Once again contraception and abortion are being hailed as the answer to problems involving families. South Auckland has the highest rate of newborn and fetal death in the country at 13.1 deaths per 1000 births, whereas the rest of the country sits at 10.8 deaths per 1000 births (these figures include late-term abortions). And according to an independent review whose findings were published in yesterday’s Herald, contraception and abortion might be the solution!
The review gave the following suggestions for bringing down the perinatal mortality rate in Counties Manukau:
- School nurses to hand out emergency contraception to sexually active students;
- State funded financial rewards for women who seek maternity care prior to 10 weeks of pregnancy;
- Improved access to early ultrasound to check fetal size for age;
- Financial incentives from the State to encourage midwives to care for high risk mother’s in the District;
- More family planning services because of links with perinatal death and teen pregnancy and families with 4 or more children;
- A medical abortion centre, mobile contraceptive clinics, after-hours and drop in contraceptive clinics;
The DHB also wants to routinely offer long-term contraception to women before they are discharged from hospital after giving birth.
The suggestions are seriously flawed. The only way contraception and abortion is going to bring down the perinatal rate is by reducing the number of babies that get to be conceived or survive past 20 weeks gestation. Simply put the deaths will just occur earlier.
The use of mobile, after-hours and drop in contraceptive clinics put women in danger of receiving contraception which may be contraindicated. With no continuity of medical care, and with the zeal of doctors and nurses running these clinics, mistakes will be made and women will be given contraception that ultimately could lead to serious health complications and even death.
School nurses handing out emergency contraception to school students is completely irresponsible. Parents, of course, would not know that their child has taken the morning after pill. Once again, the nurses may not know of the medical reasons why a student should not receive these pills. It is also concerning that the nurses and the school by giving out contraception are giving permission to students to be promiscious, which will lead to a higher incidence of unintended pregnancy and STI’s.
Opening a medical abortion clinic puts women at risk again for serious complications, while taking their pre-born child’s life away.
No one wants to see a child die. Something needs to change. We all agree on that. But offering more contraception and more abortion is not going to change the perinatal death rate.
What families in South Auckland need (as does the whole of New Zealand) is a culture where life and love are found in abundance. Where children and families are celebrated and looked after. Women need their men to stand up and be true leaders of their families and of their community. Men need to protect their women and children. Neighbours need to look after neighbours. Women need to be shown that they are of value, that in order to look after their children well they need to look after their own health first. Young people need to be taught to respect themselves and those around them. They need to know that there are consequences to their actions. They need to know that sex is something special – a gift that they give that special someone who they marry. Adults need to model this for youth. And when things go pear-shaped, people need to know that there are caring people around who will help – not by offering them chemicals, devices and abortions – but really being for them and giving their life, and the life of their unborn child dignity. When we build a civilization of love, then we will see so much of today’s woes disappear.