Christians and other conservative people in NZ are generally horrified by the the pace at which the Abortion Bill is being hurried through. Click here to access the official page for this bill.
A concerned friend overseas asked:
Hi Nahomi, could you please give me an update about the abortion debate and vote, as well as tell us how we can pray? Thank you.
So I asked another knowledgeable friend to respond and they have, like this in some detail. It is worth sharing and hence this post:
The next stage is the “committee of the whole”, which is likely to be debated on Tuesday. At this stage they will debate amendments to the bill — some amendments put forward by Prolife MPs to make it a little less horrific — some other amendments put forward to achieve strange things (such as redefine the word woman in the bill to ensure pregnant women who feel like men won’t be offended by being called a woman when they go for an abortion)
The bill passed its second reading on Tuesday 3 March 2020, 81 votes in favour – 39 against. This was a narrower gap then the first reading (94-23), however most of the changes were by MPs who are personally Prolife but who for some reason (maybe they wanted to wait for the public to have their say in the Select Committee) voted for the bill to pass the first reading, but these MPs always intended to vote against the bill in the end.
After this stage the bill, with or without amendments, will go for a third and final reading, most likely on Thursday. It is a government bill so the government has the power to make it a priority and push it all through, even extending sitting hours if necessary so that it passes next week.
At this point the Prolife MPs are going in with the attitude that they may as well go down fighting, they have no human hope of defeating it, and only a marginal hope of even amending it (to rule out abortion post 20 weeks, for example).
We know that nothing is impossible with God, but what we need is the fear of God to fall on the parliament and move the consciences of MPs. Honestly, this could only be done by an extraordinary work of grace, that would simply point to the work of God.
One important amendment is to do with removing the 100 metre exclusion zones in which one is not allowed to publicly speak against abortion (100 m from a clinics); we consider these exclusion zones as restrictions to freedom of speech (and freedom to share the good news of Jesus’ love, the making of peace with God, and the enduring hope that we enjoy because of Calvary—all the blessings that give our lives meaning.)
Prayer points :
- Pray for wisdom for the Prolife MPs as they draft amendments to the Bill and their speeches.
- Pray for strength for them as they face backlash in their electorates and in their parties.
- Pray that God will cause the fear of God to grow in the hearts of MPs, and that they will turn to Christ for grace.
- Pray that God will send the gospel to these MPs, how can they believe if they do not hear?
- Pray for our nation as this bill demonstrates another step away from God and also the restriction of Christian freedom.