A remit calling for contraception to be made freely available to all New Zealand women is being voted on at this weekend’s National Council for Women Conference. The remit is fully supported by Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ).
This is very disturbing both to myself and to our suporters. Contraception is clearly not the answer to reducing abortion. 2011 statistics reveal that almost 46 percent of surgical abortions were due to failed contraceptives. Many of the women we support come to us due to these circumstances.
Many types of oral contraceptives are classified as Group-1 carcinogens by the World Health Organization. That is the same as cigarettes and asbestos. Depo-Provera, Jadelle and the oral contraceptive pill do nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Jadelle, a long-acting contraceptive implant is not available in the United States, yet is easily obtained here in New Zealand. It’s predecessor, Norplant has been banned in the United States since September 2000 as over 50,000 people have participated in lawsuits against its manufacturer over the side effects. The wool is being pulled over women’s eyes in the name of ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’.
The real answer to reducing abortions while maintaining a woman’s ability to plan the timing of her family is natural fertility regulation. When a woman confidently understands the natural rhythms of her body, she is able to take charge of her own fertility. She does not need pills, implants or other contraceptives to artificially do this for her. Awareness of her body rhythm also gives a woman a healthy respect for herself, she is more likely to have healthy relationships and to stay with one sexual partner. The World Health Organisation has said that the Billings Ovulation Method of Natural Fertility Regulation is 99% effective in avoiding pregnancy.
It is high time so-called women’s rights groups really advocated for women by ensuring they are empowered with knowledge of their body. For too long women’s fertility has been treated as a disease by having contraception thrown at them. Fertility is not a disease. Women’s fertility should be celebrated and respected.