Abortion is "quite possibly the worst form of child abuse imaginable", a paediatrician coming to work in the Bay of Plenty says.
But others say decriminalising abortion is well overdue in New Zealand, and pregnant people in the wider Bay of Plenty have been treated unfairly.
They're among 23,000 people who wrote submissions on the Abortion Legislation Bill ahead of last month's cut-off.
Some submissions have now been published online, including views of Rotorua parents, teachers and health staff.
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If passed, the bill would decriminalise abortion across New Zealand and allow women who are up to 20 weeks pregnant to have an abortion without going through legal hoops.
Currently those wanting abortion services need to be referred by a doctor or Family Planning, but the bill would allow them to refer themselves.
Dr Viliame Sotutu, a Kiwi who is returning from Australia to a new role in Whakatāne this month, wrote to the Abortion Legislation Committee saying: "As a paediatrician, I must advocate for our babes who have no voice."
He said abortion was a "cruel process" and whether a baby was wanted or not was "immaterial" in his opinion.
"This [abortion] is quite possibly the worst form of child abuse imaginable when the gory, barbaric steps of what a child suffers are fully understood."
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Sotutu, a New Zealand citizen with more than 25 years of professional experience, said the country's health system supported pregnant mothers to be as healthy as possible and attended to babies with growth retardation, heart and kidney conditions, and infections.
"I am bewildered therefore and utterly dismayed, that at the very same time ... we are ready to destroy other babes in the womb in the most callous of ways. What an awful contradiction."
He said legitimising abortion was in "flagrant disregard" of the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, and would send a message "that children's lives are expendable".
"I have grave concerns about the culture of death that we are cultivating through our laws."
Sotutu said women with unwanted pregnancies, and their whānau needed to be supported "holistically, materially, and longitudinally".
"A high view of life embraced by society might see a woman do a 'heroic' thing by carrying an inconvenient/unwanted child through the pregnancy."
However, other submitters supported the bill, such as abortion rights advocate Scott Summerfield.
He said some people from the Tauranga and wider Bay of Plenty area were having to travel to Thames to get abortions, creating "undue pressure" and "unfair standards of care".
"Parliament needs to address the failings of our current health system which has led to remarkably inconsistent abortion services around the country," he wrote.
He said New Zealand women had been punished for having abortions "for far too long" under current laws "that unnecessarily restricts the autonomy ... greatly inconveniences and removes the privacy of people accessing abortion, and attacks [their] dignity".
Summerfield said pregnant women needed to be trusted, not treated as "objects".
He also said the World Health Organisation identified the need for safe and accessible abortion services on both public health and human rights grounds.
He recommended a 150m safe access zone be established to exclude protesters around the premises of abortion facilities and that the Ministry of Health maintain a public list of all medical practitioners who refused to support the right of their patients to have an abortion, so that pregnant women could avoid going to them.
Family Planning, the country's largest abortion referral agency, also submitted in support of the bill.
It has a branch in Rotorua and has also been an abortion provider in Tauranga since 2013.
Chief executive Jackie Edmond wrote that passing the bill would be "long overdue".
"A new law for abortion will not change the number of women who seek an abortion, but will allow health practitioners to provide evidence-based care.
"It will allow pregnant people to provide informed consent for abortion, in consultation with their health practitioner, aligning abortion law and practice in New Zealand with modern understanding of bodily autonomy, privacy, and human rights," she wrote.
Edmond recommended the bill be made inclusive [of the sexual orientation spectrum] by referring to pregnant people rather than women.
Rotorua father and teacher Philip Brown said he wrote his submission against the bill "with a heavy heart".
"An open admission without shame that the slaughter of the unborn is tolerated, affirmed, and even promoted as a moral good will be a blight on our great nation," he said.
In his opinion, future generations will look back wondering "why it took so long" to end abortion, the same way "we wonder where the decency was of slave owners and those who failed to stand against the Holocaust".
"I, along with many people I know, would absolutely adopt an unwanted baby," he wrote.
He recommended abortion remain in the Crimes Act and that doctors who practise it be prosecuted.
Rotorua grandfather Robert Jenkins' submission said "unrestrained access to abortion justifies infanticide".
"The wellbeing of a nation is shown by how it values its weakest most vulnerable members - children, the sick, the elderly, the poor and the unborn."
Rotorua teacher Fiona Brown wrote about losing three children to kidney disease and adopting a child 27 years ago.
She said, in her opinion, adoption was an option not often fully presented to mothers.
"I am thankful every day for the gift of our son and will be forever grateful to his courageous biological parents who gave us the greatest gift of all."
Brown also said that she was offered the option of terminating the pregnancies of her second and third children several times when they were diagnosed with the disease.
"I am forever thankful that I carried both of my sons for the full duration of my pregnancy (and their life), and was able to spend those hours with them before they died. Those memories are more precious than jewels and were worth every second of the pain involved."
She opposed the bill and in particular, recommended parents of expectant mothers aged under 16 should be notified before any procedure.
Anna Alder, wrote in opposition to the bill, referring to a time when she was a healthcare worker in the Rotorua area during university holidays, and saw a "perfectly formed human foetus" in a stainless steel kidney dish.
"Ever since I have wondered if women contemplating having an abortion saw what I saw that day whether they would go ahead."
Abortion Legislation Committee deputy chairwoman Amy Adams said the committee would aim to hear from as many people as possible who wanted to speak at hearings.
The committee will then complete a report on the submissions for Parliament, by February 8 next year.