So, if you look at my bio it’s maybe not surprising that I am also pro-choice, but it’s not something I’ve really talked about a lot. Aside from my brief flirtation with Catholicism in my mid-late teens, I have always been pro-choice, pretty much of the attitude that I have no right to judge where another person is at in those kinds of situations and the choices they make. Beyond that I never thought about it a lot. I never needed to consider it as an option myself so it wasn’t something I dwelled on.
However, it took nearly 6 years from me to become pregnant and even though I wanted that baby more than anything in the world at the time, pregnancy was horrible. I was sick for almost the entire 9 months, often felt like I was losing my mind and generally felt physically not great. I couldn’t imagine going through that if it wasn’t something I really, really wanted. Nobody should have to, let alone the whole actual *having* a baby thing, which is an even bigger deal, even if you do adopt out the child. So it was when I became a mother that I became much more adamantly and staunchly pro-choice than I had been before.
We hear so much about people trying to take away women’s rights in the US and all the legislation that has constantly been put forward for that purpose, but generally, you don’t hear that kind of thing here so much. I mean, people don’t exactly proudly discuss having had abortions or anything but I had kind of assumed that things in that respect must be okay here. Well just as I have started to think and wonder about that, Leslie Cannold, an ethicist, humanist and author I like to follow on Twitter, has posted a couple of articles that have made me realise that while we certainly have it better than in most of the US, as we do with most health care issues, things here aren’t always so easy. And of course, should Tony Abbott become our next Prime Minister, which is unfortunately looking increasingly likely, women’s rights in this area, as well as many others, are likely to be at risk.
One of the articles, from the Sydney Morning Herald, talks about how women without the means to pay for their terminations are finding it increasingly difficult. That NSW, the most populous state in the country, is the only state that lacks a government-funded information and referral service. That there just aren’t enough low cost services to meet the demand, yet the cost of unwanted children is so very much higher.
This rather comprehensive post explains just why Tony Abbott is the worst thing that could probably happen for reproductive rights in this country. And I know that a lot of Australians like to talk disparagingly of the religious right in the US, but when we barely have access to RU486, aka mifepristone thanks to parliamentary deals involving the sale of our national telecommunications carrier, are things really any better down under?
And if you are under any illusions that Tony Abbott is compassionate or intelligent enough to run the country, check out Leslie’s #tonytweets hashtag on twitter. The way he says things that most people, even if they think them know better than to say them out loud, is rather reminiscent of a certain George W in my opinion. Oh dear