When NZ Pro-Abortion Activists Start Making Up Rights Instead of Respecting Real Ones

In an op-ed published in today’s edition of the Dominion Post, pro-abortion activist Terry Bellamak claims that anti-free speech zones outside abortion clinics are a human right.

She starts by complaining that the process to establish these free speech restriction zones - the Orwellian named ‘safe areas’ - takes far too long, but she never clarifies what she thinks the process should look like.

Just to be clear, we are talking here about making public spaces into anti-free speech zones, where it is a criminal offence to express views about abortion (even silently) within 150 metres of the perimeter of an abortion facility.

Bellamak begins by serving up the usual dishonesty and doublespeak about all of this:

“Submissions before the Health Select Committee described abortion seekers being chased, verbally assaulted, and having things thrown at them by anti-choice extremists.”

Well, I’ll see your unverified claims made to a select committee, and raise you one official report from the NZ Law Commission (page 178 of their 2018, Government-commissioned, Alternative approaches to abortion law Ministerial briefing paper) - emphasis added:

12.12  The Commission sought input from health professional bodies, abortion service providers and health practitioners about safe access zones. The majority felt that safe access zones were not needed. The Abortion Providers Group Aotearoa New Zealand (APGANZ) explained that only a minority of clinics had been targeted by distressing behaviour around their premises. Some abortion service providers reported that where women had been harassed or distressed by demonstrators in the past, Police responded effectively by moving the protestors on. Family Planning New Zealand noted that in its experience Police only intervened if demonstrators attempted to verbally engage with patients or staff at the clinic.

12.13  Some health professional bodies and practitioners thought that, if more abortions were performed through a greater range of community health care providers, it would become more difficult for demonstrators to target premises where abortions are performed. Some were concerned that safe access zones could serve to emphasise demarcation around abortion clinics and encourage demonstrations at the zone boundaries.

12.14  The Commission has not seen any clear evidence that the existing laws around intimidating and anti-social behaviour are inadequate, as would be required to justify the introduction of safe access zones. The Commission is also mindful that safe access zones would have to be considered for consistency with rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, such as the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association. Any limits on those rights through the imposition of safe access zones would need to be carefully considered to ensure they are reasonable and justified.

12.15  For these reasons, the Commission does not suggest the introduction of safe access zones.

Bellmak clearly seems to know she is on shaky ground with her opening salvo, so she decides to quickly follow it up with this:

“Other countries have experienced even more violence, like bombings and murder. We need safe areas to ensure people can do their jobs and seek healthcare safely.”

As any rational commonsense person will know, unverified accusations of overseas activities have no bearing whatsoever on what actually happens in our country.

Speaking of unverified accusations, to add insult to injury, Stuff.co.nz decided to include a photograph of a US pro-life pregnancy care centre that was firebombed last June, and falsely claim that it was the image of a firebombing of an abortion facility!

Bellamak then goes on to show troubling disregard for the New Zealand Bill of Rights, and in particular the right to freedom of expression it protects.

I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised by this when you consider that her activism is built on the foundation of denying vulnerable human beings the most important human right of all - the right to life.

In her zealous demands for speedier implementation of anti free speech zones in New Zealand, she makes this astounding suggestion (and notice how, once again in this article, she uses ‘extremists’ as a slur against pro-lifers):

“In balancing the right of anti-abortion extremists to deliver their intimidation, guilt, and harassment against the right of pregnant people and abortion providers not to be intimidated, guilted, and harassed within 150 metres of abortion services, the government has erred by greatly overvaluing the speech in question and undervaluing the right to be left alone.

Just to be clear; there is no such thing as the right to be left alone.

The irony of an activist dedicated to denying the most important human right of all, now making up, and claiming random things as new human rights, is not lost on us.

It’s just another reminder of the grave inconsistency of the pro abortion-choice ideology, and why being pro-life is the obvious option for anyone interested in logical moral consistency.

Kate Cormack