Church leader Ps. Iliafi speaks out against abortion
A prominent Samoan church leader and the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand, Pastor Iliafi Esera, has added his voice to growing opposition against the New Zealand government's Abortion Bill.
Pastor Iliafi's opinion was expressed in a statement issued on Tuesday, opposing the measure.
"We the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand, representing 229 churches and approximately 20,000 constituents throughout our great country, wish to emphatically state our opposition to the proposed Abortion Legislation Bill," the statement reads.
"We consider it to be a radical departure from our nation’s historic position on the sanctity and value of all human life, which includes the most vulnerable of them all, the unborn child."
The statement was an appeal to the New Zealand government to reconsider.
"We appeal to reason, to science, to ethics and to good conscience, that Members of Parliament who have previously voted ‘yes’ to this bill, would reconsider their position at the third and final reading.
"We ask this on behalf of those whose voices you may never allow to be heard. This is much more than a political issue, this we believe, is about preserving our humanity and preserving the lives of precious children."
The public statement follows the New Zealand’s Parliament unanimously passing the “Abortion Legislation Bill” by 94 votes to 23.
The bill allows pregnant women in the country to have an abortion without the consent of a doctor (except after 20 weeks of pregnancy) and will be determined in a final vote.
Among those who voted against the bill were two Tongan born M.P.s, Jenny Salesa and Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki.
During the house debate following the bill vote, Anahila shared her views about why she opposed the bill.
“My views in opposition to this bill are derived from Tongan culture and as a Christian Tongan. That’s where I formed my view,” she said.
She added that she had the need to say she is a Christian and was raised a Tongan Christian.
“And I don't stand here to say that I represent all Christians or all Pasifika.
“I am representing my views as a Tongan and all the people that have actually spoken to me about those views.”
The new bill allow girls as young as 13 to decide an abortion.