As you might expect, their rhetoric is full of misinformation regarding the risks of medical abortions and begging the question of whether a fetus is a person. The pic to the right is the full page ad they took out in newspapers this week.
Parliament debates lifting the Health Minister’s veto power over recommendations from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regarding RU486 this week. There’s more interesting material in todays Sydney Morning Herald, where a politician planning to vote against the bill to lift the veto seems to have no stronger argument than grosssly twisted statistics and one of the purest pieces of sophistry I’ve seen in Australian politics ever: equivocation as to whether an abortion drug can be properly described as “therapeutic”. Seeing as the TGA regulates silicon breast implants, I’m essaying a guess that abortion is at least as therapeutic a procedure as “correcting underdeveloped breasts”.
For those who haven’t been playing along at home: because of a purely political compromise with forced-childbirth advocate Senator Brian Harradine, who held the balance of power in the Senate a few years back, legislation was passed that gave the Health Minister extraordinary veto powers over RU486 instead of leaving approval matters to the TGA, as is the case for all other medical drugs. And this is in a country where abortion is absolutely legal, not resting on a single Supreme Court decision regarding constitutionality like the USA’s Roe v Wade.
The legislation was passed by the government as a prid-quo-pro to persuade Harradine to vote with the Coalition against matters he was personally sympathetic to, such as native title regulations and environmental issues, because Harradine’s religious convictions against abortion were so strong that he was willing to vote against his principles in other areas to get any anti-abortion legislation passed.
I have heard, and believe it, that falling to the temptation offered here by the Coalition was a horrendously difficult decision for Harradine, and that he struggles with whether betraying fully sapient and suffering indigenous peoples for the sake of insensate fetuses was justifiable. He doesn’t seem to struggle with the health and financial problems faced by fully sapient women who simply do not want to be pregnant, however.
At least Harradine owns his statements advocating forced childbirth for women who don’t want to be pregnant. In the States, forced childbirth advocates proudly stand forth and tell us they are honoured to be doing what they see as God’s work. But Australians Against RU486 don’t even have the guts to stand up and tell us who they are.