Abortion reform finally reaches Vic Parliament

ABC News reports:

The Victorian Government has introduced a Bill to State Parliament to decriminalise abortion.

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.

Currently, abortions are illegal unless a woman can show she is at risk of harm by continuing with a pregnancy.

Essentially, this is Option B from the Victorian Law Reform Commission report on the decriminalization of abortion. Most pro-choice advocates were advocating for Option C, which would have removed abortion from the scope of the criminal law entirely.

One thing that’s not absolutely clear to me at this point is whether there is any change from the current situation for pregnancies over 24 weeks. This Age article seems to indicate that after 24 weeks, the standard of the Menhennitt ruling would be enshrined in law.

While I would personally have preferred option C, the proposed legislation -assuming that the rules for late-term abortions do essentially codify Menhennitt – seems like a definite improvement over the status quo.

Of course, given this is a conscience vote, there is the opportunity to lobby your local MP.


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69 responses to “Abortion reform finally reaches Vic Parliament”

  1. GW

    Don’t know a whole lot about the personalities in the parliament down there, but might they have gone with the option they knew or hoped they could get through? ie if there was a fair chance option C would fail then there wouldnt be much point proceeding with it.

  2. Duncan

    Without getting into all the ethics regarding abortion. 24 Weeks seems to be a good place to stop them, as about 75% of all babies born at 25 weeks survive.

  3. Robert Merkel

    Duncan: you’re taking an ethical position.

    In any case, the law won’t make abortions after 24 weeks illegal. It formalizes what already applies in practice under case law.

  4. Spiros

    The vote will be close, particularly in the upper house, but it should just scrape through.

  5. sandstone

    The folk in Victoria take their time to think things through but always come up with the goods on balance for all in Oz, … go John.

  6. Adrien

    Surprising the argument we had to have has not yet been mentioned. Is abortion after 24 weeks right?
    .
    Actually I’m not really surprised.

  7. Zoe

    Adrien,

    This is not the first time the question has been considered at this blog. If you want any contribution you have to make to be taken seriously, it would be wise (not to mention polite) to read the earlier posts at LP before you share your views further.

    Ta!

  8. joe2

    “The vote will be close, particularly in the upper house, but it should just scrape through.”

    A little less on the “scrape” would have been preferable, Spiros.

  9. Adrien

    Thanks you Zoe for that most courteous of snide putdowns.
    .
    I have never read any of LP’s previous posts on the subject. I wasn’t aware that one was required to familiarize one’s self with the Canon before posting a comment. A link to a previous post would’ve been appreciated. I can use the search engine just fine. Thanks much.
    .
    As to my views. They have actually not been expressed. I have not much considered this aspect of abortion debate. My political view on the matter is that a woman’s body is her own and she may do as she will with it including deciding whether or no to continue a pregnancy.

  10. Zoe

    As to my views. They have actually not been expressed.

    So now that you have shared them, perhaps you have something to say OT?

  11. Adrien

    I’m actually interested in the views of others who’ve considered the matter thoughtfully Zoe. My position is doctrinairre.

  12. Zoe

    Terrific. Personally, I agree with Robert’s conclusion:

    “While I would personally have preferred option C, the proposed legislation -assuming that the rules for late-term abortions do essentially codify Menhennitt – seems like a definite improvement over the status quo.”

    Should you be curious about whether I’ve “considered the matter thoughtfully”, I’ll let you know that in the late 1990s I researched and prepared a report to the Queensland Government on the legal, social, ethical and clinical aspects of termination after twenty weeks of pregnancy. It was an 8 month project, ie not a cobbled together job. I’ve followed the discussion on the issue, in some depth, for at least the last ten years.

  13. Robert Merkel

    Just a reminder to keep it civil, and assume good faith unless demonstrated otherwise.

    Zoe: what did you learn from that project that’s perhaps not widely understood in the public debate?

  14. Zoe

    “What did you learn from that project that’s perhaps not widely understood in the public debate?”

