A "pro choice" DVD has been released that features the architects of the barbaric Victorian abortion legislation of 2008. It is well worth taking the time to hear the arguments that convinced the majority of politicians in Victorian Parliament that day and to take a brief look at the characters and portfolios of a few of the "main players".
The footage is 25 minutes long, but is a great insight into the arguments that were used. It also demonstrates the coordination and collaboration that was required to pull off such a feat, something pro lifers must learn from if we are to have any impact at all. The pro life movement is driven by outstanding groups and individuals, but it is imperative that we work together consistently to pool information, resources, ideas and enthusiasm.
Listed are a few arguments (not in any particular order) that came to mind as I watched the footage - feel free to post your own thoughts, comments and ideas under the article in the feedback section.
The most outstanding and shocking aspect of this dvd is that there was not a single mention of the babies who lose their lives every day in Victoria (60 babies) and Australia (250).
There is so much misinformation in the footage, that it is difficult to know where to begin - information that many blindly accept and rhetoric that remains unchallenged and which contributes to the culture of abortion we have in Australia today.
The frequently used (but baseless) argument about the "droves of women" that supposedly died from backyard abortions is rolled out again on this DVD. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 1969 when the Menhennit Ruling was passed, one woman in all of Australia died from a "backyard abortion" - While sad, does it justify where we are today? Furthermore, it was the invention of antibiotics that stopped those rare cases of backyard abortion in which women died. Oddly, pro abortion advocates claim they want to eradicate backyard abortions, but the same people fought in Federal Parliament for women to have access to the RU486 pill...for women to go home and have abortions by themselves!! The inconsistency is baffling.
It was claimed that those who drove the legalisation of abortion in Victoria had the media on side. This explains why the same media outlets are happy to show images of cows in Indonesian slaughter houses, but not the brutal procedures that end the lives of Australian babies in the womb - 250 of which are done every day in Australia. Pro life advoates are all too familiar with the media's biased reporting on abortion issues (with, of course, the rare exception).
In the footage, Colleen Hartland (from the Greens Party) is featured. At the time of the abortion debate, an interview with Colleen Hartland was shown on ' 9am with David and Kim' (no longer televised). During this one sided interview, Colleen argued why abortion should be legal - because of the difficult situation she experienced many years earlier, with her boyfriend, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and the guilt she experienced as a result of having an illegal abortion..
This description made me wonder at the time.."How many women attribute this guilt and grief to abortion being illegal, rather than to the grief of losing their baby?". Also "Why is there such a lack of support for women like Colleen, that abortion becomes a "necessary evil"? The phrase "Women deserve better than abortion" is certainly relevant to Ms Hartland.
Do Victorian women now feel a sense of relief, satisfaction and contentment after an abortion now - because it is "legal"?
The argument that this abortion legislation was needed to "catch up" to what was already happening in society lacks any substance. You might liken it to making the claim that "teenagers are drinking at a younger age, so let's lower the drinking age (play 'catch up')". In fact, there is often discussion and debate about raising the drinking age, taxing sugary alcoholic drinks and other measures to counteract the problem. Yet, when it comes to killing the unborn, we simply make it "open slather" ... crazy logic and yet it was so influential on many MP's who voted.
None of the speakers make any mention of follow up care for women after abortion or how the legislation would protect women, babies and families...because it doesn't, in any way, shape or form! There is no mention on the DVD of the 60 odd amendments designed to protect women and babies that were rejected outright. These amendments included: mandatory reporting of suspected sexual abuse; parental consent for minors (needed for piercings); a cooling off period for women considering late term abortion; support/ counselling for women considering abortion; banning of partial birth abortion (banned in the U.S); anaesthetic for late term babies being aborted; the provision of medical care for babies born alive; limitting abortion access to 20 weeks, then 24 weeks. The rejection of these amendments is nothing short of negligence - it represents abuse of babies and their mothers. For the most common female procedure (one in three women), it is now the most under-regulated.
When challenged about this, one director of a women's health clinic in country Victoria stated that she "has faith in the medical system" - this is just not good enough!
