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Unborn Kiwis need more protection, not less

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It’s time to update our abortion law. It’s the 21st century, the law is 40 years old and it needs to be modernised. That’s what we keep hearing, and I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the proposals in the Law Commission’s report last year would be a big step backwards.

A truly progressive society protects the rights of all its members, down to the smallest and most vulnerable. The advice the Law Commission has provided would achieve the opposite of that. It would strip unborn Kiwis of any recognition of humanity under the law, placing them at even greater risk. We should be bolstering the rights of unborn children, not stripping them away.

There is no longer any excuse for imprecision over what is developing in a pregnant woman’s womb. We know that at the point of conception, a new organism comes into being. This new organism has its own DNA and its own blood type, distinct from the mother and father — in other words, it is a unique human being. An unborn baby isn’t part of the woman’s body; it is a different body.

We’ve known this for a while, but with today’s technology we have an unprecedented view into the womb.

We know that a baby is formed with astonishing speed: by eight weeks of gestation the baby........

© The Gisborne Herald