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Contradiction to ‘every life matters’

Opinion Piece

The Government’s new suicide prevention strategy is called Every Life Matters. In the September 11 editorial of The Gisborne Herald, the Mental Health Foundation NZ was quoted commenting on this strategy, and how it provided a roadmap and tools needed to prevent suicide.

“It will help to ensure New Zealanders have a life worth living — it does not seek simply to keep people alive but to build an Aotearoa where everyone can enjoy good mental health and well being.”

These are very positive and encouraging words.

Also in The Gisborne Herald on the same day, another issue was reported which seemed to contradict Every Life Matters. I refer to the proposed changes to the abortion law which, if they are accepted, will permit the termination of babies beyond 22 weeks gestation. This should concern us as surely as any other taking of life. Is there also a roadmap and tools to address the mental health of those involved with late-term abortions?

No doubt those who aim to change the law will protest that this will only apply to extreme cases. I can recall that when the Contraceptive, Sterilization and Abortion law was introduced in 1977, abortion on demand was never the intended outcome and yet that is virtually what it has become today.

If the Abortion Legislation Bill goes through, I fear another series of loopholes will arise and extreme cases will become the norm. Our collective conscience will eventually be dumbed down and life will matter less and less.

Sally Cobb