Here’s another one. A few Australian political leaders are taking a cue from the Americans and following a piecemeal approach to destroy abortion rights. You know how this works: the majority of the population favors those rights (and gay rights, and marijuana decriminialization, and so many other reasonable positions), so the haters get into office and start nibbling around the edges. They start choking off funding here and there, they throw money at propaganda, they make it increasingly difficult to get a basic medical procedure, and before you know it, abortion doctors are marginalized, people who get abortions are treated as pariahs, and public opinion starts to shift, because ignorance is a fairly potent lobbying group.
So the Australians have been doing the same thing. At least some people are noticing and beginning to speak up.
Not sure 3%
There was one other little bit that I wanted to comment on.
On Wednesday, Senator Madigan will introduce a motion in the Senate aimed at stopping the public funding of abortions that are used purely to select boys or girls.
He told my colleague Lenore Taylor that he had ”seen data that abortion on the basis of gender selection is happening overseas and that means it is likely to be happening here”.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but if we’re going to be consistent and regard fetuses as undeserving of the rights of full adult humans, and if we’re going to respect the woman’s right to choose her own reproductive future, we can’t be in the business of telling women what good reasons they’re allowed to use. Elective abortions to select the sex of their child are perfectly reasonable, rational decisions. They should be allowed, and we shouldn’t be horrified if women elect to do them.
There is a problem that many people devalue girls so much that they could skew the sex ratio. But that’s a completely different issue — the institutionalizing of patriarchal values — and it isn’t addressed by dictating the choices women may make with their own bodies.
I also find it ironic that it is the same people who unthinkingly promote those patriarchal values who are horrified that they lead to women opting to abort more female fetuses. I’m not impressed that you insist on the right of girls to be brought to term so you can treat them as disposable once they reach reproductive age.