New Zealanders demand final say on world’s most extreme abortion law

Over 30,000 New Zealanders have signed a petition urging the Government to hold a referendum giving the people of New Zealand an opportunity to repeal the extreme abortion legislation which passed earlier this year.

On 18 March, New Zealand MPs voted to introduce the world’s most severe abortion law in the world by 68 votes to 51.

The new law scraps the previous 20-week limit and will allow terminations on-demand, for any reason, up to birth.

Additionally, there is now no requirement doctors must be involved with an abortion ‘procedure’ and MPs – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – voted against an amendment requiring medical care for babies born alive after a ‘failed’ termination.

The new law has also legalised sex-selecitive abortion.

New Zealanders ignored

In light of extremely low public support and falling support from MPs, Jacinda Ardern’s Government rushed the final stages of the Bill’s progress through Parliament while politicians, the media and the rest of the country were distracted dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

This included progressing the final sitting of the committee stage and the Bill’s third and final reading through parliament on the same day.

Polling, conducted by Curia Research revealed strong opposition to the new law by the public in New Zealand, and in particular by women.

Only 2% of women said they support abortion being available on-demand right up to birth. Meanwhile,  93% of women opposed sex-selective abortion being legal and 94% of women supported the previous legal standards for abortion providers and premises.

However, despite the extremities of the new law and little public support for the regulations, MPs voted to deny the public a final say on the legislation.

An amendment hoping to put the new regulations to a public referendum was rejected by 100 votes to 19 votes.

Staggeringly, the same group of MPs voted 63 to 57 to hold a referendum on the introduction of assisted suicide.

Additionally, due to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Green Party, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party agreed to hold a referendum on the legalisation of recreational cannabis. Both referendums will coincide with the general election on 19 September.

Now, 33,256 New Zealanders have signed a petition demanding a final say on the matter. To put this in perspectiveIf New Zealand had the same population as the UK, and the same proportion of the population signed the petition this would equate to well over 400,000 signatures.

The petitions author, Pamela McIlwraith, has said: “In my view the abortion legislation was rushed through Parliament while the entire country was distracted with COVID-19.

“I think there needs to be a referendum so the people can have their say—MPs should not be able to vote against giving the people their say in such important matters, especially a law legalising full term abortion.”

Once the petition closes on 21 May, a MP can decide to present the petition to parliament after which it will be referred directly to the relevant subject matter select committee.

The committee will then discuss the petition, before reporting back to parliament. If the committee has any recommendations for the government, the government must respond to these within sixty working days.

Sadly, as the Government has already rejected an opportunity to give the people of New Zealand a final say on abortion regulations any call for a referendum will likely be dismissed.

The extreme abortion legislation has also seen a very large backlash from the disability community with over 1,200 people with Down syndrome and their families distraught over Jacinda Ardern’s broken pre-election promise not to introduce abortion up to birth for Down syndrome.

Additionally, the Abortion Legislation Committee only heard from 139 people who wanted to give oral feedback on the Bill, despite over 25,000 submissions.

By way of comparison, the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill received just 10,000 written submissions, but the Environment Committee heard 1,500 oral submissions.

Pro-life safeguards rejected

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, was among 80 MPs responsible for defeating an attempt to require healthcare professionals to give medical help to babies born alive after ‘failed’ abortions.

An attempt to protect babies from sex-selective abortion was defeated with 50 votes in favour and 70 against, despite strong concerns over the practice being highlighted in a submission to the Abortion Legislation Committee from Stop Gendercide – a campaign group who had urged MPs to support the amendment.

Other defeated pro-life measures, aiming to soften the scope of the Bill, included pain relief to babies being aborted between 20-weeks and birth, stronger protections to conscientious objection and requiring the collection of abortion statistics.

The rejection of pro-life safeguards has now left Canada with the most extreme abortion law in the world.

Most extreme abortion law in the world 

Canada is the only country in the world that has no abortion law, as their law was struck down by a case brought to their Supreme Court in 1988.

Amongst the rest of the jurisdictions in the world that have abortion legislation, Victoria, Australia, currently has the most extreme law.

