Lawmaker Chokes Back Tears as He Speaks Against Abortion: “We Should Care for Mother and Child”

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 8, 2019   |   9:17PM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

A young New Zealand father and lawmaker held back tears this week as he urged his fellow MPs to vote against a bill legalizing abortions for basically any reason up to birth.

National Party MP Simeon Brown, of Pakuranga, choked up several times during his short speech, Newshub reports. He spoke about his 4-month-old daughter and the value of every baby, born and unborn.

“I am someone who has a pro-life conviction – a view that I am not ashamed of – I do believe that all lives matter: old or young, male or female, black or white, born or unborn,” he told Parliament.

“To have a child is an overwhelming and for some people a distressing time and it’s our responsibility as legislators to care for both the mother and the child,” Brown continued, choking back tears as he talked about his own infant daughter.

On Thursday, Brown was one of 23 MPs who voted against the first reading of the bill. However, the extreme pro-abortion measure passed with 94 MPs in support, and now moves to a special committee for review.

Though abortions technically are still listed in the criminal code, they are widely available as long as a woman receives the permission of two doctors after a counseling session, according to the BBC.

The new legislation would expand abortions even further, making New Zealand one of the most pro-abortion in the world. It would remove abortion from the criminal code and end the counseling and the two-doctor requirements, 1 News Now reports. After 20 weeks, it would allow unborn babies to be aborted if one doctor believes the baby would negatively affect the woman’s physical or mental health.

Brown said the bill does not represent the views of most New Zealanders, and he cannot “in good conscience” support it.

“Some have said it is scaremongering to suggest this Bill will allow late-term abortion, and that they are very rare and only required for medical need,” he said. “If that is what is intended, then that is what should be reflected in this piece of legislation.”

He encouraged lawmakers to support both women and children, rather than liberalize abortion.

“I do not approach it with any judgment the difficult situations that many women find themselves in every day where they consider ending their pregnancy because of a violent relationship or financial difficulties,” he said.

“However, the question we must ask ourselves as legislators is how we can care for the mother and the child, particularly when the child becomes viable to life outside the mother’s womb,” Brown continued.

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Pro-life advocates say government leaders are not being clear about just how radical their bill is.

“If this is abortion up to birth that’s being proposed by [Prime Minister] Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Government then why does the bill not state that?” said Kate Cormack with the pro-life organization Voice for Life. “Why does the bill not prevent abortion up to birth? Why doesn’t it stop abortion at 30 weeks? There’s nothing like that being proposed in this.”

Her organization pointed to a 2016 Curia Market Research poll that found 56 percent of women want limits on abortion prior to 20 weeks.

Cormack said women both want and deserve better from New Zealand leaders.

“This is simply wish fulfillment for a tiny minority of very vocal abortion ideologues, and it will waste valuable Parliamentary time and resources that should be spent on more pressing issues,” Cormack said.

In July, the pro-life organization presented a petition with more than 13,000 signatures to the government in opposition to pro-abortion legislation. Cormack said they will continue to work hard to stop the bill from becoming law.

Along with the abortion expansion, the bill also would allow buffer zones around abortion facilities to prevent pro-life sidewalk counselors from reaching out to women before they go inside.

In 2017, there were 13,285 abortions in New Zealand, or 36 unborn babies killed each day.