Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Right to Life's candidate questionnaire

Feel free to answer for yourself in comments, regardless of your intentions to stand for Parliament :-)
 If elected to Parliament at this general election, would you:

1. The Crimes Act states that an unborn child does not become a human being until it is born. Would you support legislation that would give legal recognition to the status of an unborn child from conception as a human being endowed with human rights, the foundation right being an inalienable right to life?

2. The Care of Children Act provides that a girl under the age of 16 may have an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the parents or guardian, Would you support an amendment to the Act that would protect parental rights by requiring that an abortion may not be performed on a girl under 16 without the consent of the parents

3. The Care of Children Act provides that a girl under the age of 16 may have an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the parents or guardian, Would you support an amendment to the Act that would protect parental rights by requiring that an abortion may not be performed on a girl under 16 without the knowledge of the parents.

4. Oppose legislation that would give doctors the right to kill or assist in the suicide of their patients [Euthanasia].

5. Support the right to life of every individual from conception by opposing embryonic stem cell research that entails the destruction of human embryos.

6. Uphold the state of marriage as being exclusively for a man and a woman. 
 What does number 6 have to do with the "right to life"??

24 comments:

Julie said...

For me (and only me, don't go extrapolating, it's v uncool!):

1. No.

2. No.

3. No.

4. Unsure, would want to explore at Select Committee.

5. No.

6. No.

anthea said...

Oh, what the hell:

1. No

2. No

3. No

4. Very complicated views on this; I agree with the right to die, and appreciate that may necessitate assistance for some people, but I'm wary of the problems of having this operate within the medical system and am opposed to anything that makes any judgement on whose life is and isn't worth living that doesn't come from the person in question themselves.

5. No

6. No - I guess this is because LIFE CAN ONLY EXIST WITHIN THE NUCLEAR FAMILY AND THE NUCLEAR FAMILY IS THREATENED BY THE EXISTENCE OF ANY OTHER FAMILY STRUCTURES

PM of NZ said...

Y, Y, Y, Y, Y, Y.

Andrei said...

(1)yes

(2)yes

(3)yes

(4)yes

(5)yes

(6)yes
What does number 6 have to do with the "right to life"?? Because while those who would rewrite mankind in their own image can change or attempt to change the meaning of words what they cannot do is change nature itself and regardless of propaganda to the contrary it still takes one man and one woman to create a new human life

Alex said...

Andrei, is using proper grammar and punctuation somehow a violation of the 'right to life'? I can't understand you...

notafeminist said...

Um Andrei, you're going to need to show a citation on who is exactly is trying to tell everyone that when gays get married the world's supply of sperm will suddenly cease to fertilise eggs, and who is saying that gays getting married allows two cismen/ciswomen to reproduce.

Sounds like you're the one affected by propaganda, actually.

Ross Brighton said...

1) DEAR GOD NO. Not only would this criminalise abortion, but also emergency contraception, and MISCARRIAGE. If a woman's body does anything to make a pregnancy terminate/miscarry/spontaneously abort (which happens fairly regularly, for those who don't know).... she could be charged with man[sic]slaughter. Which is INSANE.

2 and 3: One immediate objection - what if the pregnancy is a result of parental sexual abuse? It happens.
Furthermore, this kind of legislation is the reason that babies end up in dumpsters. Not everyone has the kind of relationship with their parents where this would work, in fact sometimes such a law could put young women's lives at risk. And I'm deadly serious about that.

4) This is more complicated. Though my thought is "no".

5) What about the right to life of those who such research would save? Especially if the embryos are non-viable, and couldn't physically survive.

6) LOLOLOLOLOLOL. What exactly does same-sex marriage do to threaten other marriages? Are their going to be gangs of homosexuals roaming the streets stealing people's heterosexual partners? What?

Lena said...

1. No

2. No

3.No

4. Unsure. Probably a no, but it isn't really something I've thought very much about

LudditeJourno said...

1. No.
2. No, and find it abhorrent to talk about "parental rights" when really what is meant is "parental control".
3. No, see 2.
4. No, but would need to see it was operating along the wishes of patients, rather than medical expediency (like say skyrocketing rates of caesareans because supposedly "women want them").
5. Don't like the association of these two concepts, but no.
6. Offensive tosh - much as I have no desire, ever, to get married, presenting heterosexuality as the right and proper "state of things" is one plank of homophobia which teaches queer people to hate ourselves. Good to know where Right to Life stand....

Anonymous said...

Yes to all.

George

Hugh said...

"I agree with the right to die, and appreciate that may necessitate assistance for some people, but I'm wary of the problems of having this operate within the medical system"

Why? Do you think there's another sector of society better equipped to assist with this sort of thing?

"and am opposed to anything that makes any judgement on whose life is and isn't worth living that doesn't come from the person in question themselves."

While the question does say 'right to kill or assist' no organisation has ever advocated that doctors should have the right to kill patients, so this is basically hyperbole, akin to asking 'do you think Martians should have the right to take over our planet?'*.

*Or, more contemporarily, 'should sharia law be imposed in Wyoming?'

anthea said...

Hugh: I find the whole set up of the health system and the way it is distinguished from other areas very problematic. I don't have time or brain power to write on this in detail at the moment, but it may be the subject of future blog posts.

