Shorter Senator Guy Barnett:

You’ll have that baby and like it, missy.

Senator Guy Barnett
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ABC Online quotes him as saying the following yesterday:

* that he moved the motion (to cut Medicare funding for abortions past 21 weeks gestation) as a matter of conscience because he could not allow funding of late-term abortions to go unchecked.
* that recent medical advances have made it possible for babies to survive despite being born as early as 21 weeks.
* that it is also possible now to perform foetal surgery on unborn babies as early as 21 weeks
* that many Australians have concerns about public funding of abortions.
* “We are killing an unborn child, that’s what horrifies”
* “We want to have compassion and care for the unborn, we want to show love and concern for them rather than killing them in many cases for psychosocial reasons, which is effectively abortion on request.”

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Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, law & order, medicine, religion

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12 replies

  1. Now I get it, second term abortions, not second abortions although I’m sure he’d be against those too if he thought he could get away with it politically.

  2. And as usual with the anti-choice crowd, the woman involved is not considered relevant at all– from his statements, you’d think that ONLY the embryo/foetus was involved in this. The woman’s involvement is only something that’s implied– she is secondary to the foetus when it should be the other way around.

  3. There’s this huge gap in logic between “some premmies can survive birth at 21 weeks gestation” and “so that means if you’re 21 weeks gone you have to spend the next few months carrying this foetus to term”. Even if you tried to get abortion earlier but couldn’t, or didn’t know you were pregnant before, or are just shit scared of continuing with the pregnancy: doesn’t matter.
    It’s not like it’s that easy to get abortions in Australia after 20 weeks gestation anyway, even for the rather small fraction of women who want one at that stage.

    Senator Barnett said yesterday there was a loophole in the Medicare regulations that allowed late and second trimester abortions to be funded by taxpayers.
    “I cannot continue to support Medicare regulations that allow (this) to continue unchecked,” he said.
    “I am moving this motion as a matter of conscience.”
    The senator said statistics showed that since 1994 Medicare funding had cost $1.7 million for more than 10,000 second trimester and late-term abortions.
    The regulation allows for a Medicare service fee of $267 to be paid for the management of second trimester labour, with or without induction, in three specific cases of intra-uterine fetal death, gross fetal abnormality or life-threatening maternal disease.
    Senator Barnett believes two of the three categories are open to abuse.

    Right, grossly abnormal fetuses should be born at full term to gasp out their short, painful lives (quite possibly only minutes long) when both they and their parents could be spared such misery through terminating the pregnancy. And women don’t die in childbirth anymore, so why should they stop a pregnancy just because she gets sick?
    The concept that women don’t die in childbirth as much anymore *because* dangerous pregnancies can be safely terminated before full term appears to not have crossed his tiny brain.

  4. I thought the Medicare procedure number used to compile statistics on abortion was misleading. Been a while since I looked into it (so may have changed) but I remember it included other gynaecological procedures not related to abortion.
    Shauns last blog post..Jebus built my muxtape

  5. I really dislike the sneaky nature of his attack on abortion rights too. It’s being dressed up as concerns about the public funding of abortion, but really, he’s motivated by standard anti-abortion arguments.
    I wonder if we could all object to government funding of activities we don’t really approve of. I don’t give a damn about sports, so I wonder if I could object to my taxes being used to fund the Australian Institute of Sport (or whatever it is called).
    Deborahs last blog post..More on abortion – the infanticide objection

  6. “some premmies can survive birth at 21 weeks gestation”
    Along with the colossal stupid, misogyny, and yawning compassion-void, this part is just a bald-faced lie. Maybe it will happen one day, but it hasn’t happened yet.
    I believe a fetus is said to have survived recently after being born at 23 weeks (since first day of LMP), and since that is 21 weeks after conception, the forced-birthers were cackling and gleefully calling it “21 weeks”. And, since not dating can be more accurate than 5 days give or take, no matter how it’s done, that could for all we know have been a standard or garden variety 24 week preemie.

  7. Oh, good catch. Yes, when I read of him speaking of babies that have survived “despite being born as early as 21 weeks”, I just naturally assumed that he would be using the term as medicine currently understands it, i.e. the elapsed gestational interval measured since the Last Menstrual Period (LMP).
    I forgot that the forced-birthers only think the baby counts, and therefore the clinically useful LMP interval, being based on the mother’s body functions, must be cast aside in favour of a time which cannot be reliably determined instead but it’s the “baby”‘s elapsed interval on the planet and therefore must be a superior measurement.
    Aaarrggghhh, the stupid, it burns. The deliberate bait and switch stinks as well.

  8. I’d be interested in knowing exact dollar figures on how much money is at risk here – I have a strong suspicion it’s lower than (for example) the amount spent each year to supply lunches for parliamentarians in Canberra, or maybe the amount spent on parliamentary airfares. It might even be lower than the amount spent on subsidising Viagra (or equivalent) prescriptions nationally, and let’s face it, we all know how relevant *that* is to the national interest.
    Meg Thorntons last blog post..Fic: Biological Warfare

  9. the woman involved is not considered relevant at all– from his statements, you’d think that ONLY the embryo/foetus was involved in this

    Beppie, that was the first thing I noticed too. But I have just made a weird and hideous connection: the Hoydens here often post on the way that rape is reported, in articles and newspaper items that do not mention the man at all — ‘A woman was raped’ rather than ‘A man raped a woman.’
    So: when a woman’s raped, it’s all about the woman; and when a foetus is (or is not) aborted, it’s all about the so-called ‘unborn child’. Are we then to conclude that neither of these unpleasant events involves a man in any way?

  10. Are we then to conclude that neither of these unpleasant events involves a man in any way?
    I think that’s a good observation and it probably holds true in a lot of cases, but, while it’s not a technique that’s used by Barnett, one anti-choice argument I have heard is that men should be able to stop a woman aborting because it’s “his” child too– never mind that if he has ownership of the foetus, then he must necessarily have ownership of the mother (because, once again, the woman’s body is absent from the equation).

  11. There was yet another recent abortion debate in Britain and I recall reading on Philobiblon that survival rates for micropremies (ie babies born at around 24wks) have not increased at all ie they are still very very low.

  12. All babies born with gross deformities and not permitted to have been aborted through any pro-life initiative should be left on this man’s doorstep to be cared for. Let them him put his own own money and time where their mouth is.

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