Bridges votes against abortion law reform | The Jackal

4 Mar 2020

Bridges votes against abortion law reform

There really has been a lot lost in translation concerning the abortion legislation currently before Parliament. Far from being a radical law change, it's mainly concerned with the removal of certain outdated criminal offences from the Crimes Act.

What the pro-lifers don’t seem to understand is the bill doesn’t liberalise abortion right up to birth. Instead it basically changes the law that currently means woman have to lie about their mental health to get the health care they need, which wasn’t actually a deterrent to having an abortion anyway.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

Abortion law reform passes next parliamentary hurdle comfortably 
A bill that would remove abortion from the Crimes Act and scrap the legal test for the procedure in pregnancies earlier than 20 weeks is one step closer to becoming law. 
The Abortion Legislation Bill passed its second reading in Parliament in a conscience vote late tonight, with 81 votes in favour and 39 votes opposing, narrower than the 94 to 23 margin at the first reading last year. 
It was an emotional and mostly respectful night in the House, but a man was ejected from the public gallery for shouting "shame on you" when Green MP Jan Logie was speaking in support of the bill. 
All NZ First MPs supported the bill in order to try to have an amendment passed at a future stage of the bill that would put the issue to a referendum. 
But the vote tonight indicates that the bill might have enough support to become law, even if NZ First MPs decide to oppose it if their referendum amendment fails.

The Members of Parliament who voted against this bill are clearly on the wrong side of history. Amazingly that also includes the so-called leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges.

To be fair there is some opposition to the law change from minority groups. But most of their arguments are based on false information or fostered from a belief that abortion shouldn't be legalised under any circumstances.

But why would the opposition leader align himself with unhinged organisations like Family First NZ and vote against Andrew Little's well-researched Abortion Legislation Bill?

Here's what Simon Bridges said on Breakfast this morning:

I voted first ah yes at the first reading, no at the second. It simply boiled down to one issue, and I heard the conversation earlier and it was discussed at some extent, and that’s the legal test post twenty weeks to late term, which seems to me as too loose and vague. Look if that changed and was strengthened, I could support the bill.

Perhaps Bridges simply doesn't understand the law change or maybe he hasn't bothered to read the bill or any relevant submissions? If he had he would understand that termination after 20 weeks only occurs in New Zealand where there are severe fetal anomalies or the abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life. Nothing is actually changing in that regard, which makes Bridges look uninformed.

Surely the leader of the opposition isn't deluded enough to argue that woman and health professionals shouldn't be allowed to choose between a termination or an attempted birth that will result in a woman dying? What an idiot!

Simon Bridges - Leader of the National Party

It really comes down to an argument between demoralising woman for no reason or supporting the law change. It’s that simple.

So either Simon Bridges, who grew up with a Baptist minister for a father, is trying to elicit votes from ill-informed minority groups or he’s actually a fundamentalist himself. There certainly are a lot of indicators, such as voting against same-sex marriage and attempting to establish a values-based religious party to help support National, showing that Bridges is deeply conservative.

But with his ignorant comments today, Simon Bridges has stepped over the fine line that separates conservatives from crackpots!