What a fortnight it has been for life issues being debated in the public square! Last week the country was ablaze with discussion about euthanasia and assisted suicide. That conversation was soon pushed aside as Paula Bennett announced that the government was looking to provide free long-term contraception to beneficiaries and their daughters. Today John Key for the first time openly states that he is not opposed to gay marriage. This comes after Barrack Obama said that homosexuals should be allowed to wed.
This blog is going to focus in on the free contraception to beneficiaries scheme. Many arguments have been put forth both in favour and against the Government’s plan to spend $1 million on this scheme. Strangely enough, those who you may have thought would have been all for the move, seem to have been taking a similar to position to Family Life International NZ. Free contraception is not the answer to removing people from welfare, or to the massively high teenage pregnancy rate.
The Government needs to be aware that this scheme could easily turn from being voluntary to being one where in the future all women on welfare will be required to use long-term contraception. The people of New Zealand must also be aware that contraception has a sinister history. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was very keen on making sure those in the “underclasses” did not reproduce, preferring contraception and sterilization as a way to achieve this.
Many different groups and individuals have given commentary on this scheme. Some have talked of its links to eugenics, the slippery slope to mandatory contraception and sterilization by those on welfare. Colin Craig spoke of New Zealand’s high promiscuity and how this issue needs to be addressed. Rather than put a sticking plaster on the problem, Colin wanted to show that actually it would be better if New Zealander’s weren’t so sexually active in the first place. Sadly, the powers that be have closed their eyes to this truth and refuse to believe that New Zealander’s are incredibly promiscuous.
At Family Life International NZ, we took the angle that the Government is ignoring the long-term health implications on teens and women who use long-acting contraceptives. The methods of free contraception that the government wishes to offer beneficiaries include IUDs, Depo Provera and Jadelle (a contraceptive implant which works over a five year period). Each of these have wide-ranging side effects. No one yet knows the full extent of the implications of using these methods over a long period of time (particularly Depo Provera and Jadelle).
I have posted our Press Release below (thanks to Brendan Roberts who also worked on this).
NZ GOVERNMENT IGNORES POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS OF FREE CONTRACEPTION
Paula Bennett’s recent announcement offering free contraception to beneficiaries is reckless and will not solve the problem of welfare dependants continuing to have babies and staying out of the work force.
Family Life International NZ is very concerned that the Government has ignored the potential side-effects the use of long acting contraception has on the user.
“The Government is offering to supply teenage girls with long-acting contraception which has the potential to seriously harm them” explained Colleen Bayer Director of Family Life International NZ. “IUD’s, Depo Provera and Jadelle all have serious side-effects which should not be ignored. These include heavy or prolonged bleeding, breast pain and even in some occasions cancer.”
Teenage girls are still developing and it is not yet known what the effect of the constant release of hormones into their systems over a sustained period of time will have on their later reproductive life.
The use of long-term contraception does not protect the user from STI’s. In fact, it leaves teenage girls more open to contracting a STI as the likelihood of pregnancy is greatly diminished, giving permission to the girl to have sexual intercourse freely.
While the scheme is voluntary, all New Zealander’s should be aware that in time policy may change making it compulsory. There is nothing to stop an overzealous WINZ caseworker implying that the beneficiary must have the long-term contraception to get the best support.
Family Life International NZ is concerned about the number of teenage girls who are getting pregnant. However, contraception and abortion will not solve the dependency on welfare.
“Family Life International NZ promotes and teaches at-risk mothers and families life skills which will see them rise above the perceived barriers which hold them back. We give those who come our way the tools to become self-respecting; to treasure real friendships and to form long-term committed marriage relationships. We challenge the Government to do the same without pumping them up with contraception.” Colleen Bayer said.