    The period we were examining was after 20 weeks, because that date was relevant to the particular legislation being considered. However abortion after 12 weeks is fairly rare, and abortion in the later stages of pregnancy extremely rare.

  15. Bingo Bango Boingo

    I doubt anyone was curious about your level of consideration on this topic, Zoe, thoughtful or otherwise. Nevertheless, in your wisdom and obvious humility, you’ve shared your opinion of yourself with the LP community. We are now in no doubt whatsoever: we ought all to listen to Zoe. Please, continue.

    BBB

  16. Gigglewick

    I would also have preferred Option C, but agree with GW that it seems it would have been an difficult model to achieve. Having said this, I congratulate the Victorian Government on its commitment to decriminalisation, and hope that this is matched by Parliament’s commitment to the passage of the bill.

    As a woman who grew up in a small rural town, I’d like to add that one of the important (but sometimes missed) elements of decriminalisation is not just legal access, but equity of access.

    Many people assume that because abortion seems to be available, that this should be enough. But rural and regional women have particular difficulty accessing termination services, as service provision is limited in rural and regional areas, and lack of access to more than one GP (in the event that your GP is anti-choice) can make accessing abortion services even more difficult. I’d like to think that we can agree that, if abortion is to be available at all, it should be available in an equitable way.

    I hope that decriminalisation will mean that health services can proceed with confidence to ensure that the option to terminate a pregnancy is not only for those with the good luck to be possessed of the financial means or proximity to pursue this option should they choose it (which, by my reading, is the current state of things).

  17. Chris (a different one)

    Zoe – from your research do you know if say after about 25-30 weeks pregnancy if it is any more dangerous for the mother to deliver a foetus alive early, rather than killing it first before its removed?

  18. Kim

    BBB, Zoe’s been at LP from day one.

    However, I think this isn’t a particularly fruitful line of discussion. But I will say that I think was frustrating her (and she may well correct me) was that:

    (a) It appears necessary whenever any matter about abortion is raised, to re-argue ad infinitum the ethics, regardless of the topic – in this case the limited one of what the Victorian Parliament is considering and what might result from this;

    (b) She was referring to the fact that late term abortions had been endlessly debated here in the past, and the form of Adrien’s question wasn’t expressing any sort of informed opinion.

    That’s what I think anyway.

  19. Helen

    Why does the conversation always default to late term abortion, when as Zoe has pointed out, these are very rare? (and the ones which would be viable outside the uterus would be rarer still – they’re being aborted for a reason, people.)

    Oh, right, because late term abortion is more dramatic.

    Back on topic: I don’t share your optimism so much, Robert, as the bill has yet to actually pass. Christine Campbell was quoted in the AGE today as being Very Very Concerned with all these poor women who must be given Counselling (she is an anti-choicer.) Can you see where this is going?

  20. Idiot/Savant

    So, is the proposed post-24 week standard that an abortion must be “appropriate in all the circumstances”, including “all relevant medical circumstances” and “the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances” looser or tighter than the current “serious danger to… life or her physical or mental health” and “a proportionate response” standard?

    At first glance, it seems looser. But the fact that its new language invites a court challenge and possible reinterpretation.

  21. Chris (a different one)

    Helen – I think the focus is on late term abortion here because of the choice of option B, setting a threshold on 24 weeks. Its implied that there is something significant enough that occurs at this point that removes the right for unrestricted access to abortion. I think 25 weeks is the point at which they start talking about survivability rates outside of the mother, though there is high probability of significant disability.

  22. tigtog

    Bingo Bango Bongo #15

    I doubt anyone was curious about your level of consideration on this topic, Zoe, thoughtful or otherwise. Nevertheless, in your wisdom and obvious humility, you’ve shared your opinion of yourself with the LP community.

    She’d just been asked to share her level of consideration (and actual expertise in examining legislation surrounding abortion) by the author of this post, BBB. This should have been entirely obvious as your comment was submitted half an hour after hers.

    You’ve just displayed your lack of reading comprehension and netiquette to the LP community. I don’t think you’re ahead on points here, mate.

