The Vote

It was time to vote. By 48 to 30 votes, Parliament opposed the introduction of the Status of the Unborn Child Bill. 20 MPs supported the Waring bill, 30 supported the Kidd bill - and 28 who opposed both bills.

Since 1983, SPUC has never attempted to promote legislation again. Doug Kidd had to endure personal attacks outside of Parliament, of such a nature that they have served as a salutary warning to other MPs ever since.

Ironically in 1997, the SPUC executive had to clamp down on a group within the Christchurch branch, who wanted to promote the Status of the Unborn Child bill again.

The executive had taken discreet soundings and knew there weren't the "numbers" in Parliament to support such legislation.

They had also consulted with their British counterparts, who strongly advised against such a move. SPUC UK, had promoted a similarly-named bill and over estimated the numbers. Pro-abortion MPs countered with a series of amendments, which were quickly voted through. SPUC UK not only lost the bill, but the British Abortion Act was further liberalized.

A senior pro-life MP described in the late 1990s, the Realpolitik of the situation in New Zealand's parliament. "MPs dread the prospect of the abortion issue being raised in the House. They prefer to live with the status quo, which is a relatively strong law on the statute books, but with abortion easily available for whoever wants it. It's cynical, but that's the way it is."