Bernard Moran is the President of Voice for Life New Zealand. This article featured in the Gisborne Herald in May 2015.
Why do you think we have an ageing population? There are a number of reasons but consider this one. Sometime in August or September, we will reach a total of 500,000 abortions carried out since the first clinic opened in April 1974.
The babies aborted in 1974, would now be aged 41 if they had been allowed to live. New Zealand’s current population is just under 4.5 million, so the loss of 500,000 younger Kiwis has to result in an imbalance of older people.
The irony is that there has never been so many couples experiencing infertility and seeking to have babies through IVF, surrogate mothers, donor sperm or overseas adoptions.
One of my daughters and her husband went down the IVF route and were lucky to have four children. At one stage they were part of a support group of couples struggling to have children. Some of the women were desperate after years of failure and spoke of how harrowing it was to climb the stairs to the fertility clinic, along with women who were going for abortions in the clinic the next floor up.
They longed to be able to adopt those “unwanted” babies – they would have loved and treasured them, but tragically the women were like ships passing in the night.
Is there a way some of these women can meet? The baby’s life saved to have a future with a loving couple who cannot have children of their own.
A possible answer is right under our noses in Gisborne – Whangai, the Maori practice of open adoption within the whanau, which could be adapted as social policy to benefit Pakeha birth mothers and potential parents.
I’ll give you a personal example. Some years ago, my wife and I were invited to talk about abortion in a Pentecostal church in Auckland. Unknown to us a 16-year old girl was there with her mother. The teenager was pregnant and her mother demanded she have an abortion.
Also present was a young married couple who couldn’t have children. The assistant pastor had a word with the teenager and they were discreetly introduced.
Two years later, the young couple approached us at a beach. They beamed with pride as they showed us their little blonde daughter “a gift from God”. The birth mother keeps in regular contact as does her own mother – now a doting grandma.