  23. Bingo Bango Boingo

    Err, no tigtog.

    Comment 12 from Zoe: “Should you be curious about whether I’ve “considered the matter thoughtfully”, I’ll let you know that in the late 1990s I researched and prepared a report to the Queensland Government…”

    Comment 13 from Robert, the author of this post: “Zoe: what did you learn from that project that’s perhaps not widely understood in the public debate?”.

    See how Robert’s request comes after Zoe’s little CV review, which was the subject of my comment, and whose language I deliberately reproduced? I can’t blame you, though. I’ve been caught out not reading every comment in turn, and therefore not quite understanding the context for this or that remark. I can see how Zoe’s later comment threw you. I suppose you just have to cop it on the chin and commit to doing better in future. I for one have faith in you.

    Helen, the debate shifts to late-term abortion because this is the only signficant policy battleground now. It’s where the actual controversy is. The fundies, while giving the impression of being part of a broader debate on abortion, are really only going to affect where the line is drawn once abortion has been deemed acceptable in general. Hence options B or C, rather than options yes or no. I’d take it as a fairly positive sign.

    BBB

  24. Kim

    Enough meta, please.

  25. Anna Winter

    It’s where the actual controversy is.

    That, and Gardasil, RU486, more than one abortion, the morning after pill, women donating their eggs…

    The controversy is lady parts and who controls them. The late term bit is just the most easy to make shit up about, because – as Zoe says – they’re so rare.

  26. GW

    Chris, in regards to the survival of preterm infants, i did a bit of searching and in 2002 the American College of O&G said “parents can be counseled that infants delivered before 24 weeks are not likely to survive, and those who do are not likely to survive intact. Disabilities in mental and psychomotor development, neuromotor function, or sensory and communication function are present in approximately one half of survivors.”

    Survival @ 24wks ~ 50%
    Survival @ 25wks ~ 75%

    As for maternal morbidity for abortion vs preterm delivery, in my brief look I couldnt see anything directly comparing the two, but a study in 2002 found medical abortion (ie induction with mifespristone or misoprostol) for second term pregnancies had side effects/complications in 29% of patients, mostly more pain. Surgical abortion (D&E) had side effects in 4%. In any case, mifepristone isnt widely used in Australia.

    Didnt find much info about maternal morbidity after delivery of very premature infants – understandably, most studies focus on survival and the health of the baby. i wouldnt imagine the maternal morbidity would be higher for premature deliveries than for delivery at term – unless theres some underlying disease causing the premature birth.

    Hope that helps!

  27. tigtog

    kim #24

    Enough meta, please.

    Bother. Does this mean I’m constrained from pointing out how proper referencing of the antecedent to which one is responding reduces ambiguity remarkably?

    Anna Winter #25

    The controversy is lady parts and who controls them. The late term bit is just the most easy to make shit up about, because – as Zoe says – they’re so rare.

    Exactly. It’s slippery slope fallacy with a side serve of extreme case scenario all the way down.

  28. Bingo Bango Boingo

    Kim, you can’t leave tigtog hanging like that! I do agree tigtog. From now on when I snark, I’ll snark with precision.

    Cheers
    BBB

  29. tigtog

    Chris #21,

    setting a threshold on 24 weeks. Its[sic] implied that there is something significant enough that occurs at this point that removes the right for unrestricted access to abortion.

    I did a post a few years ago on the crucial foetal developmental milestone (other than birth survival rates) which underpins the 24 week limit, Chris.

    Fetal Brain Development: Myths and Disinformation

    Neurological development and what that implies for the notion of personhood is the fundamental here.

    Personally, I’m not at all convinced that the putative personhood of a foetus should over-ride the undeniable personhood of its mother, but the neurology shows that there are insufficient cortical connections in the brain for there to be an actual person existing before 24 weeks foetal gestation in any case.

  30. Kim

    Don’t mind me if youse do want to keep meta-ing! Just a personal preference… :)

  31. Pavlov's Cat

    Don’t mind me if youse do want to keep meta-ing!

