Tags: mad keen

Against abortion? Don't have one

The bill to legalise abortion has been introduced into the Victorian parliament. You’ll remember that that’s the one with the options A, B and C.

The Bill allows unrestricted abortions in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, but termination would have to be approved by two doctors after 24 weeks.

That looks to me like the draft bill has gone with option B – Choice for women up to 24 weeks but with legal constraints imposed after that. Option C would have left the choice completely in the hands of the pregnant woman. Therefore, this bill, if it becomes law, won’t stop forced-birthers hounding and harassing women who need an abortion after 24 weeks – and their doctors.

This, of course, is because of the persistent idea that women are all mad keen to get very late term abortions just for the hell of it— an idea which I find very stupid, but it seems to persist along with the myth that the ALP (State and Federal) still has any tenuous connection with progressive thought. Fortunately, while forced-birthers like to create the impression that the typical abortion is late-term, these are relatively rare and may be even more rare if women aren’t delayed by the fear of illegality and delays from mandatory “pregnancy counselling”. That would benefit the majority of women who don’t even come within cooee of 24 weeks. But will the bill even go through as it is?

The coverage in the local paper today consisted of a human interest story about Greens MP Colleen Hartland, who I know and like, and a short drive-by interview with Labor MP Christine Campbell. Here’s what Campbell has to say:

WOMEN who are considering an abortion need more information and better decision-making counselling, Labor MP Christine Campbell has warned.
With legislation to decriminalise abortion expected to be introduced into State Parliament today, Ms Campbell said: “My big concern is that everyone’s so hell bent on decriminalising abortion, we might forget to put in place the support and care systems that women and couples need.”
Ms Campbell, who is expected to vote against decriminalisation, said she is leading a “Living Labor” group to push for amendments to protect women, whatever the result of the vote.

Maybe there were space constraints – heaven knows there was TEH SPORT taking first priority – but this leaves a few pertinent facts out, mainly that Christine Campbell is specifically anti-choice, and that in this country “women who are considering an abortion need more information and better decision-making counselling” is code for “women need to be badgered out of having an abortion and should definitely not be referred for same.”

Exhibit A: the former Federal government’s “pregnancy counselling” centres, run by religious anti-choice groups, which were the subject of a GetUp campaign, Stop Deceiving Women, because they concealed the true nature of their operations and advertised as if they were a neutral service. When Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja introduced the Pregnancy Counselling (Truth in Advertising) Bill in 2007 to counter this practice, Federal Labor refused to support it.

The bottom line is that social conservative Labor says that you can’t be trusted with your own body. I say that I don’t trust them with my reproductive rights.

21 Feb 2005, Comments (0)

The anti-cowgirl

Author: Helen

Like some guy in lederhosen on an alp, sending a blast out on his alphorn, I’m posting an email from the Victorian National Parks association. (I’m getting a theme going here. Alps… Cows…)

My little boy has been mad keen on drawing cows recently. I love them. They are very sweet cows.


They also come in purple.


I have nothing against cows, personally.

Here’s the email text:


The Victorian Government will make a decision VERY SOON on the
future of private cattle grazing in Victoria’s Alpine National Park.

This ridiculously outdated farming practice threatens the survival of
many native plants and animals, spreads weeds, and damages
ancient peat beds and other wetlands of the High Country.

PLEASE write a letter to your local paper, or ring talkback radio,
and let them know FROM THE HEART that you want Victoria’s
Alpine National Park to be given the chance, at last,
to recover from cattle grazing.

Contact information for many newspapers can be found below.
And you can find plenty of information about the damage caused by
cattle grazing in the alps at www.cowpaddock.com

The Age
c/o Letters Editor
250 Spencer St. Melb. 3000
Email: letters@theage.com.au
Fax: 9601 2414

Herald Sun
C/o Letters Editor
PO Box 14631 Melb. 8001
Email: hsletters@heraldsun.com.au
Fax: 9292 2944

I only copied two of the newspaper references – there’s a shitload of ’em.

If you’re not familiar with the why of it, look here or here. A few graziers are trying to claim that their lifestyle (including the right to graze cattle in the alps) is Heritage and should be Heritage protected. What bollocks. For one thing, their grazing fees are ridiculously cheap, and WE are picking up the tab for trying to repair the damage as well as the opportunity cost of the peppercorn grazing fees. This rort is used by corporate-style farmers as much as the little battler type. Also, what is it about the High Country culture that’s beloved in song, story and tourism? The horses, and the horsemanship, of course. No-one could give a stuff about the bloody cows. It’s all very well for the bushies to be lovable and colourful and Heritage-y and ride their horses down the main street in Drizabones etc etc, but if they drove the herds of cows there, I think the public reaction might be a bit different. (Pamplona, anyone?!)

AND it affects waterways and water quality. Something much more urgent today than in Banjo Paterson’s time. It’s really a no brainer, unless you profit from it of course.

…Why do those cows have no udders? Well of course. They’re boy cows! Duh. Silly me.

(Update, 23/2: See Fafblog‘s picture of the week.) Tell me that’s a coincidence.