adequately acknowledge critical relational notions such as attachment and care. These notions are critical because we are dealing with the creation of ‘persons’ whose well-being and identity is intrinsically connected to existential issues that include a sense of belonging and the need to be loved unconditionally.

  8. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we understand that the current state of regulations in New Zealand already allows for the posthumous retrieval of gametes for the creation of embryos in a limited number of instances. Accepting this is the case, we wish to emphasise three key points in our submission:

  1. There must be explicit consent on the part of the deceased or permanently incapacitated and imminently dying person from whom the gametes are to be retrieved before the case for posthumous conception can even be considered.

  2. The well-being of children must be given greater precedence in guidelines concerning the use of posthumous reproduction than is currently evident in the Consultation Document. In line with the first principle in the HART Act, respect for the consent of the deceased or imminently dying person should be independently weighed against concern for the dignity and well-being of the children who will potentially be conceived posthumously. This should be considered by ECART on a case-by-case basis.

  3. In line with the principle that the genetic, gestational and social aspects of parenting need to be held together, we submit that case by caseconsideration of the merits ofposthumous conception must be limited to surviving spouses or partners to whom a deceased person was married or in some other type of permanent long-term relationship akin to the committed nature of marriage.


Autonomy and Reproductive Choices:

  1. Belinda Bennettiii has argued for autonomy to be seen as “in connections and relationships with others” (p. 300). She further argues for autonomy to be understood to mean “self-governing moral agency, rather than independent or self-contained decision-making. Self-governing in an ethic of care does not mean governing alone by abstract reasoning and distant observations, but means choosing options with respect to responsibilities, relationships, conversations, and dialogues with others”.iv

  2. In Bennett’s words, individualised autonomy “provides us with [nothing] other than a basis for competing rights which must then be mediated with reference to some other principle”.v Accepting her ‘ethic of care’ model for autonomy enables a more adequate consideration of the relational aspects of posthumous reproduction. Then it can be seen that “… posthumous reproduction changes the shape of the deceased individual’s life and the relationships of that individual with others.”vi

  3. There are justifiable limits to carrying out a person’s wishes after their death. Because the conception of a child rightly takes place within a relationship, there must be willingness and consent on the part of both partners (‘gamete providers’). Thus, even if explicit written consent exists on the part of the deceased person for their gametes to be used for posthumous reproduction, no-one would argue that the surviving partner has no choice in the matter.

  4. In considering the merits of posthumous reproduction, an ethic of care demands that the wishes of the adults involved must always be balanced by what is in the best interests of the child being conceived and for whom the ‘gamete providers’ have a duty of care demanded by the commonly accepted understanding of what is involved in responsible parenting. As Atkin and Reid noted in 1994: “… individual [adult] rights can be limited when the aim is to protect important societal interests … that different people’s rights overlap, that rights are subject to various limitations ...”.vii Our analysis of the Consultation Document is that the ‘responses options’ defaults to a narrow legal framework focusing on the need for ‘consent’ and ‘authorisation’, and ultimately fails to give adequate recognition to the well-being of any future children. As Atkin and Reid argue: “… an ethic of care holds, broadly speaking, that moral reasoning is not solely, or even primarily, a matter of finding rules to arbitrate between conflicting interests … the priority … is on helping human relationships to flourish by seeking to foster the dignity of the individual and the welfare of the community.”viii

  5. There is, in other words, a need for a consideration of issues that goes wider than ‘consent’ and ‘authorisation’.

  6. The obvious benefits of collecting and using gametes from a deceased person for their family or partner, and the less obvious and tenuous nature of the philosophically thin arguments that the conception of a child ‘after death’ is potentially in the interests of the deceased gamete provider, mean that the starting point for each and every such case should involve a hermeneutic of suspicion. What is required is a careful deliberation that takes into account a range of factors concerning not just the decedent’s wishes. For this reason, we argue that each and every case for posthumous conception can only be properly investigated by an accredited ethics committee such as ECART.

  7. There would also need to be separate consideration of the legal status and inheritance rights as well as the possible psychological impact on any child-to-be conceived and on other family members, including other children.