    Excellent, because I’d like to meta just a bit more and I promise to keep it short*. As I read the exchange, Zoe’s comment at #7 was an exasperated response (I may be projecting here) to Adrien’s provocative comment at #6, which I read as a general if not a direct insult to the LP community and I assumed that was why Zoe pointed out that the LP community has, in fact, exhaustively discussed the ethics of abortion before, which Adrien was implying it hadn’t (“Actually I’m not really surprised”). Zoe’s statement of her cred on this subject at #12 was a direct response to Adrien’s comment at #11.

    /meta

    *ish

  32. Kim

    Ok, so since we are meta-ing!

    Zoe is cred. :)

  33. Pavlov's Cat

    Heh.

    Why are we still up?

  34. Kim

    I’m watching science fiction chicks kick ass on dvd. With laptop on lap!

  35. Kim
  36. Kim

    Plus I unwisely drank some coffee at 7pm ish.

  37. Paul Norton

    The aforementioned anti-choice Labor MP Christine Campbell (nee Hardy) was a very prominent National Civic Council activist and Vietnam War supporter at La Trobe University in the early 1970s, as was her brother Anthony in the late 1970s. It would appear that she has remained true to her totalitarian ultramontane convictions.

  38. Spiros

    As discussed here,

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/04/30/whom-exactly-is-joe-de-bruyn-representing/

    Christine Campbell is by, of and for the SDA.

    The very best part of this reform, much much better than its substantive provisions, is the defeat, indeed humiliation, that it brings to the clerical wing of the ALP.

    Suck on that bloodied fetus, Joe de Bruyn.

  39. Chris (a different one)

    GW@26 – thanks. I asked because I’m wondering why another option wasn’t considered that women have the right to have the foetus removed at any time, but after X weeks it is delivered alive rather than killed first.
    There are obvious issues around increased rates of disability and cost, but would seem to be a better compromise of rights if you assume that at some point in the pregnancy the foetus begins to have some rights.

  40. David

    What’s Christine Campbell doing in the Labor Party then, Paul? Wouldn’t she be more comfortable in the DLP, or Family Fist, or the NSW Liberal Party?

  41. Paul Norton

    The question, Chris, remains whether that option is one which should be prescribed by the criminal law, as distinct from ensuring the necessary support is in place to make it a viable option for a woman in extreme circumstances to choose (and very late-term terminations are invariably a result of extreme circumstances).

  42. Andos

    As I understand the proposed effect of the bill:

    With regards to equitable access (Gigglewick @ 16): The bill requires any Doctor who has a ‘concientious objection’ to abortion to refer any woman seeking an abortion to another Doctor who doesn’t have an objection. It actually prohibits them sending a woman to a psychologist or counsellor instead of another Doctor. I think this is a very valuable clause, and I hope that it does result in equitable access for rural and poor women.

    (Clause 8 of the bill)

    Link to the bill: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/3F1389267C60C2F4CA2574AA00087950/$FILE/561293bi1.pdf

    Link to the explanatory memorandum: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/3F1389267C60C2F4CA2574AA00087950/$FILE/561293exi1.pdf

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see what form the bill takes in the end.

    Disappointing not to get option C, but this does seem like a victory for women to be given back (some) control of their own bodies (to a degree).

  43. Paul Norton

    David, in the early 1980s the NCC’s support base in four unions, including the SDA and the then Federated Clerks Union, was readmitted to the Victorian branch of the ALP amidst much controversy. The NCC were cleaned up in the Clerks Union by Lindsay Tanner, but no such transformation has occurred in the Shoppies who have since been a mainstay of the hard right in the Victorian ALP.

    In NSW the 1955 Split was largely avoided and the Groupers largely stayed within the ALP (think Johnno Johnson).

  44. tigtog

    Andos #42

    Disappointing not to get option C, but this does seem like a victory for women to be given back (some) control of their own bodies (to a degree).

    It’s definitely better than some of the alternatives.