The law in Victoria allows for abortion right through to birth on physical, psychological and social grounds when approved by two doctors; this can be the abortion operating surgeon and anaesthetist.

This has, in practice, allowed for abortion on demand, for any reason, right through to birth in Victoria, Australia.

Ahead of the legislation being introduced in Victoria in 2008, abortion activists claimed that, although abortion would, in practice, be allowed for any reason, doctors would ensure that the vast majority of abortions would only occur in rare circumstances, such as when a baby had a condition where they would either die in the womb or shortly after birth (a fatal foetal abnormality or life-limiting disability) – similar claims are currently now being made about the proposed NZ abortion law by abortion campaigners and MPs in New Zealand.

Data from the 12 years of the law being in operation in Victoria shows that this has not been the case. Right To Life UK’s Public Affairs team have undertaken an extensive analysis of published abortion data on late-term abortions in Victoria from The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality.

A Channel 7 news report, broadcast on April 17 2010, reported that there had been a large increase in late-term abortions being performed at the Royal Women’s Hospital since the introduction of the 2008 Abortion Law Reform.

Presenter Jennifer Keyte stated how “midwives and doctors feel traumatized” by having to perform so many late-term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Journalist Louise Milligan said that there had been some ‘alarming requests’ for late-term abortions, including a request for a termination at 32 weeks because the baby had a cleft lip. 

The new abortion law in New Zealand is even more extreme than the law in Victoria, Australia – making it the most extreme abortion law in the world.

It would allow abortions between 20-weeks’ gestation and birth with the go-ahead from just two health practitioners (this could include nurses and midwives) rather than the higher threshold of two doctors that are required in Victoria.In the proposed legislation in New Zealand, the Abortion Legislation Committee widened the, already loose, criteria to include “overall well-being” – making it even easier for abortions to happen between 20 weeks and birth in New Zealand. These are undefined terms and it will be up to the healthcare practitioner involved as to how they interpret them.

NZ PM rushes world’s most extreme abortion legislation into law while country distracted with pandemic

New Zealand MPs have introduced the most extreme abortion law in the world after the Abortion Legislation Bill passed its third reading in Parliament.

The bill passed by 68 votes to 51 – a much narrower margin than at the first and second reading.

The new law will mean that New Zealand has the most extreme abortion law in the world, this will include:

Polling shows that the new law is strongly opposed by the public in New Zealand and in particular by women, with only 2% of women supporting abortion being available on-demand up to birth, 93% of women opposing sex-selective abortion being legal and 94% of women supporting the current legal standards for abortion providers and premises.

Given the extremely low public support for the change and that the gap between MPs opposing and supporting was quickly closing, Jacinda Ardern’s Government rushed the final stages of the Bill’s progress through Parliament while MPs, media and the country were distracted with dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. This included progressing the final sitting of the committee stage and the Bill’s third and final reading through Parliament on the same day.

The Bill has also seen a very large backlash from the disability community with over 1,200 people with Down syndrome and their families calling on the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to keep a pre-election promise to not introduce abortion up to birth for Down syndrome.

An amendment hoping to put the issue to a public referendum failed in a conscience vote by 100 votes to 19 votes, denying the public a final say on the legislation.

Additionally, the Abortion Legislation Committee only heard from 139 people who wanted to give oral feedback on the Bill, despite over 25,000 submissions.

By way of comparison, the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill received just 10,000 written submissions, but the Environment Committee heard 1,500 oral submissions.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, was among 80 MPs responsible for defeating an attempt to require healthcare professionals to give medical help to babies born alive after ‘failed’ abortions.

An attempt to protect babies from sex-selective abortion was defeated with 50 votes in favour and 70 against, despite strong concerns over the practice being highlighted in a submission to the Abortion Legislation Committee from Stop Gendercide – a campaign group who had urged MPs to support the amendment.

Other defeated pro-life measures, aiming to soften the scope of the Bill, included pain relief to babies being aborted between 20-weeks and birth, stronger protections to conscientious objection and requiring the collection of abortion statistics.

Over 60,000 people signed a petition calling on New Zealand deputy-Prime Minister, Winston Peters, to ensure the Government withdrew the Bill. 

