Ban DS terminations

Interesting moves in the US with legislation to ban pregnancy termination after a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.  There is a huge network of families in Australia with children who have Down Syndrome who advocate for more information, more positive stories, less negative language and far less coercion in the setting of a diagnosis of DS.   Many relate stories of being asked repeatedly if they would consider termination, even after adamantly refusing.    Even in this setting, there can be contention about whether women should have the choice to terminate.

It is interesting that this legislation targets only DS.

I wonder how very few people know that in Australia we allow pregnancy termination for far less ‘serious’ reasons, whether physical or social. Pregnancies are terminated regularly for easily correctable conditions like cleft palates and club feet.  Around half of all post 20-week terminations for on healthy babies for psychosocial reasons.

At a time when many US States are beginning to pay attention to the substantial evidence of potential harm from abortion and the very coercive factors leading to women’s ‘choices’, Australia continues running in the opposite direction.    Any mention of abortion harm, whether from educators, researchers, health professionals, or women themselves, is quickly dismissed and the person marginalised.   

The way in which the discourse favours a strongly abortion advocating position creates an information void for everyone.   Community attitude surveys cannot be relied on when the community is subject to only one side of the issue.   Women can’t access all of the information they need when such critical information, even when wholly accurate, comes with a side of ‘these people hate you and want to manipulate you’. 

Legislator are asked to enact laws that further distance women from any accurate information or necessary supports.  Doctors are forced to neglect their duty of care by not talking to women about potential harm, even when they know their own patient may have risk factors.   Women are attending abortion clinics believing they will get some information about options, and feel supported and then leaving in a panic having felt coerced into abortions.   

While their voices are silenced and the evidence rarely seeing the light of day, I wonder how  many years it will before we have huge public apologies for this horror we inflict on vulnerable women.  A horrow packaged up as a privilege, a right, almost a rite of passage, and certainly something they should be grateful for.    




Brave donations?

The Marie Stopes call  for ‘brave philanthropists’ to fund abortions for economically disadvantaged women is one of the most abhorrent so called ‘charitable’ causes I have ever seen. 

When a woman is pregnant in adverse circumstances and she believes her economic situation is too perilous to support a child, Marie Stopes comes to the rescue with one option:   abortion.  

For this they charge many hundreds of dollars in excess of the Medicare rebate so that they can continue to line the pockets of their own staff and executives, and spread such ‘options’ to developing countries.   They know that the reason many women end up in their clinics is because they cannot afford to bear their children and now they want ‘brave philanthropists’ to pay for the abortions for these women. 

Surely a much more meaningful approach to a woman in economic disadvantage is to offer her financial help to continue her pregnancy and a number of organisations work to do this.  However many of them have been denied, or are still battling to get the same DGR status that Marie Stopes now proudly boasts. 

Marie Stopes want you to ignore  the reality of the circumstances for most abortion seeking women and continue to sell the lie to the community that abortion is all about ‘autonomy’, ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ when they absolutely understand that for the majority of women nothing could be further from the truth. 

Those philanthropists who feel they do something worthwhile to help women end their pregnancies instead of helping to address women’s real needs don’t need to be brave… they just need to be prepared to ignore the truth and decide that it is easier, and lets face it, cheaper,  to help a woman terminate her pregnancy than to help her out of her circumstances.   The latter takes bravery, time, compassion, and genuine concern for her needs.    A donation, especially one that comes as a tax deduction sure sounds easy compared to that doesn’t it?  

It isn’t ‘brave’ to pay for womens‘ abortions.  It is brave to challenge the idea that without abortion women can’t be ‘equal’.    It is brave to challenge the idea that without abortion women can’t excel in education or careers.    It is brave to stand beside a woman through her pregnancy and her parenting, not just through the 10 minute procedure that will rid her of her ‘burden’.   


As I read through the articles on this issue, an interesting comment on a facebook post about this news caught my eye:

“No one should be forced into parenthood through poverty.”

What a bizarrely twisted perspective on this issue.   Even Marie Stopes acknowledge that women are coming to them with pregnancies they feel they can’t continue… because of poverty…  

A philosophy more in keeping with reality would be ‘no one should be forced into abortion through poverty’.   

If there are actual brave philanthropists out there who want to truly help women, send me a message.  

There are hundreds, thousands of women who could benefit from your help.   Not one of them truly wants to be rid of their unborn child.   Many of them never considered it.    Many of them already birthed their babes and are struggling.   Many amazing organisations provide them with services for FREE but they need your help to continue to do so.   Don’t buy Marie Stopes lies that paying for an abortion… money that MS pockets… ‘helps’ women.

Let me know who you are and I will let you know how you can truly help.


The next step? Forcing doctors to perform abortion

In 2008 Victorian parliament voted to decriminalise abortion, making it possible for terminations at all stages of pregnancy.  While the number of post 20 week terminations rose dramatically from 328 to 410 between 2008 and 2009, the numbers dropped back to the mid 300’s for the subsequent 3 years.   The trend of around half of these being undertaken for psychosocial indications has continued with disturbing numbers of these being done well after the viability of the foetus when delivery of a live child would have been a safer outcome for both mother and child.

One of the reasons put forward for the push for decriminalisation was that doctors feared prosecution under unclear laws and therefore refused to participated in abortion procedures.  This meant a lack of access for women, particularly in the public sector.   A number of other states have followed in Victoria’s footsteps often using the same misleading information to propel politicians to vote in favour of decriminalisation.

Yet today we read that there continues to be access issues for Victorian women because doctors are still not prepared to perform abortions.  The legislative changes in 2008 meant that doctors who held a conscientious objection to abortion were forced to refer women to doctors who didn’t.   Today we read that those concerned about abortion access are prepared to demand that policies and practices must change in order to, ‘…enforce the intent of the law and ensure the delivery of the services the community needs.’ 

This can only mean one thing; that is that doctors will be forced to provide abortion services.

Today we have created untenable circumstances for doctors advised by their professional bodies that if they hold an objection to abortion they shouldn’t even engage in discussion with their own patients about it, but refer them on.  This is even when a doctor may have vital information that the woman has significant risk factors for psychological harm from abortion, or that she is experiencing coercive factors that mean she is not making a choice of her own free will.    It can’t be too far down the track before doctors will be forced to perform abortions whether willing or not, and regardless of their assessment of the woman’s circumstances.

We know that the majority of abortions are occurring in the context of economic or relational pressures, because as a society we are failing to meet the real needs of women and families.   Yet the ‘services the community needs’ is apparently more abortion and the only way to get it will be to force the doctors, just like their circumstances often force the women.

Hopefully Queensland politicians will take heed of this news article and be able to see through the abortion advocates’ rhetoric about current legislation being a barrier to access before it is too late for doctors in that state to exercise their right to care for their own patients as well.

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