New freephone reduces waiting time for abortions

Women seeking an abortion are being offered easier access to the procedure with a free, national telephone consultation service that started this week.

Using the freephone number the service has been set up by Wairarapa abortion doctor Simon Snook because of the delays, said to be potentially harmful, faced by many New Zealand women seeking to end a pregnancy.

The standard process for a woman seeking an abortion involves a GP or family planning doctor referring them to an abortion clinic.

The woman is then assessed by two consultants who have to agree to proceed with the abortion.

Snook says if the free phone is used the average delay is around just under 28 days.

He says the service was not bypassing the proper process and there was no intent to rush a person into having an abortion.

In January 2014  Pope Francis criticised abortion as evidence of a “throwaway culture” that wastes people as well as food.

In his speech on world crises, Francis cited abortion and said: “Unfortunately what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.”

Last November Pope Francis told told a group of Catholic doctors that “playing with life” in ways like abortion and euthanasia is sinful, and he stressed that each human life, no matter the condition, is sacred.

“Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator.”

Pope Francis offered his words in an address given to members of the Italian Catholic Doctors Association in celebration of their 70th anniversary.

He recalled that many times in his years as a priest he heard people object to the Church’s position on life issues, specifically asking why the Church is against abortion.

After explaining to the inquirer that the Church is not against abortion because it is simply a religious or philosophical issue, he said it’s also because abortion “is a scientific problem, because there is a human life and it’s not lawful to take a human life to solve a problem.”

Regardless of the many objections he has heard saying that modern thought has evolved on the issue, the Pope stressed that “in ancient thought and in modern thought, the word ‘kill’ means the same!”

The belief that abortion is helpful for women, that euthanasia is “an act of dignity,” or that it’s “a scientific breakthrough to ‘produce’ a child (who is) considered a right instead of accepted as a gift” are all part of conventional wisdom that offers a false sense of compassion, he said.


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