  1. The notion of ‘consent’ in the case of posthumous reproduction is complex. The fact that a person wanted to have children is not a clear indication of their wish to have a child after they have died.

  2. Therefore, it must never be presumed that consent given by a person to have their gametes stored while undergoing treatment, in the hope they could still become a parent at some time in the future, i.e. post-treatment, implies a consent to have their gametes used to have a child in a situation when they can never parent that child.

  3. The consent process and forms used by Fertility Providers must be very specific in this regard. Even then, it is arguably very difficult to anticipate a situation where one does not survive and to make a truly informed decision that one’s gametes can be used posthumously to conceive a child.

  4. Accordingly, regarding the question of inferred consent, we reject the adequacy of ‘substituted judgement’ on behalf of a deceased person (Consultation Document, n. 99). We admit that this could (unfairly) rule out some cases where a person might well have wanted their gametes to be used by their partner in order to conceive a child posthumously. However, as Bennett notes: “… it is difficult to see why it is any more fair to presume consent on the part of those who have contemplated posthumous conception but who decided against it while omitting to record their objections for posterity.”ix

  5. We are aware that New Zealand guidelines allow for families to give consent to the posthumous removal and donation of organs from a loved one in the absence of explicit consent. We also note that analogies are sometimes drawn between posthumous retrieval of gametes for reproduction and the posthumous donation of organs as an argument in support of substituted consent. However, we consider that there are significant differences between the two situations which ultimately override any similarities, differences that are grounded, once again, in the very different outcomes sought – one being “life-sustaining” for one or more anonymous recipients and the other “life-creating”.

  6. Orr and Siegler offer a valuable insight into the difference between posthumous organ donation and the retrieval and use of posthumous gametes:

In our view, there is a difference in kind between autopsy and organ retrieval on the one hand, and sperm retrieval. Giving consent for autopsy or for organ retrieval for transplantation is giving to benefit others. But requesting sperm retrieval after death without the consent of the dead man is not the same; in fact it is not giving at all—it is instead taking, because its aim is to benefit the person making the request. While retrieval of organs after death without the explicit consent of the decedent is likewise taking, it is different in that the family who is giving consent is altruistically giving the organs for someone else’s benefit. The parents or woman who request sperm retrieval after death without the explicit consent of the dead man are making a request for their own benefit. Thus, proxy “consent” in this situation is not consent at all.x

  1. As the Consultation Document itself notes with reference to the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights: “It is not legally permissible to carry out procedures on … people just because those procedures will benefit someone else” (n. 19). This principle, closely aligned as it is with the notion of informed consent, underpins the whole approach to healthcare and research in New Zealand.

  1. Consent from both partners is also consistent with viewing children as a ‘gift’ rather than a ‘right’. That being so, then the means used to conceive a child must be synonymous with a gifting paradigm. This in turn means that human conception must be an intentional act by both parties, something that is best measured by the presence of explicit consent.

  2. While explicit consent for one’s gametes to be used by a surviving partner for the purposes of conceiving a child is a sine qua non, it is not of itself adequate for the purposes of assessing the merits of posthumous conception. We submit that every application for posthumous conception must, in addition be subject to independent consideration by the ECART Committee which can then reflect on and review the broader range of issues that are of relevance from a perspective that favours a care-based guardianship approach (which gives primacy to the best interests of children) rather than a property-based ownership/rights approach.xi


Best interests of children:

  1. The Consultation Document asks for responses on the issues of: consent, authorisation for removal of gametes or tissue, the best interests of the deceased, who should be permitted to use the material, and ethics review. This is entirely ‘adult-centred’ and does not consider the impact of a posthumous reproduction policy on the position of children in our society.

  2. While it is difficult to consider the ‘rights’ or ‘dignity’ of a child who would not be born but for the posthumous use and/or retrieval of gametes, it is nevertheless possible to consider the rights and dignity of children in general when considering policies that govern these practices.

  3. We note the Document discusses the particular effects on the ‘resulting child’, such as inheritance rights or the potential negative effects on the child depending on the motivations of the parents. However, there is a broader effect on ‘children in general’ of prioritising the ‘rights’ of a parent to create a child using posthumous gametes, that is not adequately considered.

