Tuesday, February 14, 2006


SX column for the week. Ching-ching.

Credit to opponents of the RU486 abortion drug – they’re getting more creative in their hysteria.

New South Wales MP Danna Vale – remember her, the former Veterans Affairs Minister who managed to send her sycophantic fax of support for Alan Jones to John Laws’ station by accident? – claims we are “aborting ourselves out of existence” and, consequently, could be a “Muslim nation” within the next 50 years.

If this isn’t a strong case in point of why regulation of this sensitive drug should be taken from the control of bigoted, “pro-life” (read, anti-choice) parliamentarians like Vale and Health Minister Tony Abbott, and placed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, I don’t know what is.

It is disappointing, though sadly inevitable, that a fairly straightforward Bill about transferring powers has instead become an emotive debate on abortion. It is also not surprising that some of the Bill’s strongest opponents, such as Bill Heffernan, Ron Boswell and Eric Abetz, are also the most homophobic parliamentarians we have. Men wishing to impose their religious dogma onto women’s bodies are often also the most vociferous decriers of homosexuality and the “promotion” of sexual minorities.

What makes this particular “debate” so frustrating is that is has wrongly focused on extraneous considerations. The settled legality of abortion (in limited circumstances) in Australia has existed for many years. Debating this might be necessary if the Bill before the House – most likely to be initiated by one of the abovementioned men – were seeking to outlaw abortion. But as only roughly 5-10% of the population supports such an outright ban, MPs realise such a Bill would never get up. Instead they instead find other outlets, such as debate on the RU486 Bill, in which to vent their anti-choice propaganda.

Make no mistake – contrary to conservative mythology, pro-choice advocates are no more pleased about the increasing abortion rate than anybody else. Amanda Vanstone, in one of the more intelligent statements of her recent career, argued that she would “like the pro-life people to get another name because…that describes everybody in (parliament)…I do not know anybody who is against life…(and)…I do not know anybody who is pro-abortion”. But the solution to the growing abortion rate lies in better health and sexual education and encouraging personal responsibility, not in the imposition of impractical religious doctrines.

Similarly, regulation of RU486 should not be overseen by a proudly anti-choice Health Minister incapable of divorcing his personal beliefs from his ministerial duties, but rather by a statutory body of medical experts. The majority of the Senate has been intelligent and sensible enough to recognise this; we can now only hope the same will be true of the House of Representatives, and that Danna Vale is but a small blight of extremist rubbish who will ultimately be discarded.


At 15/2/06 9:40 am, Blogger JahTeh said...

Talk about the biggest loser. How did this woman ever get pre-selection? I'd suggest how but this is a family blog.

At 21/2/06 12:05 am, Blogger tigtog said...

I was pleasantly surprised by Vanstone's speech and got peeved off yet again when I consider how the Libs keep on giving her whatever poisoned ministerial chalice is most toxic instead of using her as her talents deserve.

I wish she wer more leftist and would leave the Libs. She could actually do some good if she weren't being muzzled.


Post a Comment

<< Home