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Emotional & Societal Issues
Pressures & CoercionAn 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.
Alternatives to AbortionMost 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 RightsA 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 SocietyIt 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 LawIt 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 ZealandFew 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 AbortionAbortions 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.