The Green Party failed in its attempt to reverse a mistake that resulted in criminalised free speech zones, which prevent pro-life help from being offered outside abortion clinics, being excluded from the legislation.

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson had attempted to reintroduce the measure but MPs voted 77 to 43 against it.

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New Zealand-based pro-life campaign group Voice for Life said:

“In passing Labour’s extreme abortion Bill our MPs have ushered in a new law that will liberalise abortion up to birth, allow for sex-selective abortions, and remove current freedom of conscience rights from New Zealand medical professionals.

“Over the last few Parliamentary sessions our MPs had the opportunity to pass amendments that would have corrected some of the worst extremes of this Bill but instead they chose to reject such moderate measures…

“Our Parliament has a duty of care to consider the wellbeing and protection of all New Zealanders including the vulnerable.

“Tonight they failed in that basic duty of care by passing this extreme Bill, but the hundreds of thousands of voters who opposed this Bill will not forget this failure when it is time to vote in the General Election in a few short months.”

Most extreme abortion law in the world 

Canada is the only country in the world that has no abortion law, as their law was struck down by a case brought to their Supreme Court in 1988.

Amongst the rest of the jurisdictions in the world that have abortion legislation, Victoria, Australia, currently has the most extreme law.

The law in Victoria allows for abortion right through to birth on physical, psychological and social grounds when approved by two doctors; this can be the abortion operating surgeon and anaesthetist.

This has, in practice, allowed for abortion on demand, for any reason, right through to birth in Victoria, Australia.

Ahead of the legislation being introduced in Victoria in 2008, abortion activists claimed that, although abortion would, in practice, be allowed for any reason, doctors would ensure that the vast majority of abortions would only occur in rare circumstances, such as when a baby had a condition where they would either die in the womb or shortly after birth (a fatal foetal abnormality or life-limiting disability) – similar claims are currently now being made about the proposed NZ abortion law by abortion campaigners and MPs in New Zealand.

Data from the 12 years of the law being in operation in Victoria shows that this has not been the case. Right To Life UK’s Public Affairs team have undertaken an extensive analysis of published abortion data on late-term abortions in Victoria from The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality.

This data shows that since the law changed in 2008, 1,418 late-term abortions (between 20-weeks’ gestation and birth) have been performed, allowed by doctors for ‘psychosocial’ reasons – these were terminations where the baby did not have a disability and the abortion was performed on social grounds. In 2011, one of these abortions on social grounds occured at 37 weeks.

Under New Zealand law currently, abortion is allowed post-20 weeks on very strict grounds (when the abortion is “necessary to save the life of the woman or girl or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health”). 

This strict law has meant that abortions post 20-weeks are rare – for example 72 abortions occurred after 20-weeks in New Zealand in 2017. 

Victoria has a population that is only 32% larger than New Zealand’s, but the number of abortions that occurred post 20-weeks were much higher, 323 or 348.61% higher than the number that occurred in New Zealand that same year (published data for Victoria has not been released for 2018 yet).

Another side effect of the very high late-term abortion rate in Australia is that scores of babies have been left to die after being born alive during a number of ‘botched’ terminations.

The Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity reported that in 2012 there were 53 ‘terminations of pregnancy’ after 20 weeks ‘resulting in live birth’. 

By contrast, a 2008 report for England and Wales found that 66 infants were born alive after NHS terminations in one year. While these figures are comparable in number, Victoria’s population of 6.36 million is just a tenth of the size of the population in England and Wales.

A Channel 7 news report, broadcast on April 17 2010, reported that there had been a large increase in late-term abortions being performed at the Royal Women’s Hospital since the introduction of the 2008 Abortion Law Reform. Presenter Jennifer Keyte stated how “midwives and doctors feel traumatized” by having to perform so many late-term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital. Journalist Louise Milligan said that there had been some ‘alarming requests’ for late-term abortions, including a request for a termination at 32 weeks because the baby had a cleft lip. 

The new abortion law in New Zealand is even more extreme than the law in Victoria, Australia – making it the most extreme abortion law in the world.

