Sunday Star Times: Letter to the editor

Response to Dr Morgan Healey’s letter to the SST (January 12).

This letter to the editor from Voice for Life was published in the Sunday Star Times on 19 January, 2014.

Dr Morgan Healey, national president of the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ) accuses Voice for Life of scare tactics and being “anti-woman”.

The reality of the abortion debate in New Zealand is that neither side has any  reliable evidence on the extent of post-abortion complications and how women’s mental and physical health is affected.

Many years ago Voice for Life attempted to research post-abortion complications. It proved an exercise in frustration. The coding appears designed to camouflage any details. The Ministry of Health said they didn’t keep any statistics and referred us to the District Health Boards and on it went – we got the run around and had to admit defeat.

On the issue of abortion and mental health, the Otago University Health and Development Team carried out internationally recognised research in 2006 and 2009. Their findings indicated the need for more extensive research to be commissioned by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry declined to do so.

I was told that the NZ “medical establishment believes that abortion is beneficial to women”, so there was no interest or pressure from that quarter.

Dr Morgan Healey’s accusation that Voice for Life is “anti-woman” is a propaganda tactic. Most of our members and leaders are women and like many other New Zealanders have friends and family who have had abortions. I meet members who tell me about their own damaging abortion experiences.

They joined Voice for Life because they are committed to helping other women and girls in difficult circumstances. To denigrate them as “anti-woman” is insulting and simply untrue.

Yours sincerely,

Bernard Moran, National President of Voice for Life Inc

Note: Dr Morgan Healey has a PhD in women’s studies from Cork University. 

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