Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Perhaps an extreme Green future could work?

This is not a good week for blogging. Marking, travelling, deadlines. So a smidgen of a post today. Perusing MSM - really, the world is not the best place to live in when we rely on anti-MSM blogs for news - I now see that if we installed the Greens in government, the ultimate consequences of doing so would not necessarily be the end of the world, though we all might need to shift to North-west Australia!

In comments to my previous post below, the excellent but scary point is made that a Greens dominated parliament would have deadly consequences for our unborn.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks Peter for your comments re the Greens and abortion. Laying aside the general issue of abortion for a moment, the nub of the Greens' policy is that they single out disabled babies for special destruction. Why? What does that say about them? What do the Greens really think about disabled bigger people? What does it say about the church in that our leaders remain silent when disabled babied are under threat?

Lucy Eban

Peter Carrell said...

To be fair to our leaders, Lucy, busy people that they are, it is possible that they have not read the fine print of Greens policy. It is not as though the Greens are seeking to make this policy part of the headlines they wish to capture before the election!

(I also never expect them to read ADU!)

Andrew Reid said...

I think you'll find life in NW Australia significantly more expensive than in your fair isles, thanks to the mining boom!
Also, it does have its own special kind of tropical beauty, but I'd take the south island of NZ over NW Australia any day.

Peter Carrell said...

Too cold to live in South Island without power!

Kurt said...

This is from the Green Party of NY State Platform which was adopted in 2006 and is still our major statement:

REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
Our health care system must include full reproductive freedom for women. We oppose
proposals that seek to impose parental consent requirements for teenagers.

The Green Party of New York State advocates:
The right to free and complete birth control information and devices for all men and women and for all
adolescents with or without parental consent;

• Supporting and defending a womanʼs right to have an abortion;
• The right to free counseling and support for pregnant women;
• The right to complete free maternity care;
• The right to post-partum leave for both parents;
• The right to be free from involuntary sterilization;
• Full funding for the Prenatal Care Assistance Program;
• Expansion of sex education programs in schools.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY
A proud member of the Green Party

Anonymous said...

Hello again Peter, I think the lack of response from church leaders is a marginal issue. HOWEVER it's pretty shocking, in my view, that while church leaders comment on a great many issues, they have nothing to say about the right to life. In the past, this was a central election question - why not now? If not church leaders, then who?
The key point I wish to make is that the Greens want to introduce a policy that specifically targets babies who have been screened for disability and failed the test. Unlike other babies who can be aborted up to 20 weeks, there is no time limit for when the abortion can take place. Even if there were to be an upper limit, why are they singling out babies thought to be disabled? Peter this is far more than 'fine print'. This is an attack on the heart of NZ society ... what kind of society have we become if we hit the streets over child poverty, saving whales, gay marriage ... and plan to murder children who as a result of screening are determined to be substandard. What kind of society have we become … we are not even talking about it.

Kurt - is the counseling independent? there's no requirement here for it to be so (to the best of my knowledge). That seems very wrong, the people who get to profit from the abortion can be the ones providing the counseling.
Lucy Eban

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Lucy
By 'fine print' I mean hard to find, not 'unimportant.'

Talking of hard-to-find, where is the policy? I may be misreading or misunderstanding, but when I read https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/womens-policy-valuing-women I cannot see what you are referring to ...

Jean said...

I can confirm Lucy is right in respect the policy
a) Aborting children screened with disabilities up to full term - Green's only policy and yes indeed it was very hard to find but I did eventually.
b) Aborting children with disabilities as one of the two acceptable reasons for abortion (the other being the general mental health of the mother to be) - this is currently law at present.

Kurt:

Is it really a right for women to have an abortion, a choice yes but an inalienable right? How does this counterbalance with the right to life? Or the right for a father to have an opinion?

A little like the euthanasia debate one get's into murky waters when playing with ethical stances where we as human's consider ourselves able to choose life or death of ourselves or another. God is the author of Life not death, is it not this God we follow - even calling death the final enemy to be overcome by Christ.

Kurt said...

As far as I can tell, Lucy, if the NYS Green Party were to implement this program, women would be able to pick any counseling group they wished.

You raise some true ethical and interpersonal issues/questions, Jean. But the bottom line for New York Greens is respecting a woman’s choice (either to have a child—even if it is “damaged”—or to terminate an unwanted pregnancy—even if the fetus is “healthy.”) It’s her call.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter – apologies for being so slow in getting back to you. Memo to self: don’t open a can of worms on a week when you don’t have the time to catch the ones that wriggle out!

I read about the Green’s abortion policy in early June. I am now trying to follow my original trail and find the ground is shifting – some are saying that the Greens are using ‘smoke and mirrors’.