It would allow abortions between 20-weeks’ gestation and birth with the go-ahead from just two health practitioners (this could include nurses and midwives) rather than the higher threshold of two doctors that are required in Victoria.

In the proposed legislation in New Zealand, the Abortion Legislation Committee widened the, already loose, criteria to include “overall well-being” – making it even easier for abortions to happen between 20 weeks and birth in New Zealand. These are undefined terms and it will be up to the healthcare practitioner involved as to how they interpret them.

New Zealand’s MPs vote against protecting baby girls from sex-selective abortion

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is among 70 MPs in the country who have voted against protecting baby girls from sex-selective abortion.

It comes as the country could introduce the world’s most extreme abortion legislation.

Scientific advances in pre-natal testing means it is now possible to detect a babies sex at just seven weeks’ gestation, meaning sex-selective abortion could become an explicit and viable possibility in New Zealand.

MP Melissa Lee had sought to prevent this from becoming a reality, if the extreme abortion bill is voted into law at its third and final reading, likely tomorrow, by bringing forward an amendment to explicitly prohibit sex-selective abortion.

However, despite commendations from other pro-life MPs, Melissa’s amendment was defeated with 50 votes in favour and 70 against.

Sex-selective abortion is a well-documented problem in countries around the world, resulting in highly skewed sex ratios. A study, published last year, estimates that there are over 23 million “missing” girls were as a result of sex-selective abortion.

Canada amended legislation regarding abortion in 1998, effectively introducing abortion on demand. Since then, sex-selective abortion has been identified as a major issue with an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal outlining that “easy access to abortion and advances in prenatal sex determination have combined to make Canada a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses in favour of having sons…”.

Victoria, Australia introduced abortion on request in 2008. A recent study, from La Trobe University, analysing more than a million births in Victoria suggests some parents could be aborting unborn female babies in order to have a son. Following the law change in Victoria, Dr Mark Hobart was investigated by the Medical Board of Victoria for failing to refer a woman for a sex-selective abortion. Additionally, an investigation by Australian broadcaster SBS found higher numbers of boys than girls being born in some ethnic communities in Australia.

These concerns were highlighted in a submission to the Abortion Legislation Committee from Stop Gendercide, a campaign group who had urged MPs to support Melissa Lee’s amendment.

Unfortunately, both the Abortion Legislation Committee and a majority of MPs ignored the recommendation and New Zealand’s extreme abortion bill will permit sex-selective abortion, if voted into law at its third reading.

Instead, in what appears to be a politically motivated move to appear to be taking action, without actually making material changes to remove this major flaw in the Bill, the Committee have required that the Government produce a report five years after the Bill has passed reviewing whether abortions are being sought solely because of a preference for the fetus to be a particular sex. This means that for this five-year period, and possibly longer, sex-selective abortion will be free to occur in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s MPs have already voted against an amendment that would require health professionals to give medical help to babies born alive after ‘failed’ abortions.

Other rejected amendments that would have saved lives and protected women including measures to provide the following:

  • Provide pain relief to babies being aborted between 20-weeks and birth. 
    • Agnes Loheni – SOP 461 
    • Ayes 43: Noes 76
  • Provide additional safeguards to help prevent sex-selective abortions.
    • Parmjeet Parmar – SOP 475 
    • Ayes 29: Noes 89
  • Ensure safeguards were in place to protect vulnerable women, including those with an intellectual disability, from being coerced into an unwanted abortion. 
    • Joanne Hayes – SOP 462 
    • Rejected in a verbal vote
  • Restricting abortions between 20-weeks and birth (to when there is risk to the life, or of serious harm to the physical or mental health, of the woman; or the fetus is so medically impaired as to be unlikely to survive beyond birth.)
    • Greg O-Connor
    • Ayes 45: Noes 73
  • Restricting abortions between 20 weeks and birth (to where a woman’s life or health is at risk – and requiring doctors to be involved with later abortions rather than the proposed requirement that any health professional can perform an abortion.)
    • Agnes Loheni – SOP 460 
    • Ayes 43: Noes 74
  • Strengthen conscientious objection protections for health professionals.
    • Chris Penk – SOP 469 
    • Ayes 35: Noes 83
  • Requiring ongoing collection of accurate abortion statistics. Currently, the Bill only requires data collection during the first 18 months of the proposed abortion legislation coming into force.
    • Simeon Brown – SOP 480 
    • Ayes 37: Noes 82

NZ deputy-PM elected on pro-life vote, votes NO to giving pain relief to babies during late-term abortions along with NO to 12 other pro-life amendments

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the New Zealand First Party, Winston Peters, who was elected on a ‘values’ and a pro-life vote in the last general election, has voted against an amendment requiring that pain relief be given to babies being aborted between 20-weeks and birth. 

