Updates on Qld abortion law debate

There have been a few developments since I wrote my previous post about the uncertainty surroundnig Queensland’s abortion laws. A ‘technical’ amendment to the law was rushed through State Parliament giving the same protection for surgeons for medical abortions as currently exists for surgical abortions.  Both major parties managed to avoid having the amendment considered a conscience vote, using the rather curious argument that “the amendment did not amount to a change in the state’s abortion laws.” The relevant medical specialists clearly say this is not enough to resolve the uncertainty.  Meanwhile, the Court commital hearing for the Cairns couple charged with abortion offences under the Qld Criminal Code has got underway.

I did an interview with Qld Labor Senator Claire Moore on my regular weekly shift on radio 4ZZZ this week, which included her perspective on the politics of abortion issue.   You can listen to that interview at this page, or you can download the podcast by clicking on this link (mp3 – 3.2 mb)

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176 Comments

  1. Diane O’Day wrote: “this new life is much more than a hapless lump of cells until it gets to breathe air”.

    One ought to go further and say: It is the same entity as the one that will be born unless something goes wrong. That means, for example, that Kevin Rudd came into existence at syngamy. That means, to have killed the zygote/embryo he was in utero would have been to kill Kevin Rudd.

    Why that isn’t morally equivalent to murdering him now I don’t know. You will have to ask the abortion defenders like Naomi or Lorikeet about that. I can’t get a sensible answer out of them — just a plea for one-sided compassion plus:

    (A) total avoidance of the question: if compassion means you can kill humans in utero, why doesn’t it mean you can kill them ex utero?

    OR

    (B) a total denial of the biological fact that the zygote/embryo is alive — as per Naomi Cartledge’s idiotic utterance of Nov 19th, 2009: “This is not death”.

    NOTE: I use the word “syngamy” rather than “conception” because the language-hijacking abortion defenders have redefined the word “conception” to mean implantation — that way if anyone discovers that the so-called “contraceptive” pill is really an abortifacient in the sense that it causes a already formed embryo to be expelled from the uterus (by thinning the lining of the uterus so a fertilised egg has difficulty implanting), they can reply: “No, it’s not abortifacient — because pregnancy doesn’t start until implantation, and we define abortion as the termination of pregnancy”. Such word games are the abortion brigade’s stock-in-trade.

  2. Diane O’Day:

    I agree with you that we live in an increasingly mad world, which seems to get madder by the day.

    Yes, it’s sad that we live in a world that worships money and sex, and people’s rights more than their responsibility.

    It is therefore no surprise that we have 30% of adults on anti-depressants, and problems with children increasing as well.

    In the near future, our society will pay a high price for its stupidity and lack of personal and financial discipline.

    Question: When does the perpetrator become the victim?

    Answer: When there is money in it for a third party.

  3. I think the new lady premier of NSW will try to place greater limitations on abortion.

    If she is true to her word on this and other social policies, I could come to like her quite a bit. Only time will tell though.

    Maybe Tony Abbott thinks like I do. He might want abortion legalised only in very limited circumstances.

    Someone sent me a survey a few weeks ago, asking me to put Liberals in order of preference for party leader.

    Here’s what I put:

    Abbott
    Bishop
    Hockey – failed
    Turnbull – sacked
    Costello – gone

    Perhaps others thought the same, since that’s what we now have.

  4. Abbot’s answer to a rather broad question ought to have been : “Legal in what circumstances?” I gather that the Catholic Church (which is where he would be guided from in this, I’m guessing) says that abortion is permitted in a very small set of circumstances. The whole problem with this is that most people, apart from Kevin Nacht, (and where he gets his philosophy I don’t know, but I suspect there is a crucifix in there somewhere) say that in some circumstances abortion ought to be permitted … the question ought to be about those circumstances.

    The question also needs to be followed up with a question about the various tactics needed to avoid the issue arising in the first place. Abortion numbers can be reduced markedly by accurate and humane counselling about sexual health, including contraception and empowering of young women – one strategy is support for young women to relinquish unwanted babies to properly sourced adoptive homes and we would do well to consider cutting out Costello’s wicked baby bonus, which does seem to have led to an increase in babies wose home lives are destructive to their optimum development – a direct cost on the rest of us.

    Condemning anyone at all who seeks an abortion as a murderer helps nobody unless the whole set of surrounding circumstances are looked at, and lessons drawn for public policy.

