Before me lies a list of certifying consultants registered with the Abortion Supervisory Committee.  These people, some specialists, some not, are willing to sign a death warrant for the most innocent of human beings, the unborn child.  A proportion of these consultants are prepared to actually carry out the abortions – whether by prescribing lethal drugs or by brutally dismembering the child while still in his mother’s womb.

In the coming days and weeks, New Zealand’s politicians will consider the report of the Abortion Legislation Committee and then vote on legislation that would treat abortion as another health care procedure, much like having a tooth removed or an appendix taken out.  The Abortion Legislation Bill allows for abortion up to birth with the only test occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy, where a doctor must take into consideration the well-being of the woman.

When the first reading of the Abortion Legislation Bill took place 93 politicians voted for, and just 23 against this horrific Bill (3 were absent).

It is easy for us to demonise each person who refuses to protect New Zealand’s innocent pre-born children, and even actively destroys them.  They believe they are protecting women’s “rights”, but ignore the very real physical, emotional and spiritual wounds carved into each mother who makes this so-called choice.  Likewise, the voices of women and men who have experienced abortion or participated in procuring one, are often ignored, ridiculed and cast aside as irrelevant to the conversation. 

As people hungering for justice for the unborn, real options for women and healing for those hurting from abortion, we have to be angry at the current situation.  We must stand up for all that is right and just. 

We cannot sit in our anger.  We must act. 

We must continue, and even step up our efforts, to be there for pregnant women and their families.  They are in need of concrete solutions and loving support in order to overcome the hurdles that prevent them from truly flourishing and choosing life in this moment of time.

We have to show compassion for the mothers and fathers who, for reasons known only to themselves, felt they had no other choice but abortion.  They, when ready, must be given opportunities to be forgiven and healed. 

But in the midst of our fight for justice and truth we cannot forget those who are the advocates for the heinous crime of abortion – the largest genocide of our time.  Politicians, medical practitioners, whose ideas and practices we as a people of life abhor, are worthy of our prayers and love.  We must be concerned for them that they may break free from the chains of the culture of death and find true freedom and forgiveness.  We must be concerned for the salvation of their souls.

As Christians we are called to love our neighbour.

Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director, whose story has been told in UnPlanned, has always explained that love is what changes hearts and minds of those who work in the abortion industry. 

The evidence of the power of love can be found in Abby’s own story.  It can also be found in the stories of many others who have worked in the abortion industry, including abortionists themselves.

The late Dr Bernard Nathanson, who co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) in the United States in 1969 and who aborted tens of thousands of babies, including his own, initially became pro-life purely on scientific grounds.  Later, the prayers and example of pro-lifer’s were instrumental in his eventual conversion to Catholicism where he finally found peace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. 

In his book “The Hand of God,” Nathanson describes how he “had not been immune to the religious fervour of the pro-life movement” played out in the activism of Operation Rescue.

“I had been aware in the early and mid-eighties that a great many of the Catholics and Protestants in the ranks had prayed for me, were praying for me, and I was not unmoved as time wore on.  But it was not until I saw the spirit put to the test on those bitterly cold demonstration mornings, with pro-choicers hurling the most fulsome epithets at them, the police surrounding them, the media openly unsympathetic to their cause, the federal judiciary fining and jailing them, and municipal officials threatening them – all through it they sat smiling quietly praying, singing, confident and righteous of their cause and ineradicably persuaded of their ultimate triumph – that I began seriously to question what indescribably Force generated them to this activity.”

As we go about our necessary work to end abortion in our time, to serve pregnant mothers and to lead those wounded in so many ways, let us not forget to extend our love to those who promote and perform abortions. 

No matter how entrenched one is in death, each of us in our own sinfulness, must know that there is forgiveness, healing and mercy in Christ Jesus if we choose to respond.

Dr Bernard Nathanson and his wife at Family Life International’s conference in Auckland in 2002. Pictured with FLI’s Founder, Dame Colleen Bayer, and Patron, Bishop Patrick Dunn. Dr Nathanson is holding Colleen’s grand-daughter, Amie Kaufman.

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