The amendment, tabled by Agnes Loheni MP, would have added a new requirement for abortion procedures post-20 week to ensure that a fetus does not feel pain, bringing the legislation in line with New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act which requires vets to ensure that animals don’t feel pain. 

Winston Peters also voted against 12 other amendments brought forward by pro-life MPs including amendments to:

  • Require health professionals give medical help to babies born alive after ‘failed’ abortions
  • Provide additional safeguards to help prevent sex-selective abortions
  • Restricting abortions between 20 weeks and birth (to when a woman’s life or health is at risk – and requiring doctors to be involved with later abortions rather than the proposed requirement that any health professional can perform an abortion)
  • Restricting abortions between 20-weeks and birth (to when there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the physical or mental health, of the woman; or the fetus is so medically impaired as to be unlikely to survive beyond birth)
  • Keeping conscientious objection standards the same as they currently are (the bill currently weakens the protections)
  • Restricting employment discrimination on grounds of conscience
  • Require annual reporting of abortion statistics. Currently, the Bill only requires data collection during the first 18 months of the proposed abortion legislation coming into force
  • Require health professionals to be culturally sensitive to those requesting an abortion and where necessary provide translation services
  • Cultural considerations to be considered consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi (woman’s wellbeing protected by recognising her whakapapa and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of her family, whanau, hapu, iwi, and family group) 

Over 12,000 people have now signed a petition calling on Winston Peters to withdraw the bill.

Ahead of the 2017 New Zealand election, Winston Peters cornered the ‘values’ and pro-life vote making it clear to voters that his New Zealand First Party would not ‘decriminalise’ abortion (introduce an extreme abortion law allowing abortion up to birth)  and that they would support a change to the law to state that the unborn child has a right to life; to improve informed consent during the abortion process, and to implement parental notification for girls aged 15 and under seeking abortions. This reinforced a clear long-standing position which had been communicated to voters over a number of years. 

Once in Government, Winston Peters has joined his coalition partner in bringing forward a bill to introduce the most extreme abortion legislation in the world – which would allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth – to the New Zealand Parliament.

This bill is very much his Government’s bill. He had his MP, Tracey Martin, work on co-writing the bill, along with the Justice Minister, over an eight-month period. Then his cabinet, in which he is the number two ranked minister, signed off on the bill.

Fetal pain

In a recent article, published in the influential Journal of Medical Ethics, two medical researchers, including a ‘pro-choice’ British pain expert who used to think there was no chance unborn babies could feel pain before 24-weeks, say there is now “good evidence” that the brain and nervous system, which start developing at 12 weeks’ gestation, are sufficient enough for the baby to feel pain.

They argue that women considering an abortion at this stage of pregnancy should be told about the pain their unborn baby could experience while being terminated.

Noting the increased concerns of women over the pain unborn babies may experience, they say medical staff should ask if the woman wants the baby to be given pain relief.

To carry on regardless of new evidence “flirts with moral recklessness,” they add.

Currently, the use of pain relief in the UK and New Zealand is not required by law or suggested in official guidelines. This in itself is contradicted by the standard NHS practice of giving painkillers to unborn babies receiving surgery in the womb for spina bifida

The lead author of the article is British professor Stuart Derbyshire, who has acted as a consultant to the US’ largest abortion provider – Planned Parenthood – and the Pro-Choice Forum in the UK.

In 2006, he wrote in the British Medical Journal that not talking to women seeking abortions about pain experienced by unborn babies was “sound policy based on good evidence that foetuses cannot experience pain”.