On June 6 2014 Jan Logie released this statement: “The Green Party's policy would allow terminations after 20 weeks gestation only when the woman would otherwise face serious permanent injury to her health or in the case of severe fetal abnormalities”
https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/green-party-decriminalise-abortion

There was an outcry from prolife and advocacy groups like Saving Downs. From memory, I read articles here: Family First / Saving Downs / the Leading Edge. There were also articles on TV3 and NZ Herald (Online).
EXAMPLE:
On 20 June 2014, Brendan Malone said
“When the Green Party announced their new abortion policy they attracted a lot of controversy, and in the subsequent days they did their best to quell the negative public reaction.
One of the key controversies surrounding their policy was their plan to legalise abortion AFTER 20 weeks for “severe fetal anomalies” – a term so dangerously subjective that it can, and is already, applied to persons with disabilities.
Now various Green Party spokespeople tried their best to reassure the public by stating that, rather than just “severe fetal anomalies” what they really meant was lethal anomalies that are not compatible with life.
Which is why I am now really struggling to get my head around the latest change to their abortion policy.
Sometime in the past few days, the wording of the Green Party abortion policy has been changed, so that the clause regarding abortion AFTER 20 weeks now reads:
“…the Green Party will: Allow terminations after 20 weeks only according to current practice.””
http://theleadingedgeblog.com/the-green-party-abortion-policy-just-got-worse-for-persons-with-disabilities/

The intention to ‘allow terminations after 20 weeks according to current practice’ is problematic for these reasons:

The Green’s original policy wording has created extreme disquiet in the minds of prolife and disabled advocacy groups ... hence the charge of ‘smoke and mirrors’.

ALRANZ, which promotes extreme abortion policies, salutes the support it has received some Green Party spokespeople.

Current practice = there is pressure from a growing number of health professionals for mothers to abort babies who have been screened and found to be ‘wanting’. This pressure is definitely occurring post-20 weeks in cases where the baby is believed to have Downs or spina bifida – these children cannot, or at least should not, be classified as having severe fetal anomalies.

Given that the Greens’ policy direction is to make abortion more ‘honest’, easier and quicker for women to obtain, it is easy to see why the change in wording does not convince many that the actual policy direction has changed. The Greens propose that instead of pretending to follow the law by twisting it and manipulating it (as is arguably happening currently) … “The Green Party believes the time has come for New Zealand to take an honest approach to abortion, to treat it as the health issue it is, and remove it from the crime statutes ...The fact that 99 percent of abortions are approved on 'mental health' grounds and that rape is not grounds for an abortion reveals the dishonesty of the current legal situation” https://home.greens.org.nz/press-releases/green-party-decriminalise-abortion

So Green Party policy is to make things straightforward for women, to remove the few safeguards for babies that still exist and, within a discourse informed by radical anti-life principles, to implement current practice.

I think there is room for grave concern.

Lucy Eban

Anonymous said...

Lucy with corrections (oh dear)... when you read my post please swap 'anomalies' for 'abnormalities' ...

Jean said...

Hi Kurt

It is an interesting combination of policies. I am not sure about NY but here in NZ the greens are most well known for environmental and conservation advocacy, such as global warming. I find it a little hard to link ideas such as Save the Whales with Feel free to Abort a Human.

As a Christian and Green Party advocate in NY do you find it difficult personally to reconcile the parties policies with your faith?

Kurt said...


“As a Christian and Green Party advocate in NY do you find it difficult personally to reconcile the parties policies with your faith?”—Jean

Not at all Jean. Many American Anglo Catholics have been influenced by the Social Justice movement since the 19th century. And you should understand that American Greens are to the left of most Greens internationally, and we incorporate significant socialist elements.

Perhaps in Australia and New Zealand things are different. But, here in America, even a majority of Roman Catholics (55% according to a poll conducted last year by the influential “Washington Post” newspaper), believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Jean said...

Hi Kurt

Thanks for your reply. I wouldn't specifically align the NZ Green Party here with any specific Social Justice Movement so there must be a big difference.

I am unsure about the % of Christian's here who believe abortion should be legal but I would take a stab that the legality is less of a question in NZ theologically than whether abortion align's with biblical teaching or the principles of faith.

This is the angle my question to you comes from, more how do you personally reconcile supporting abortion in all circumstances (or as a right/choice) with the christian principles you hold.

In my case the principles all humans are made in the image of God and therefore have inherent value, the knowledge that "even while you were in your mother's womb I knew you", and the conviction of only God having the legitimate authority to give and take life (ie: Cain and Able; David's fall from Grace, Thou shalt not kill etc). These facets of faith make me question whether abortion is ethically correct, and I am compelled to place my faith above any politics.

You will find in NZ most people accept abortion exists and there are no violent anti-abortion protests or attacks on clinics etc. At the same time many people with christian convictions and without, both help with counselling people seeking abortions and who have had an abortion as they deal with their situation, as well as making their voices heard about why they disagree with the practice.

I am an advocate of social justice (a degree in Sociology : ) ) and have high regard especially for the teachings and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. It does seem to me however, the expansion of the concept of rights language as it is presently so widely interpreted being automatically associated with social justice is pairing two different ideologies.

For example historical social justice figures such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa etc are likely to all have had different view points on issues such as abortion.

All this for me, having worked for a UN agency, is compounded by the understanding of the origin of the use of human rights as founded on basic rights (needs) of individuals (the right to food, protection, shelter etc) has been corrupted in some situations and applied to situations of subjective personal preference.


Blessings, Jean

Anonymous said...