  4. Posthumous reproduction potentially springs from and supports a view of children as desired ‘products’, that can satisfy the wishes and needs of a surviving parent, and even a deceased parent.

  5. This positioning of the child as a ‘desired product’ for the parent/s not only contravenes the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also contravenes Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”.xii

  6. The Consultation Document (p.14) refers to research that indicates outcomes for children created from material retrieved posthumously “are not different from a child produced by other assisted reproductive technologies”. However, the paper cited discussed only four cases and focuses particularly on physical health. There is no evidence presented, positive or otherwise, of the psychological or emotional outcomes for children once they become aware of their origins and have reached an age where this is likely to be of significance to them.

  7. As we stated in our submission to ACART on Proposed Donation Guidelines: for family gamete donation, embryo donation, use of donated eggs with donated sperm and surrogacy, “the rejection of certain means and situations for conceiving human life, … is most correctly viewed as the logical and ethical consequence of a positive and intentional commitment to the optimal flourishing of children.”

  8. We recognise that parents routinely choose to have children for their own reasons and without the broader oversight of an ethics committee. However, given our argument that posthumous conception is a deviation from natural conception rather than simply an extension of it, we believe such scrutiny is warranted. Policies on posthumous reproduction must take account of the broader implications or ‘unintended consequences’ beyond the desires of intending parents.


Conclusion: Posthumous conception represents a significant deviation from normal human reproduction. To speak of a deceased person becoming a ‘parent’ has a qualitatively different meaning from ‘parenting’ understood in the normal sense, which implies the ability and willingness to enter into an ongoing relationship of care. The legal and ethical processes surrounding posthumous reproduction should reflect that fact, including the need for explicit consent and a case-by-case external review process.

We oppose posthumous conception in all its forms on the basis that it is precluded by proper respect for the dignity of any child who might be conceived, for the deceased person and for the nature of human procreation.

Staff of The Nathaniel Centre September 2018.



i A ‘negative right ’in this context is the right not to be prevented by others from having a child. By contrast, a ‘positive right’ to have a child would impose on others (the State) an obligation to actively assist persons to have a child.

ii Atkin, W. R., & Reid, P. (1994). Assisted human reproduction: Navigating our future. Report of the Ministerial Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Department of Justice. New Zealand. Pp.31-32.

iii Bennett, Belinda. "Posthumous reproduction and the meanings of autonomy." Melb. UL Rev. 23 (1999, p.300.

iv Ibid., p. 300.

v Ibid.

vi Ibid., p. 306

vii Atkin, W. R., & Reid, P. Ibid., p.30.

viii Atkin, W. R., & Reid, P. ibid., p. 28.

ix See Bennett, p. 303.

x Orr, R. D., & Siegler, M. (2002). Is posthumous semen retrieval ethically permissible? Journal of medical ethics28(5), p.301.

xi See Bennett, pp. 297-298.

xii Unicef, 1989. Convention on the Rights of the Child. https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx


Law Commission Recommendations

In October 2018, the Law Commission reported back to the Minister of Justice, responding to a request for advice on what alternative legal approaches could be taken in the event the Government decided to propose a policy shift to treat abortion as a health issue.

The Law Commission has set out three alternative legal models that could be adopted if abortion is to be treated as a health issue: Under Model A there would be no statutory test that would need to be satisfied before an abortion could be performed – the decision whether to have an abortion would be made by a woman in consultation with her health practitioner; under Model B, a statutory test would need to be satisfied before any abortion could be performed – a health practitioner who intended to perform the abortion would have to reasonably believe the abortion was appropriate in the circumstances, having regard to the woman’s physical and mental health and wellbeing; under Model C, for pregnancies of not more than 22 weeks gestation, it would be the same as Model A; and for pregnancies of more than 22 weeks gestation, same as Model B.

Some corollaries of the law change and other comments by the Commission:

  • Model A contemplates no specific abortion legislation and would therefore involve repealing the abortion provisions in the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977.

  • Models B and C would retain a specific statutory regime for abortion, although both would be significantly simpler than the current regime.

  • There would be two changes to the law that would be required under all of the three models: the current grounds for abortion in the Crimes Act would be repealed and the requirement for abortions to be authorised by two certifying consultants would be repealed.