  45. Liam

    That’s right, Paul. The other important attribute of the NSW ALP in the fifties was that its Left/Steering Committee was never quite so militantly Protestant as in Victoria. There’s also thanks due to Joe Cahill, Labor Catholic and secularist.
    As to defeats for the SDA, look no further than the recent conscience vote in the NSW Parliament over stem cells.

  46. Andos

    PS: Those links don’t seem to work.

    I guess you’ll have to go via http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/
    Click on “Parliamentary Documents”, then “Bills”, and “Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008″

  47. Paul Norton

    One of the ironies of the Groupers’ role in the Victorian ALP occurred in the early 1990s during the preselection for the Federal seat of Jagajaga. The contest was between Jenny Macklin from the Left and Phillip Bain from the Right, and Jenny won with the support of the Groupers. The fact that Jenny was and is a feminist whose views on gender issues are anathema to the Groupers, and that on virtually all other contemporary policy issues Phil’s positions were less distant from the Groupers than were Jenny’s, counted for less than the fact that in his younger days Phil had been a member of the Communist Party of Australia. Talk about the dogma of Original Sin!

    I should add that Phil is an old friend of mine – which is doubtless another count against him from the Groupers’ point of view.

  48. Spiros

    “in the early 1990s”

    ‘Twas the mid 90s. Macklin entered parliament after the 1996 election.

    Interesting to see that senior minister Theo Theophanous opposes the reforms. He is now on the Right of course, though not (I think) the SDA sub-faction, but spent most of his career on the Left. And it’s unlikely he’s a Catholic, unless a convert.

  49. Helen

    Paul, that certainly is funny!

  50. derrida derider

    “Why does the conversation always default to late term abortion … Oh, right, because late term abortion is more dramatic.” – Helen

    Yes there is that, but there’s another reason late term abortions get more focus. I think it’s thornier ethical issues, not just aesthetic reactions.

    If you hold that it is sentience which makes us human and that we should try hard to avoid killing humans then we have to decide in what circumstances “sentience” begins. Given the uncertainties some would argue the rules should be conservative. But absent this possible sentience then the woman’s right to control her own body trumps other objections.

    Note, though, this is quite different from the idea that it is having a “soul” that makes us human and that this mystical ghost in the machine is created when a haploid cell becomes diploid. That view makes all abortions problematic, whereas the sentience view only makes some late term ones so.

  51. Paul Norton

    dd’s last par reminds me of an edition of “Point of View” by B. A. Santamaria around Christmas 1978 which noted that we were approaching the anniversary of the day on which God became manifest in human flesh. The following week’s edition included a correction from Bob to the effect that, of course, God did not become manifest in human flesh on the first Christmas Day, but approximately nine months earlier when He was immaculately conceived.

  52. Spiros

    “approximately nine months earlier when He was immaculately conceived”

    Do virgins have to bake the God-bun in the oven for nine months before it’s properly cooked, like normal women do?

    There is, surely, no greater question at the intersection of theology and obstetrics.

  53. Helen

    *Headdesk*

    As if I was totally unaware of the fact that 24 weeks+ is more controversial, DD. What I am saying is, those who oppose abortion constantly frame it in terms of late term abortion, when in fact it is a relatively rare case and the vast majority of women have them in the first trimester. The legislation on the table, if it’s allowed to go through without watering-down with clauses requiring lengthy or multiple “counselling” sessions, will reduce second trimester abortions due to them not being unnecessarily delayed.

    As BBB points out, it could be that they think they’ve lost the war around abortion per se so they’re focusing on the later terms, however, I constantly see “abortion” conflated with “late term abortion” all over the press so I’m worried that the social conservatives in the Vic parliament will hedge the legislation about with obfuscatory and delaying requirements for “counselling” (in some cases with a religious “pregnancy counselling” organisation that’s not revealiing itself as such.)

  54. Liam

    Paul and DD, if you take the common vulgar-Catholic argument about hormonal contraception being equivalent to abortion, intention and planning on the part of the parents would have to form part of the question of when the soul begins to exist. Why rule out the Pill if the mere manifestation in human flesh of a baby was the beginning-point of the individual?
    Isiah 7:14 clearly indicates long-term family planning on God’s part.

