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The Abortion Conflict & Medical Issues


Abortion is a controversial and emotionally charged issue with pro-life and pro-choice abortion camps. Life.org.nz discusses the serious moral and medical issues surrounding abortion.

The Abortion Conflict

Conflict between "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice" factions is extremely emotional and often vicious, involving political and financial interests motivated by self-interest, religious and philosophical beliefs


Abortion is an emotional issue. Different words (e.g. baby, unborn baby, embryo, foetus, foetal tissue, "product of conception" or pro-choice, anti-choice, poor-choice, pro-life, etc) are each used by various groups to confuse or camouflage an issue and also to influence, persuade or to "make a point".

Informed Consent

Accepted medical procedures require that a patient is provided full information regarding planned procedures including all possible physical and psychological effects. How well women are informed prior to an abortion is an area of contention with claims of such risks being minimised, denied or exaggerated.

Rape and Incest

Approximately one to two percent of rapes result in pregnancy. A common assumption is that women who have been raped (or who are pregnant as a result of incest) will want to abort. Some women feel after an abortion that it was a "second violation" of their body. Incest victims can also feel that the abortion has been used as a "cover-up".

Media Bias

The media has always had an enormous influence on society, by the way issues are presented. The western media especially, has increasingly reported and promoted a liberal agenda. Many contentious life-related issues (including abortion) are deliberately ignored, exaggerated, minimised, or suppressed.

Methods of Abortion

Most abortions are carried out towards the end of the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy. While surgical abortions are the norm, a relatively new development is what is termed "medical" or chemical abortions. WARNING: Contains graphic images.

Physical Complications

All surgery carries a risk of medical complications. While the risks of abortion are presented differently depending on who is supplying the information, risks do include: cervical damage, infertility, increased risk of breast cancer, uterine perforation, haemorraging (excess bleeding), systemic infection, complications with future pregancy, and so on...

Breast Cancer

One of the most researched areas relating to abortion is the link between abortion and Breast Cancer. Although vehemently denied by those who support or conduct abortions, 27 out of 33 studies reveal a dramatically high co-relation between the incidence of breast cancer and women who have had an abortion. This issue has become a highly political issue.

Foetal Abnormality

Screening for Foetal Abnormality occurs for pregnant women who are older or who have a particular medical history, or who themselves have certain conditions. Abortion can be encouraged by professionals who often give a "worst-case" scenario and who are sometimes unaware of support groups, or the positive experiences that parents of the disabled report.

Emotional & Societal Issues

Pressures & Coercion

An expectant mother has to deal with many emotions and pressures (often conflicting). Pressure often occurs as a result of employment, housing, financial, educational or social situations. Coercion often occurs from her family and friends, the baby's father, advisors or counsellors, and religious or social influences.

Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS)

Women who have experienced trauma resulting from an abortion are said to suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS). Symptoms, examples and case studies of women with PAS are detailed at length by those opposed to abortion, as reasons why abortion is wrong. The existence of PAS is hotly denied however, by those who conduct or support abortion, where symptoms are often attributed to other causes, pre-existing conditions, or are simply ignored.

David Fergusson

Alternatives to Abortion

Most women undertaking an abortion would prefer not to abort. With abortion so freely available, even encouraged, many abort before having carefully worked through all options when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Other alternatives include keeping the baby (with or without third-party support), granting guardianship to a family member, or adoption.

Human Rights

A woman's "right to choose" is a central Human Rights issue. Other Human Rights issues include the rights of the father; the siblings; the foetus; the legal or "personhood" status of an unborn baby; and the rights of medical professionals to conduct abortions or supply abortifacients (or to consciencious objection should they object).

Impact on Society

It is widely acknowledged that the number of abortions in NZ is too high, therefore excessive abortion must have a negative impact on society. Negative consequences - the lowering of the population base through infertility, lost opportunity and falling birth rates, plus the less measureable personal impact of depression, guilt, anger or physical consequences contribute to a big impact on society.

New Zealand Law

It is widely accepted that while abortion is actually illegal in New Zealand (except in cases of incest, where the mother is severely sub-normal, serious danger to the physical or mental health of the mother, or where the child will have a serious handicap) abortion is effectively available "on demand", and there is little "political will" to enforce the law

History of Abortion in New Zealand

Few other issues arouse such strong emotions and passions as abortion. In this feature on the history of abortion in New Zealand, we present the facts after extensive research from many of the people involved in the issue. The format has concise overviews of the various issues and events, linked to more detailed information.

A Global history of Abortion

Abortions have been performed and accepted since early in human history according to ancient historical accounts. The Jewish people appear to have been an exception to the general tolerance. The early Christian Church, with its roots in Judaism, condemned abortion from the beginning as can be seen in the earliest Christian writings. Attitudes concerning abortion have shifted from time to time with nations either restricting or liberalising their laws to reflect these changing attitudes.