  5. Would TOGRET also agree with this statement: “Condemning anyone who seeks to force himself sexually on someone as a rapist helps nobody unless the whole set of surrounding circumstances are looked at, and lessons drawn for public policy.”? Why not?

    PS: As anyone who has read my posts knows, I did not deny that in some circumstances abortion ought to be permitted. See my post of Oct 9th, 2009 for example. I can best explain her misrepresentation of my position as the result of her psychological defence mechanisms. She needs to reject my position. She finds that difficult, so her mind distorts it to make the rejection easier.

  6. Ken:

    I’m glad someone pays attention then.

    Togret:

    I largely agree with you, but for the last 30 years, our legislators/police/courts have turned a blind eye to what amounts to open slather on abortion.

    Law enforcement in this country needs to be upgraded and upheld at every level. That should make a nice start on the improvement of society and its beliefs and values.

  7. Ganging up on Togret again, are we?
    You lot know FULL well where Togret is coming from.
    You would earn a lot more respect, some of you, if you answered Togret’s points on their terms, without constantly calling her a murderer and such like, for demonstrating her concerns for traumatised rape victims and others actually ( rather than merely potentially ) living.

  8. Re: PAUL WALTER of De 8th, 2009

    (1) The zygote/embryo/foetus is actually living. If it weren’t, the woman would have nothing to worry would she? The zygote would never grow..

    (2) To characterise my posts as name-calling is as desperate and dishonest as the earlier accusation levelled against me of being cold and unemotional.

    (3) Concern for one party (the woman) in a zero-sum game (abortion) is despicable without concern for the other party (the human being in utero). Lorikeet’s compassion for women sounds saintly until you contrast it with her indifference to those the women kill.

    (4) Lorikeet invented a special rule that goes like this: For all X, “Condemning X helps nobody unless the whole set of surrounding circumstances are looked at, and lessons drawn for public policy.”. But then she only lets you put abortion-seekers in place of X. Stated in its full generality the rule is obviously laughable. She should not be allowed to disguise that fact by only stating an emotionally appealing application of it.

  9. Kevin Nacht:

    I would find what you’ve said about me rather insulting, if you weren’t some kind of mind-controlled zombie without a heart.

    To state that I am indifferent to aborted babies is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

    If all politicians were like you and couldn’t think interactively at all, the country would be in an even worse mess.

    If you became Prime Minister, the country would probably be renamed “Nachtia”, and we would feel as if we were being governed by a Creature of the Night.

  10. Lorikeet, come Xmass we would all probably have to sit around singing “Silent Nacht”, in honour of “beloved leader”.
    Like yourself, most of us on the other side of the debate recognise that the termination of a pregnancy is a second best solution.
    As a bloke, would not like to be in the position that some couples and particularly pregnant girls and women, find themselves in real life, where situations occur for which the text books seem to have no answer.
    Yet you tend to echo the worst of KN in your own comment;
    “Law enforcement… needs to be upgraded and upheld at every level”. Isn’t the Laura Norder approach just going to drive people and events back underground to the era of knitting needles and blood poisoning; of guilt, fear and ignorance?

  11. Nacht – you are attributing to Lorikeet my words. How she feels about it I don’t know, but in the interest of truth I thought I’d put the record straight.

    In point of fact, yes, I do agree that, e.g. the circumstances that lead someone to become a rapist need to be looked at as well as condeming the criminal act itself. As with any other crime .. in other words, to recognise that human behaviour is sometimes composed of a series of compromises and accommodations between two or more not-good choices, for all of which there are consequences.

    Sadly, in the real world, people often don’t have the luxury of a clinical choice between pure good and pure evil, which seems to be your view. I wonder where you think compassion comes into it, if at all.

  12. Paul Walter:

    I think the current abortion laws have a consideration for special circumstances, such as a grossly deformed foetus. I didn’t think that needed upgrading, but enforcement of abortion not being available “on demand” does.

    As for the knitting needles, I am currently using mine to make jumpers for homeless men. Blood poisoning? I nearly died from that when I was 17 years old.

    Please do not lump me in with KN for expecting the general public to uphold a good set of values.

    Togret:

    Kevin Nacht doesn’t have any compassion, except if the woman and baby are both going to die as a result of the pregnancy, and even then he is in no particular rush to save the mother.

  13. Paul Walter asked: “Isn’t the Laura Norder approach just going to drive people and events back underground to the era of knitting needles and blood poisoning; of guilt, fear and ignorance?”

    Reply: No, it will also save the lives of human beings in utero. Duh!.

