Why New Zealand won’t follow the US lead on abortion
New Zealand’s response to the shocking US Supreme Court decision removing the constitutional protections for abortion has been a fascinating tale of two countries.
With conservative politicians like Christopher Luxon and David Seymour coming out in support of our population’s strong pro-choice leaning, and framing of abortion as a health issue rather than a criminal one, the trajectory of Aotearoa’s abortion narrative remains on the same track as almost all European countries.
Meanwhile, as the US celebrates its Independence Day, it finds itself an outlier.
The certainty expressed by Stuff columnist Lana Hart that abortion rights could never change here in the wake of Roe vs Wade feels like brittle optimism.
Hart isn’t alone, most of the NZ punditry have all been quick to point to our centrism as a culture to argue there is no appetite for restricting Womens rights to an abortion.
I however am not so certain of their certainty and I think abortion could horrifically mutilate the 2023 election.
After watching four Republican Judges lie through their teeth during their confirmation hearings, I am deeply skeptical of Evangelical Christian Political Leaders who see abortion as tantamount to murder and refuse point blank to gloss over the possibility.
The obscenity of the State removing a women’s autonomy over her own body is a move from a rigged Supreme Court who are replacing human rights with religious bigotry.
That can not be tolerated in any democracy that proclaims civil liberties, it is a philosophical and intellectual mutation, whose irrationality cascades over all other civil liberties.
It can not, must not, will not stand!
Fuck allowing any of that malice to merge out of the primordial psychological swamp of the ill educated and easily spooked kiwi electorate hinterland.
If there is any area of the NZ political spectrum in desperate need of an abortion, it is the swirling cocktail of social media hate algorithms of the far right Qanon, incel, evangelical Christian, Q feminism, anti-mandate, Q Freedom, Bannon alt right electorate.
Family First on Q+A last weekend were absolutely clear that Roe vs Wade had energised the anti-abortion movement in NZ and with them being kicked out of the Charities list (a stupidly political decision if you ask me), they will probably be sucking in huge amounts of American dark money from the triumphant American Christian Right.
There are few single issues that have the power to cross 5% threshold.
Feral lunatic anti-abortionism is one of them.
If the fringe right who usually waste as sub 5% vote could unite, their catch cry would be more restrictive rules if not a total ban.
If a NZ Conservative + Brian Tamaki Party merged and crossed the 5% threshold and were necessary to form the next Government, National and ACT would have to negotiate.
Luxon can say what he likes, but the naked politics of this will drive National strategists in the end. There is a solid 15% of the electorate who are God squad and whom will vote on Abortion as the only issue. In a highly polarised electorate, National being able to scoop up all that sub 5% Christian vote that normally gets wasted is going to be far too tempting to National strategists. Remember this?
The reason why Judy suddenly found God and had the media photograph her was because National strategists know there is a large God vote out there that normally votes fringe and gets wasted, the exact same dynamics will be at play now. The Anti-Abortion movement in NZ is ecstatic at this enormous Roe vs Wade win and they intend to push National hard to get some political wins in NZ.
What if a NZ Conservative/Brian Tamaki Party with Sue Grey as a candidate promised as a bottom line to make Luxon restrict abortions?
“We’ll make Chris listen to his heart and Jesus 2023”
There is enough febrile polarisation ripe for bad faith actors to manipulate in ways empowered by MMP dynamics.
If these lunatics get over 5%, ACT and National will have no choice but to negotiate.
Luxon can hand on heart claim not to have changed the law, just amended it, and here are the National Party dirty tricks they attempted to use last time…
Make it harder to get approval for an Abortion.
Require those providing abortions to consider religious considerations to abortion.
Require those providing abortions to consider conservative Māori views on abortion.
Remove requirement that health practitioners who don’t want to support an abortion must tell the woman the details of another provider who will.
Making it illegal to not hire anti-abortion drs.
Making it illegal to terminate a pregnancy for genetic abnormalities.
Force women to tell the State how many abortions they have.
Banning abortion for under 16 year olds.
…note they don’t make abortion illegal, but they certainly make it a hell of a lot more difficult to get!
The Left has to start viewing the 2023 election as the existential threat it is.
A National/ACT Government would be radical enough, a National/ACT/Q Christ Government would be fucking terrifying.
If you vote National, what Government are you actually getting?
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