Note the numerous images of banners with religious messages, references to the Church, Tony Abbott's faith etc...the pro abortion industry thrives on this discrimination and stereotyping. It is not uncommon for Church groups to be denied function venues on the grounds of the abortion topic being "political and religious", or advertisments for newspapers rejected on the same grounds. So much for freedom of speech and religion! This legislation endorses those views of intolerance and discrimination, as can be seen on the DVD.
Another flawed argument presented is that this legislation recognises women as being capable of making decisions for themselves - we can't do that without access to open slather abortion!? Abortion is still illegal in most states and many of us are more than capable of making our own decisions.
Why does our autonomy as women come down to this single issue...the "trophy" of women's rights?! If a woman were to be unable to access abortion, does that mean that she is incapable of participating in society with self determination? Of course not! Many, many amazing women throughout history have influenced Australia's development...and all without legalised and open slather abortion!
International research shows that some 60% of women who have abortions experience some form of coercion. Other research shows that many women experience varying degrees of post abortion regret and/or grief - for some it is devastating. To state that "legalised abortion recognises that women can make their own decisions" is over simplistic and does not take factors of coercion (in theory or practice) into account. What is not considered or mentioned are the pressures on women to abort and how this decision impacts them. This line of argument may also undermine a woman's entitlement and perhaps ability to feel that she was 'ripped off' by abortion and that she should feel grateful for having had the "choice".
The statement by Dr. Lachlan De Crespigny about abortion being difficult to access is simply untrue - and contradicts the argument that this legislation is playing "catch up" to practice - they can't have it both ways!.
When I went to confirm my own unexpected pregnancy, the first thing the Dr asked was whether I wanted to continue or terminate my pregnancy - that was in a rural country town 15 years ago. Discussions with other women reveal similar experiences - with one friend saying that her doctor advised her to have an abortion rather than getting her tubes tied, as it was "a simpler procedure". Furthermore, abortion is far easier to access than adoption or pregnancy/parenting support. See for yourself - phone an adoption agency and ask them what the process for making an adoption plan is!
Dr Lachlan De Crespigny, who appears in the DVD, seems to have a long and vested interest in legalised abortion up until birth. In fact, it was the results of his survey on late term abortion that were published in newspapers all over Australia earlier this year, a survey that lacked any kind scrutiny. It was also a late term abortion performed by De Crespigny that was the stimulus for Brumby's move to legalise abortion, when the doctor faced possible prosecution for aborting a baby at 32 weeks for suspected dwarfism. It turned out that "Perhaps the baby wasn't so small afterall!" Read more here.
Leslie Cannold again appears to have zero regard for the unborn who are the most affected by a woman's decision to abort. In an interview with Channel 7 regarding the 600% increase in late term abortions at the Royal Women's Hospital (since the abortion law reform), Leslie Cannold only expressed concern about the lack of service delivery, and appeared to not blink an eye at the tragedy of so many babies being aborted so late. View here.
This footage also clearly shows that this legislation only serves men who support abortion and who might seek to coerce women to abort. It fails men who wish to embrace fatherhood. To hear the stories of men who are still dealing with the loss of their children through abortion, some 20 - 30 years later is nothing short of heart wrenching. Jack, a 60 year old man described the feeling of sitting down with his three adult sons, "knowing one of my kids is missing". Or Mark, whose girlfriend had an abortion without him even knowing - he is still recovering from the pain some 30 years later.
This legislation promotes inequality, endorsing that men only have a say in the death but not the life of their children. This abortion legislation endorses coercion from men and potentially even sexual predators of teenage girls (there is no requirement to report sexual abuse, no requirment to screen for coercion and no requirment for parental consent). The inequality of this legislation in regard to men is outrageous.
Quite a few of those interviewed, including Jo Wainer - who received an Australia Day Award for her establishment of abortion clinics in Victoria (under the guise of advancing women's rights), have been/ are well paid for their involvement in the abortion industry.
This footage by abortion "experts" and "pro choice" politicians is a useful tool for pro life advocates to demonstrate that this legislation is based on principles of inequality and discrimination, on misinformation and unfounded rhetoric (from many who profit from the abortion industry).
The Coalition Government of Victoria must right this wrong...because it is so very wrong that this legislation was ever passed.