    You people argue in such a one-sided way. What about the guilt and fear suffered by men who “have to” kill their nagging wives in secret? Of of rapists who can’t just grab any woman on the street and rape her then and there, but have to do it “underground”? Of shoplifters who can’t openly take whatever they want from a shop without paying for it? Of bullies who can’t just bash anyone they feel like without fearing retribution? OOh! All that guilt and fear. How dreadful! What heartless monster could want that!

    You people are just ludicrous.

    TOGRET asked: “I wonder where you think compassion comes into it, if at all?”

    Reply: It comes in everywhere but must be applied fairly, i.e. all have an equal right to it. Why do you think it should only be applied to the mother? Why no compassion for the human being in utero?

  14. Lorikeet wrote: “To state that I am indifferent to aborted babies is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

    Reply: Well, you think there should be no legal penalty for women who abort babies that result from rape. If you cared as much about the babies as the women, you couldn’t possibly hold that position. The gap between your concern for the women and your concern for those babies is what I referred to as your indifference. It may not be an absolute indifference (ie. you may internally wish they weren’t going to be killed), but relatively speaking it is indifference. And for all the good it does those babies, you may as well not give a damn about them.

  15. My finely tuned sensibilities detect the the faint possibility that this comment thread has pretty covered all the ground it’s going to – in fact it probably did that about 100 comments ago. So, just in case anyone think there’s something to say they haven’t already said, I thought I’d mention that I’ll close comments in a couple of days.

  16. IMHO Andrew you are right. People are circling their own campfires and seem unable to entice others to change camps.Maybe we need to agree to disagree.

  17. Andrew Bartlett
    My finely tuned sensibilities detect the the faint possibility that this comment thread has pretty covered all the ground it’s going to – in fact it probably did that about 100 comments ago. So, just in case anyone think there’s something to say they haven’t already said, I thought I’d mention that I’ll close comments in a couple of days.

    Thanks once again Andrew for having the guts to tackle this very tough issue. This issue continues to divide the community and more needs to be spoken out about it.
    The Victorian legislation was horrific, and removed the right of a doctor to consciously object or refuse to take a life or refer to someone who will.
    With re-education courses being pushed onto doctors and the threat of loseing their jobs, this is something we all should be aware of in Australia.

    Lets just hope we have learnt our lesson and the future governments in Victoria attempt to clear up this inhumane legislation.

    What next forced euthanasia ?

    Tony

  18. Just as my last word on the subject, it is worth having a look at this 5 years old article in the Medical Journal of Australia that lays out the case for uniformity in each jurisdiction, and points out that in some states the law rests on an 1861 law from England, one that no longer applies in the UK. Whether opponents like it or not, it seems that the majority of the electorate favour allowing some abortions … we need to have a clear debate on exactly what is entailed and on what bases the decision should be made. The worst part of it is the anxiety caused by uncertainty about what the law actually says .. vague law is no law at all. Not sure I’ll live to see change, not with those two sanctimonious clowns on either side of the benches in Canberra.

  19. Togret:

    I think it’s time abortion was not subject to Blind Eye Legislation. That would make a nice start.

    Tony:

    All of the parties which support Middle Class Welfare, but are also opposed to Euthanasia, need to come to an awareness that the more money that goes to the well-heeled, the less money there is available for pensions.

  20. I understand that Andrew feels the conversation has run its race, but Togret’s Medical Jounal of Australia link actually adds something new in this, for me, at any rate.
    I refer to an argument developed through the article that relates to reasons for late trimester abortion that some may have otherwise overlooked; specifically the necessity of carrying pregnancy into a late stage for reasons that may involved a health issue with a woman, or more likely, for confirmation of suspected profound damage to a foetus.
    Apart from that, the descriptions of clumsily worded various state laws make for depressing reading; no wonder women feel baffled incontemplation of thelaw, when working out what to do next if confronted by unexpected and often complicated situations.

  21. Togret:

    I read your link. I don’t think doctors should have aborted a foetus because of dwarfism.

    In my teenage years, I worked with a dwarf in his 20s. He was a lovely person and all of the other workers accepted him well. He went down to the pub with others at lunchtime.

    Yes, he had short arms and legs, but they gave him a special stool to stand on so he could do the photocopying, and made other adaptations where needed.

    One day some young guys picked him up and tossed him head first into a large basket. I’m not sure if they should have done that, but he seemed to think it was just as funny as they did.

    It took him longer to walk to the bus stop, and I guess finding a partner would have been more difficult for him than others, but there was really not a lot of difference between him and the rest of us.

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