My comment about the decision coming from the person themselves didn't actually refer to the prospect of people being killed against their will (though whilst I haven't seen anyone openly advocating it I don't think we should ignore the possibility either), but the fact that I've seen a lot of euthanasia campaigns refer to the right to die only in certain circumstances - for example if they are in severe pain, have a shortened lifespan or have very limited mobility. Whilst there may well be some correlation between people in these situations and those who want to die, I find any such judgements or assumptions very problematic from a disability rights angle.

I agree that if you take the wording of the post literally, no-one has the right to kill anyone other than themselves; I did not.

Hazel Parson said...

Hugh: I think it very naive of you to so quickly dismiss the possibility of unscrupulous persons pressuring elderly and disabled friends and relatives* to choose to die in order to benefit their heirs, given that there is ample evidence that unscrupulous persons pressure elderly and disabled people* to do all sorts of things, and there are several entire bodies of law set up to deal with just this. And while I do not think the mere possibility of misuse is enough to make euthanasia forever illegal, I do think it should be discussed and acknowledged as an integral part of the debate.

*and obviously by no means all elderly or disabled people are easily pressured into things, or weak, or unable to tell people where to get off, but the case law does center on people who unconscionably make bargains with people they know are inherently disadvantaged in the context of that bargain, or on people who are in positions of power over others

Lena said...

Oops, I didn't respond to all of the questions.

5. NO

6. NO

Anita said...

I think I'm with anthea in that I have some concerns about the medical system's capability to manage and provide euthanasia. When you look at the history of the hospice movement and palliative care it is clear that the medical system, and most of the people that inhabit it, has had a cure-at-all-costs worldview and has struggled to deal with situations in which curing may not be worth the cost, or even possible.

It would be great to see a medical system which has entirely wrapped its head around the issues understood by the palliative care specialists at its margin. At least in the meantime I'd like to see euthanasia either placed carefully at that margin, or governed jointly between the medical profession and the wider society.

Back to the questions tho:

1-6: No

5 - NB - I would prefer that stem cell researchers have a direction to use methods that don't destroy embryos where possible. I have an uncomfortable slippery slope feeling about it.

Hugh said...

Fair enough Anthea, but I can't really respond to your criticisms and suspicions of the medical system without specifics, so I'm going to just address Anita.

Anita, in my experience, most of the advocacy for euthanasia has closely involved people from within the medical profession. Every right-to-die organisation I know of has involved doctors and nurses among its members and advocates. So I think you are mischaracterising the dynamic here. While it would be a countermyth to say the medical system is 100% OK with euthenasia as a concept I think the debate about it takes place within (although not wholly within) the medical knowledge community and that the community is capable of changing to incorporate a changing consensus on this issue.

Kelly Buchanan, Alliance Wellington Central said...

1) No.

2) No, but neutral assistance/advocacy should be available for any girl who wishes to discuss her pregnancy with her parents or guardian but is afraid to do so.

3) No.

4) Not in principle, but there would need to be very strong safeguards to prevent abuse.

5) No. A handful of cells isn't an individual.

6) No, absolutely not.

Foggy in Nelson said...

1. No
2. No
3. No
4. Yes (don't like wording of the question - "give doctors the right to kill" doesn't sound like consenting euthanasia to me. regardless, I oppose euthanasia not on the rights issue, but because I have concerns about the slippery slope aspect and whether 2 negative impacts could occur: 1. being that elderly people feel like a 'burden' and make a decision that is best for their carers and not for them and 2. that our brilliant palliative care could be eroded. I do think it's important to have the euthanasia discussion though so would probably send to select committee)
5. No
6. No

Bianca said...

All no. Just no. Even with the euthanasia question framed like it is. Right to Life don't get agency. Wish they did.

Cara said...

1. No. The potential for this to render birth control and miscarriage criminal is terrifying too.
2. If the 16-year-old doesn't want her parents involved then it is her choice. End of story.
3. No. Is this not the same as 3?
4. I am pro-euthanasia although it is an issue that definitely needs to be approached with caution.
5. Anything which supports a right to life from conception is something I disagree with.
6. No.

portia said...

N,N,N,N,N,N. That was easy.

Totally agree with you, Bianca - they don't get agency at all.

Anonymous said...

A resounding and clear NO to everything (imagine I'm Winnie holding up that sign!). Agree with Bianca and Portia.

L.L.

Moz said...

1: absolutely yes. From the instant of conception the little ball of cells should have an inalienable right to make its own way as a free individual. The womb-owner should likewise be free to stop providing support at any time, without penalty.

2: no. I note that "or guardian" has been left out of the amendment. I find it hard to make the charitable assumption that this was an accident.

3: no. Same observation as #2.

4: yes and no. In that order. Doctors should not kill but euthanasia should be a right.

5: maybe. As soon as you can define human in a way that I agree with, we can talk.

6: marriage should only be between a man and his property. I accept that religious people have gained effective ownership of the term and thus think that marriage should be a purely religious instituation that has no recognition in law. Civil unions should be the only legal form available and should cover any number of consenting adults of whatever sexes and genders they happen to be or become, and for as long as such consent endures.

Julie, the marriage question relates to "right to life" as someone else pointed out - it's an attempt to deny that right to queers by encouraging homophobics to become more extreme.

Anonymous said...

No, same-sex marriage doesn't have anything to do with abortion, apart from the fact that most anti-abortionists are rabid homophobes! It's all premodern Thomist natural law gobbledegook.

Incidentally, a heads up here- the obnoxious Conservative Party are trying to sneak under the radar with an attack on abortion rights-
see:
http://www.gaynz.com/blogs/redqueen/?p=100

Craig Y