  55. Pavlov's Cat

    … if you take the common vulgar-Catholic argument about hormonal contraception being equivalent to abortion, intention and planning on the part of the parents would have to form part of the question of when the soul begins to exist.

    Liam, that is scary, now that you mention it, and its implications are worse. A popular saying among my parents’ generation was ‘That happened before you were even a twinkle in your father’s eye.’ So, does life begin before or after the twinkle?

    And what about my mother’s eye, huh? Huh?

    *Huffs*

  56. Pollytickedoff

    “what about my mother’s eye, huh? Huh?”

    She’s not supposed to have a twinkle. Women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex that’s why many anti-abortionist think it should be banned, as punishment for those harlots who do enjoy it.

    And girls, if you really want to be sure you DON’T enjoy your procreating – lie back and think of Costello.

  57. Spiros

    Do sperm have a soul? Is that soul programmed, as it were, to seek a reproductive end?

    Which reminds me of a (very old) joke.

    http://carolynesphotos.spaces.live.com/

    Once upon a time in a place where little sperms grow, there was a super jock sperm who spent all his time working out. He did things like lifting weights and running, his most important duty. All the other sperm were very curious about his pastimes.

    “Why do you keep working out all the time,” they asked.

    “Well,” he said, “Of all us sperms, only one of us is going to make it to the egg. And that is going to be me.” Well, the other sperms just floated around waiting for the day to cum (Pardon the expression). And it did, and they were off! All those sperms racing along and far out in front of them was the super jock sperm, racing so fast and so hard (HaHa) that they couldn’t see him any more, but they still kept cumming.

    Alas, then, away in the distance, they heard a loud piercing scream. They still kept cumming though.

    And then very shortly the super sperm appeared, screaming with all his might, “Go back, Go Back! IT’S A BLOW JOB!”

  58. tigtog

    The following week’s edition included a correction from Bob to the effect that, of course, God did not become manifest in human flesh on the first Christmas Day, but approximately nine months earlier when He was immaculately conceived.

    Tch. Bob didn’t even get his theology right. Pius IX pronounced that Mary was immaculately conceivedconception was immaculate, not through any aspect of the progenitive behaviour of her parents, but as an act of divine grace to remove the stain of original sin from her soul (thus making her a fit vessel to carry God made manifest in human flesh within her womb). God made manifest in human flesh didn’t need to be immaculately conceived, as He was already free from original sin.

    Catholic Encyclopaedia: Immaculate Conception.

  59. joe2

    PC at 55.
    Now I am confused. My sister always used the term “twinkle” for a wee.
    Watersports?

  60. Chris (a different one)

    Paul @ 41 – thats a good question. Regardless of whether its legislated in criminal law or not you do need appropriate support and counselling services.

    I think when it comes to rights, especially the balancing of rights of between two entities (for want of a better word) then it does need to be legislated. At the very least if you are going to start recognising a foetus as having some rights at a particular stage of development before birth then they need to have an independent advocate.

  61. Bingo Bango Boingo

    “As BBB points out, it could be that they think they’ve lost the war around abortion per se so they’re focusing on the later terms…”

    I should add, Helen, that you are absolutely right that the pro-lifers use late-term abortions as a emotional button to press whenever the issue of abortion arises.

    The focus on late-term abortions is therefore a result of a few factors: (1) genuine ethical issues about which abortions are morally justifiable within a framework that generally accepts a woman’s right to choose (ie. the legitimate end of the debate), (2) pro-lifer attempts to draw the line as close to conception as possible, on preventative grounds (which attempts are also partly driven by the realists who, as you say, know they’ve lost the war and who therefore choose to participate in narrower terms), and (3) the socio-politcal strategy of pro-lifers which, owing to the understandable hesitance on the part of many to allow the killing of relatively more fully formed humans, zeroes in on the few edge cases which are, to put it blunty, ickier (note this is merely a normative statement).

    BBB

  62. Dostoyevsky's The Grand Inquisitor

    Late term, shmate term. What this debate is really about is whether people should be allowed to sin without our permission and supervision, rather than sticking with our humane and historically proven policy of regulated and supervised sinning followed by confession and absolution.

    Also, tickets are now on sale for the auto-da-fe carnival this Sunday. Admission price gets you an illustrated colour program printed in Latin with free online translation facilities, covered seating with CCTV of the incinerations, full tote and bookie facilities for taking bets on the ducking pond, free soft drinks and sandwiches for all patrons, a corporate marquee for all donations of $100 or greater to Opus Dei, and drinks with the Pope at the social club after we burn the last witch.

  63. derrida derider

    No, Helen, you argued that the focus on late term abortions was due just to it being “more dramatic”. That’s what I was disagreeing with, so please refrain from damaging the desk with your head.
    .
    OK, maybe I didn’t need to explain the issue but I thought avoiding ambiguity important given the potential for misreading always present in discussion of emotive issues.

  64. Adrien

    Kim, Zoe and PC -
    .
    Indeed Kim my question wasn’t expressing an opinion. And I did not intend to express an opinion. I was curious as to what would be said about the issue and I in no way ever implied that LP had not discussed this or that no-one knew what they were talking about.
    .
    Zoe’s commentary had a tinge of hostility in it. She made an assumption about my views. As this is a heated part of political discourse. And especially considering some of the downright macarbre exponents of ‘Pro Life’ polemics I think she can be forgiven for being hostile. However when I clarified them she remained snide.
    .
    PC described my comment as a ‘provocative’ ‘general insult’ to the ‘LP community’ whatever that constitutes. When I say “Actually I’m not surprised” what I meant was that as this topic is somewhat emotive perhaps people were avoiding what could manifest as something truly ugly.
    .
    This is not insulting and nor is it meant to be. I have never supported any anti-abortion tenets. I believe that a woman has a right to terminate a preganancy pretty much right up to the point she gives birth.
    .
    But of course some of us own these issues do we not and those of us who may wish to voice an opinion at odds with this monopoly are to revealed to be what we are.
    .
    Even if we’re not that at all.

  65. Helen

    My headdesk was not directed at you, DD, so much as at those people in general who want to turn this into an interminable discussion on late term abortion. At the risk of feeding it, we DON’T have a problem of rampant late-term abortion for trivial reasons (oh, I just changed my mind / wanted to fit into my Melbourne Cup frock / decided to buy a SUV instead). But the media and many commenters are framing it all around 24 weeks plus and a nebulous suggestion of the rampant abortion parties which will surely ensue if we left it up to the evil wimminz. e.g.: My post on the subject. First. bloody. comment.

    OK now I intend to ignore any further comments on the late term red herring (let’s see how far I get with that good intention! ;-) )

  66. Zoe

    I find myself accused of snideness and hostility. All I have to offer is a mea culpa, and a hug.

    Come and have a cuddle, Adrien.

  67. the amazing kim

    …an act of divine grace to remove the stain of original sin from her soul (thus making her a fit vessel to carry God made manifest in human flesh within her womb)…

    And so without the original sin clogging up the phonelines, did Mary have a painless childbirth, sexual desire, and was she equal to men? (Remembering punishments from the top of my head)

  68. nabakov

    “Come and have a cuddle, Adrien.”

    While Zoe does smell and feel lovely, I’d be very careful here Adrien. Remember the Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, Mongols, Moghuls and Brits. They all ended up becoming the culture they initially fought against.

  69. Adrien

    …an act of divine grace to remove the stain of original sin from her soul (thus making her a fit vessel to carry God made manifest in human flesh within her womb)…

    Or maybe it’s because we’re slowly evolving from climbing animals to standing animals and also we’re big brained animals so a woman’s pelvis is too small and a baby’s head is too big.
    .
    But naturally there’s absolutely no evidence for evolution. Just read Ann Coulter. She knows man. She knows how to make money being an arsehole.