  • The Commission has proposed either repealing the criminal offences for abortion or amending them so that they only apply to unqualified people who perform abortions.

  • The Commission considers that the current law and guidance surrounding informed consent for health procedures would be sufficient for the purposes of regulating abortions.

  • The Commission has suggested that counselling should not be mandatory for women seeking abortion, although it should remain available to women who want it.

  • While not suggesting removing the current conscientious objection rights of health practitioners, the Commission suggested that the Government consider changing the law to ensure that conscientious objection does not unduly delay women’s access to abortion services.

  • The Commission recommends that Health Practitioners with an objection be required to actively refer a woman seeking an abortion to someone who can provide the service. (This represents a significant departure from current legal approach to allow doctors to exercise their freedom of conscience.)

  • The Commission acknowledges a concern that if abortion becomes more easily accessible, it might be used for reasons related to the sex of the fetus or fetal impairment, and that this may warrant further consideration.

  • The Crimes Act contains a provision that makes it an offence to kill an unborn child, an offence not aimed at abortion, but rather at the killing of children during birth or through assaults on pregnant women. The Commission suggested that as the wording of the offence is wide enough to cover abortions performed at later gestations, the Government may wish to consider amending the provision to ensure it is consistent with the Government’s preferred policy approach to abortion.

The Law Commission Report raises a number of serious concerns that include the following:

In the submission to the Law Commission made by the NZCBC and The Nathaniel Centre, we noted that the current law, as set out in the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (CS&A) Act 1977 and the Crimes Act 1961, upholds a ‘tension’ between the needs and desires of the woman and the rights of the foetus/unborn child and seeks to balance both. The different Models, all of which start with the premise that abortion is a health procedure, uphold this tension to different degrees, with Model A arguably removing the tension in all cases and Model C removing the tension for all abortions performed before 22 weeks, that is, more than 99% of all abortions (ASC Report 2017).

In the health approach being presented, there is nothing acknowledging that there are at least two human lives involved in every abortion. As noted in our submission, most women understand that an abortion, whatever the reason they are contemplating it, has significant moral implications. Creating an altered legal regime that frames abortion as being solely about the well-being of the mother potentially undermines a women’s sense that abortion is a serious moral issue and, consequently, their moral agency.

Because all three of the proposed models frame abortion as a matter solely between a woman and her doctor, there is nothing to prevent the ‘inappropriate’ use of abortion for sex-selection or for reasons of impairment. The Law Commission suggests this ‘may warrant further consideration by the Government’, a view with which we concur.


I am Pro-Life. Don’t Call me Anti-Abortion [SYNOPSIS ONLY]

In this candid article, Charles Camosy elucidates how the struggle in the abortion debate is a struggle over language.  He challenges the use of language that allows critics to dismiss pro-lifers as single-issue obsessives, while highlighting the ways in which language is employed to hide the dignity of the vulnerable.  Our ‘throwaway culture’ has infected our attitude toward marginalized populations such that some use terms like ‘sub-humans’, ‘defective humans’, and ‘parasites’.

The full article is available by subscription to The Nathaniel Report

The Gift of Poetry and Down Syndrome [SYNOPSIS ONLY]

In this article, Andrew Hamilton challenges the depiction of Down syndrome as pitiable and as a burden on parents and society that is best resolved via an early termination of pregnancy: instead, it is a gift to be cherished.  Thousands of people witnessed the delight of Stevie Payne, who has Down syndrome, when his sister, Michelle, won the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

The full article is available by subscription to The Nathaniel Report

New Zealand Abortion Law to be “modernised so it is treated as a health issue” [Synopsis]

On the 8th August, a new Abortion Legislation Bill passed its first reading in Parliament and was referred to a specially constituted Select Committee.  The legislative process now includes an opportunity for the public of New Zealand to give feedback on the proposed new abortion regime by 19th September.  In this article New Zealand Abortion Law to be “modernised so it is treated as a health issue”, the Nathaniel Centre offers material to stimulate compassionate thought and dialogue about abortion.   

The full article is available by subscription to The Nathaniel Report