Kurt, surely to apply the social justice argument you must be selective in the language you use to describe the baby ... you must call it something other than fully human. If we use the word 'bunion' for example, then the social justice model works perfectly: all women, regardless of geographic location, wealth, religion, ethnicity, age ... must have access to safe bunion removal. In this model, it's all about the woman, and who can argue that her interests are paramount and indeed that hers are the only interests to be considered.

Once you admit language that allows for the full humanity of the baby, you run into difficulties because now you have to apply your social justice to two equally human beings. At this point it gets tricky for you I would suggest - the baby is powerless, voiceless, small, weak, vulnerable and in mortal danger. In all other circumstances, a social justice advocate would support the most vulnerable. Why not here?

Lucy Eban

Kurt said...

“This is the angle my question to you comes from, more how do you personally reconcile supporting abortion in all circumstances (or as a right/choice) with the christian principles you hold.”—Jean

I didn’t say that I, or American Green Party members and supporters in general, support abortion “in all circumstances.” The question of “viability” is important. And while I agree with you that “all humans are made in the image of God and therefore have inherent value,” I don’t believe a fertilized egg is a human being. A potential human being, yes; a human being, no. It’s a question of viability of the fetus, and the primacy of “actually existing” human life—that of the mother, or potential mother.

I’m sorry Lucy, but I know the difference between a fertilized egg and an infant child. I don’t consider a fertilized egg a “baby.” Neither does the US government. And while a fetus has the potential to develop into a baby, there are clearly stages of development where it is not yet a “baby.” Therefore, aborting an undeveloped fetus is not aborting a “baby.”

Now, I grant you, the existence of abortion raises all kinds of moral/ethical questions. And everybody must wrestle with these questions on their own as Christians, as Jews, as Muslims, as atheists, etc. Or, of course, you can always turn your conscience over to the Pope or some other authority figure…

I understand that there are others— some Christians, some not—who have other ideas. I can respect that—as long as they don’t attempt to restrict the rights of others. In the United States, abortion under certain guidelines, is legal. Period/full stop. Now, whether or not people wish to avail themselves of this option is up to them. For those that do not, the GP advocates other forms of aid—childcare, pre-K, infant nutrition, etc.

If you take a look at the GPNYS website, you will see that we are not simply an environment-oriented group as those Down Under apparently are. We are generally much further to the left of most Greens around the world—more like the “Red Greens” in Germany and a few other places in Europe.

http://www.howiehawkins.org/the_green_party_of_ny_state


Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

at approaching 20 weeks and more for babies with Downs, we are not talking about a 'fertilised egg'

Lucy

Father Ron Smith said...

Just one comment from me on this important issue of unwanted pregnancy, abortion or contraception.

Surely, one problem for R.C. absolutists on the issues of the 'right to life', is their insistence on banning both abortion and contraception. It is well known that many catholics practise the former. Is this a 'lesser sin', or 'no sin' ?

Jean said...

Hi Kurt

Thanks once again for your response. I guess it does come down to the 'viability' of the foetus (ie: at what point is a fertilised egg classified as human being or alive, 10 weeks, 20 weeks, full term etc).

Richard Dawkins got into a bit of hot water lately for pronouncing it is okay to abort a foetus/child (specifically with Downs) because they can't as yet suffer, in the UK.

Perhaps this is what we each have to individually and collectively wrestle with, including expectant mothers. I can honestly say, I don't know. I know the yet to be born do feel and I say unfortunately as I have had some not so pleasant side effects from this fact personally. I know children can be born at 26 weeks and live.

No doubt the deliberations will continue!

Hi Ron I would consider the aspect of who makes the decision of when and if life comes into the world a lesser sin if a sin at all, as it doesn't involve the possible choice of loss of a life conceived and no contraception doesn't guarantee conception. I can see though how it is pertinent especially for Catholics as both in a way involve a deliberation of control and independence, whose in charge us or God?

Blessings to all, Jean

,

Jean said...

Kurt I forgot to clarify, I would have earlier considered that anything that happened while one was in the womb affecting your life now would be a load of rubbish.

This was until some big issues cropped up from me and through prayer at my local church I got a word of knowledge which pointed out the origin of my strife.

I am not sure if you believe in such gifts of the Holy Spirit. But for me it was extremely real because what was said described exactly what I had been experiencing, unable to understand or put into words, and looking back I could see how it influenced my life.

Just as much of a shock - and it probably shouldn't have been - was that God knew more about what I was experiencing than I did (he has understanding no one can fathom). Hence biblical verses such as "while you were in your mother's womb I knew you"; and "I formed you.." have a greater depth of reality for me.

Cheers!

Kurt said...

Every child should be a wanted child, and not a burden, Lucy.

Along with Father Ron, I’ve always been struck by the position of the Roman Church; like much of Roman reasoning, their position on contraception seems illogical to me. One would think that, if the aim is to eliminate unnecessary abortions, contraception would be encouraged. In my mind, contraception before the fact of an unwanted pregnancy is far preferable to an early term abortion—preferable even to using RU 486. And, of course, abortion is not meant to be a form of birth control. Ideally, it should be a rare last resort.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY