Just when you thought Opposition Leader Tony Abbott might have pulled his dessicated head in on the topic of abortion in Australia, up pops DLP Senator John Madigan to take over the megaphone.
Madigan declares himself to be “unashamedly pro-life.” Guess what, so am I except when I’m unashamedly pro euthanasia, but that’s another story. Personally, I’m not acquainted with anyone who is avowedly anti life, probably because they’d have to take their own if they were to stand by their principles.
Harradine, as readers of this blog will remember, employed as his ethics advisor anti-abortion campaigner, all-round morals defender & “don’t call me a Baptist or I’ll sue you” celebrity Melinda Tankard Reist, during the period when he managed to deny women at home and abroad access to reproductive information, and the drug RU486. You can refresh your memory if you’d like to at my post, “Who would Jesus Sue?”
There is a possibility that after the next election Madigan may find himself in a situation similar to that enjoyed by Harradine – holding the balance of power in the Senate. It was this privilege that allowed the former Senator for Tasmania to impose his anti choice vision not only on Australian women, but on women in developing countries as well, in exchange for telephones for Tasmania.
Madigan’s argument, if such offensive twaddle can be dignified with the name, is that Australian women in great numbers are availing ourselves of abortions when we are unhappy with the sex of the foetus we are carrying. It happens overseas, he claims, therefore women in this country must be doing it to such a degree he has to introduce legislation to stop us.
Madigan makes these claims based on no evidence at all, but what the hell, who needs evidence, everybody knows women are lying, scheming, unhinged humans, who will do anything we like to a foetus unless a man stops us. Oh bugger, I didn’t want a boy/girl, we say, and stop off at the abortion clinic on a Friday afternoon before we go to the pub.
What women need is for our politicians to call a halt to this stupidity. I am going to make a generalisation here and say women do not, usually, take abortion lightly. It’s time creepy male politicians stopped acting as if we do. In my life I have met only one woman who regarded abortion as a form of contraception, and I didn’t find her tough radical stance convincing.
Apart from anything else, unless you’re somehow involved with the foetus a woman is carrying, what she decides to do about her pregnancy is nobody’s business but hers. There is something hideously creepy about ageing white men like Abbott, Harradine and Madigan spending so much of their time focussed on what women do with our bodies. The image of them indulging their nasty pre-occupations makes my skin crawl.
The only reason to take notice of Madigan’s “let’s have a Tea Party” anti choice views, is the concern that he might chuck a Harradine. With the anti choice Abbott in the running for PM, and the quaintly named “Pro Life Labor” conclave as well, we might find ourselves yet again fighting for our fundamental reproductive rights.
Gentlemen, there is much for you to occupy yourselves with as you progress through your political lives. Please be assured that women are very capable of making considered decisions about our reproductive health, and that we do know where to go for advice when we need it. Your obsession with our reproductive practices is impertinent, and most unhealthy.
Your obsession also insulting, however, as the man who was kicked by a donkey observed, we will, this once ,overlook the insult, upon considering its source: