Keeping the Faith

Choose Life.

What a privilege it will be for women to have unfettered access to abortion up to 24 weeks gestation (and beyond if they get a couple of doctors on board) when the ludicrously named Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013 is passed.

Actually, I don’t believe it will be passed.
And, tell me, what is reproductively healthy about terminating a pregnancy?

There is just so much wrong with this draft piece of legislation. Was it scrawled on the back of a used envelope and handed to someone’s secretary? Did they stamp a two-week submission period on it in an attempt to curtail response (thankfully, this has now been extended by another two weeks)? Why the hurry to make Tasmania the abortion capital of Australia?

I want to speak to the women out there – women like me who are of child-bearing age, who are in a rewarding career perhaps or who are enjoying study, travel, relationships. It’s a great age to be alive – I’m approaching 30. It’s a time when you’re comfy in your not-so-perfect skin, you know where you’re going, who you are and what you’re good at. Life is full of opportunity, full of choices.

Let’s stop here and look at that word ‘choice’. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as, “an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.” Should I wear this dress or that one? Should the kids go to this school or that one? Should we buy this car or that one? Should I have an abortion or…

The authors of this bill would no doubt call themselves pro-choice, but the document gives no avenue whatsoever for ensuring women like you and me have all the options made available in order to make a truly informed choice about their body – and let’s not forget the life of the child already developing within. The child with a heartbeat at just 28 days from conception.

So often I hear arguments about the choice of the woman to do what she wants with her body. But there are other choices being hobbled in this bill:

–       The choice of the child to live. What child doesn’t want to live? Where are all the pro-choicers whose lives are so insufferable, they wish they had been aborted instead of being given the opportunity to live?

–       The choice of adoption. Real choice, not subtly, not dissuading mothers from gifting their children for adoption and making it almost impossible to qualify to adopt.

–       The choice of the medical practitioner to exercise their moral conviction and say no. The bill threatens such professionals with a hefty $65,000 fine if they fail to refer their patient to a practitioner who “does not have a conscientious objection to terminations”.

–       The choice of peaceful protest. Again, a hefty fine for anyone who holds a sign or prays quietly within 150 metres of an abortion clinic. So much for free speech.

–       The choice of accessing specialised, independent counseling is not addressed in the bill. One would assume it blindly accepts that the abortion provider would supply such support – conflict of interest much? How can an abortion clinic that only makes money when a woman has an abortion give complete, unbiased counseling to women pre- and post- termination?

As Germaine Greer, the modern mother of feminism, has said, “Abortion is the last in a long line of non-choices.” She elaborates in her book The Whole Woman (Doubleday, 1999), shining light on the wrestle between a woman’s ‘right’ to “undergo invasive procedures to terminate unwanted pregnancies” and her duty to “sort the situation out”.

“The crowning insult is that this ideal is represented to her as some kind of a privilege. Her sad and onerous duty is garbed in the rhetoric of a civil right.”

Life is the privilege.

Sure, the unexpected happens. But wrapped within that bundle of inconvenience, financial strain and heartache is a precious, valuable life, regardless of gender, race, creed, disability or circumstances of conception.

“Women experiencing unplanned pregnancy also deserve unplanned joy” (Patricia Heaton, actor and spokeswoman for Feminists for Life).

Submissions to this bill close on April 5. Email public.health@dhhs.tas.gov.au and choose life.

As printed in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday March 18, 2013.

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21 Comments

  1. Amanda says

    No doubt Claire you’ll cop a whole stack of flack for this one. Stand tall. Stand strong. Stand by your convictions, there are those of us standing with you. This is a well written article actually addressing other issues that matter in this whole issue, and roughly so. Too many of us are too quick to simply let a government change a law. It’s time for those with a voice to raise it – loud and strong and without apology. Too many precious babies (without a voice) will be torn in two, literally, if we don’t act!!!!

    • Roger Martin says

      I totally agree Amanda.
      I know that many will thank the Lord for Claire’s courage in promoting the sanctity of life.
      After all, only God can create life and therefore He alone has the right to take it away.

  2. Kate Cann says

    lol…I don’t often agree with Germaine Greer, but her words quoted here are sadly true….
    As for , “And, tell me, what is reproductively healthy about terminating a pregnancy?” As far as I know and can gather from research, and I’m ready to be corrected, there is absolutely nothing healthy about it. Not physically or emotionally.

  3. Well said claire, I read something (possibly via Facebook) the other day eluding to the fact that our law makers will charge an individual for murder if their actions lead to the death of a mothers unborn child, yet in law surrounding abortion this seems to be the opposite. Certainly choice as you’ve defined it should be protected.

  4. Fiona says

    Well written Claire! Good on you for tackling the controversial subjects!! My question for our government is why it is so concerned with promoting death i.e this terrible change to late term abortion laws and changes to the euthanasia law! Life is precious!!!! They should be promoting this instead!!

  5. I agree; this is well-written, and needs to be said. Praying God will honor you for being brave enough to speak truth on an important issue!

  6. Denise Sly says

    Well done Claire. Thank you for speaking up for these precious lives….mothers and babies.

  7. LoveLibertyinTruth says

    Agreed,

    For all its faux-freedom “pro-choice” rhetoric it is a multi-billion dollar industry built upon the sort of political lobbying, manipulation and lies finally admitted by the man who engineered abortion-on-demand in American, Dr Bernard Nathanson.

    In the 70s he ran the largest abortuary in the world, in New York, claiming responsibility for.performing or overseeing 60,000 abortions himself. In his autobiography, Aborting America, he explained how he and a handful of friends made up what he called “cynical slogans” – such as “freedom of choice” – and how they endlessly lied to further their cause: as in making up figures wildly, exaggerating by ten-fold and more the number of ‘back-alley’ abortions.
    (which they knew to be relatively very few), and feeding them to the
    compliant press who gladly peddled them as fact, no questions asked. (As a result, he ushered in over 50 million surgical American abortions since.
    1973, about which he was deeply ashamed and repentant.) This collusion still
    goes on every day worldwide with articles in large circ. media: the press hiding
    the brutal facts about abortion and the pre-born children who are scalded,
    vacuumed, dismembered or otherwise done to death in the womb of their
    mothers every passing day.

    This Tasmanian legislation is an outgassing from a necrotic industry in a stage of advanced putrefaction. The abortion industry was conceived in lies – stillborn from the beginning – and after forty years of observing its behaviour will deceive only the irretrievably cynical, opportunistic and rotten to the core, or those weak or long fashioned to be vessels for lies.

  8. Lena says

    Universal Law will have it’s say. Thank you for your article, I probably would never have known otherwise and I am appalled. I am in two minds about abortion, the rights of the mother, the rights of the child. As a mother, and as as science dictates the heart beats well before 24 weeks. The most barbaric way of aborting the child left me speechless and in tears. As in the comments, isn’t this murder when a so called doctor takes a knife and cuts at the back of the head of a baby who has been half removed from his mothers womb? By todays standard a lot of baby’s who are born premature at this time can survive yet they want the right to abort them A child has the right to live, and they are playing God. A very backward way of thinking.

  9. Pingback: UPDATE: Tasmania’s Proposed Abortion Law Changes | Faith like a mushroom

  10. You want to talk to women of childbearing age? Well, here I am.
    I want to live in a world where I do not have to have a baby if I unexpectedly fall pregnant. I take precautions, but no birth control method is 100% successful.

    If there is no law allowing this, it will not save my baby. I will simply have an unsafe, illegal abortion. I think many women would agree with me on this.

    A baby is a huge, life-changing decision.. Yes, decision. That means choosing between options. And one of those options must be a safe and legal abortion.

    I applaud this legislation because it provides women with a fundamental human right – the right to plan their family and make decisions about their own lives and bodies.

    • Anita says

      Jo, abortion is murder! You just want to kill babies for your own convenience. You want a fundamental human right to murder babies. Saying you would have an unsafe, illegal abortion if you had to is ludicrous! You would endanger your own life as well as kill a baby? If you do find yourself pregnant when it doesn’t suit you (a selfish thought maybe?) then please consider adoption instead of murder. There would be many infertile couples who would love a baby.

      • Fiona Vosper says

        Abortion is not murder. Murder is murder.

        You actually expect someone to go through the trauma of pregnancy and labor and then hand their baby over to someone else? No, in this society, we have choices. If you don’t agree with them, then that’s your business, but don’t think for a minute that you have a right to take my choices away from me. If I don’t want a baby, I don’t have to have one. And if I choose abortion, then my decision is a private one, not one for the entire community to comment on.

  11. Ian Brearley says

    Love your stuff Claire. I am a 64yr old grandfather who gave his life to Jesus in the hippie scene in December 1974. We have 2 of the most lovely grandchildren. But they were allowed to live. So was I. So were you, and all the people who are happy to kill unborn and unwanted babies. Some years ago, in the U.S., they asked 1,000 adult Thalidomide people with the little flipper arms and legs, if they would rather have been aborted. 10% said yes, 90% said no. I think this answers the question re if an unborn baby was given the “choice” to live or not, what they would say. It uesd to be in this fair land, that 1 in 4 babies were not given the chance to draw their first breath – now it is 1 in 3. Is this a national shame or what?

  12. Anthea says

    Thank you Caire for your courage in speaking up for the defenseless. For speaking truth and exposing the lies and deception that many are unaware of. Well written and thank you for highlighting the choice of adoption which seems to have been completely forgotten always in this debate. How sad that we kill our children and so many couples are desperate to give them a loving alternative.
    Lets continue to talk about this very good solution. Thank you again. May God bless you and continue to give you His wisdom and boldness.

  13. Robert says

    Great article Claire. It makes me grieve deeply when I think about abortion. The violence against the defenseless is so wrong. We make the Mayans look like pacifists. I was one of babies in the forced adoption period. These days they would have killed me. I wish I had the chance to be with biological mother but I’m glad to be alive and to have been adopted out rather than be murdered.

  14. God is good to raise up women like you who can speak into this issue clearly. I am encouraged in the midst of the horror of what our government is pursuing, that God is at work and good has a voice!

  15. David says

    Well done Claire, keep up the good work, someday hopefully people like Fiona and Jo will see that the greatest choice is life, and one of the greatest ways to live life is with family.

  16. I respect your right to a pro-life opinion, and I agree that the proposed laws allowing abortion at 24 weeks are very troubling.

    However, there are several points I would like to respectfully disagree with in this post.

    — Medical practitioners who object to the practice are required, by law, to refer the patient on to someone who doesn’t. It contravenes the rights of an individual to suitable medical attention if a doctor is unwilling to either a) provide it to them, or b) give them the resources to.

    Whether or not you personally disagree with the choice can not, by law or ethical practice, interfere with another person’s right to choose.

    — The right to peaceful protest. It’s worth pointing out that Australia does not have a set bill of rights – there’s actually no law permitting free speech, which is problematic in itself, but in the case of protesting against an abortion clinic, boundaries are put in place to protect both parties. In this instance, a minimum distance between the protestors and the protested is done to prevent active intimidation.

    While it’s nearly always well intentioned, a group of people praying for the patients of such a clinic is an additional stressor to those seeking treatment and an act of intimidation. To put this into perspective, it would never be appropriate for an abortion clinic to hand out flyers advertising their services on the steps of a church.

    — The suggestion that counselling offered by an abortion clinic will do nothing except ensure the abortion goes ahead is spurious at best. It’s worth pointing out that the term is pro-*choice* not pro-abortion. It boils down to the fact that at the end of the day, there should be a choice for the women in question. If they don’t want to take that option, and they want to carry the baby to term, that is their *choice* just as much as the alternative is also a choice.

    On the other end of the spectrum, pro-life counselling has one goal in mind, and that is to support the ethos that all abortions, no matter the circumstance, are wrong.

    I wholeheartedly agree that it is not something that should be considered in a frivolous fashion. Abortion should not simply be a carefree solution to a problem. I would always prefer to see a baby carried to term and given up for adoption, but I am well aware that this is not always a viable option.

    I also, 100% agree that 24 weeks is too late. I dislike this proposed law. I also hope it doesn’t pass. But your article starts off by addressing that law and then goes on to shame those who are pro-choice, and I find that distasteful. I’m aware that’s an opinion you’re unlikely to agree with, but I don’t agree with biased platitudes that naively ignore the reality of a situation and try to cast those who hold a contrasting point of view in a negative light.

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