However, due to recent studies, he says “it is now clear that the consensus is no longer tenable.”

Professor Derbyshire and Dr Bockmann advise: “Given the evidence that the foetus might be able to experience something like pain during later abortions, it seems reasonable that the clinical team and the pregnant woman are encouraged to consider foetal analgesia [pain relief].”

The two medics add that their own “stark differences” on the morality of abortion “should not interfere with discussion of whether foetal pain is possible”.

How Winston Peters and NZ First cornered the ‘values’ and pro-life vote

Winston Peters has carefully targeted the ‘values’ and pro-life vote over a long period of time leading up to the 2017 election. This included speaking at Family First’s high-profile Forum on the Family event along with consistently brandishing his pro-life credentials with ‘100% pro-life on abortion’ ratings in a number of leader questionnaires on life issues.

The results of these questionnaires have been circulated in Value Your Vote guides to tens of thousands of households across New Zealand and positioned his party as the one to elect for this part of the voting public.

In the 2017 Value Your Vote guide issued ahead of the 2017 election, Peters stated that he took the following position on abortion:

  • Opposed the ‘decriminalisation’ of abortion (introduce an extreme abortion law allowing abortion up to birth). 
  • Supported a change in law to state that the unborn child has a right to life.
  • Supported introducing abortion informed consent legislation, to improve the informed consent during the abortion process.
  • Supported introducing abortion parental notification legislation, to implement parental notification for girls aged 15 and under seeking abortions. 

He provided similar responses in earlier questionnaires which were published in previous guides going back a number of years, including a 100%/ ‘four smiles’ rating on abortion/pro-life issues in 2014.

This position was mirrored in a 2014 interview on stage at the high profile Forum on the Family election event where Winston Peters said:

  • Life starts at conception.
  • That he did not support decriminalising abortion (introducing an extreme abortion law to New Zealand).
    • “Do you support the Green’s policy of ‘decriminalising’ abortion? No we don’t.”
  • That he supported parental notification for a girl 15 years or younger to obtain an abortion.

This was reinforced by Tracey Martin, who represented Winston Peters and NZ First on stage at the 2017 Forum on the Family election event where Martin confirmed that the party supported keeping abortion in the Crimes Act (not ‘decriminalising’ abortion) and that the party supported introducing abortion parental notification legislation.

The pro-life and ‘values’ vote in New Zealand can have a significant impact for smaller parties that successfully corner it. In recent years, New Zealand First has positioned itself as the only electable party which has taken a clear moderate pro-life position, seeking to oppose ‘decriminalisation’ and introduce new incremental abortion restrictions. This was especially important to many voters ahead of the 2017 election as the Labour Party was pledging to ‘decriminalise’ abortion, and NZ First had made it clear to voters that they would not support ‘decriminalisation’ and wanted to see abortion laws further restricted.

There could be a big move of these voters post-election away from New Zealand First if Winston does not withdraw his bill.

Referendum amendment claims

Winston Peters has hidden behind claims that he will introduce a referendum amendment at Committee stage of the bill to give New Zealanders a say on whether this extreme bill becomes law. 

This appears to have been a move to try and stop voters from leaving the party; the problem with this approach is that it will not be part of the core bill, and he does not have the support of sufficient numbers for it to pass.

If he was serious about letting the New Zealand public have a say on whether this bill becomes law, he would have insisted that his Government include a provision guaranteeing a referendum on this issue in the body of the original bill, but this was not included.

Polling from Curia research shows only 4% of the New Zealand population support introducing abortion up to birth. This is a bill designed to appeal to a tiny minority of abortion zealots, not the vast majority of sensible New Zealanders who find the idea of late-term abortions inhumane and barbaric.

Winston Peters’ Government is in control of the passage of this bill and has the power to withdraw the bill.

Right To Life UK is encouraging the public to sign a petition calling on Winston Peters to immediately withdraw his Government’s Abortion Legislation Bill – click here to sign the petition.

A number of NZ First voters who Right To Life UK have spoken to said they were outraged about Winston bringing forward the bill and stated that they would never be voting for his party again if he did not urgently get his Government to withdraw the Abortion Legislation Bill.