Two contrasting “victories” for women

Filed on 01 September 2011 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

Two contrasting “victories” for women.

an historic moment for the recognition of women’s rights in Victoria” Emily’s Notes Dec 2008

a major victory for Arizona women” August 2011

In an editorial on Emily’s List 14 October 2008 the passing of the Abortion Law reform Bill was hailed as “an historic moment for the recognition of women’s rights in Victoria… that women in all areas of Victoria will be able to access safe, legal terminations free from persecution… free from harassment.”

It is not surprising that the original link to that has disappeared from the Emily’s List website. It then became available through another link (hard to find!) on their website but that has now also disappeared. However there is a link as above to Emily’s Notes and at the foot of this page.

Emily’s List further hailed the defeat of “numerous regressive amendments” (same link). Those amendments included

  • parental consent for girls under 18 years
  • mandatory reporting of suspected sexual abuse
  • a “cooling off period” for women considering late term abortion
  • provision of medical care for aborted babies born alive
  • anaesthetic for babies aborted late term
  • compulsion of doctors to refer for abortion to a doctor who they know will be in favour
  • banning of partial birth abortions

Arizona on the other hand has passed a law – upheld this month by the Arizona Court of Appeals – that requires

  • parental consent for minors
  • a “cooling off period” of 24 hrs with provision of full and accurate information by a doctor
  • medical professionals cannot be forced to perform abortions if it contradicts their religious or moral beliefs

noting that partial birth abortions are banned in the US anyway.

Amendment rejection: “victory for women” Emily’s List.

Amendment acceptance: “victory for women” in Arizona.

It is hard to understand the opposition of Emily’s List women to the proposed amendments. They all made sense. Surely one would want to anaesthetize a late-term baby about to have its brain sucked out by a partial birth abortion. Surely for a 14 year-old schoolgirl one would want to look at the possibility of abuse and the reporting of same. Such opposition I think will be thought very strange in years to come.

The tide seems to be turning in a more rational direction in the US. “Following a ground-breaking Nebraska law last year that bars late-term abortions because of the risk of foetal pain, five other states have passed measures outlawing nearly all abortions after five months of pregnancy.”

And according to a recent Gallup poll “majorities of Democrats as well as most Republicans favor informed consent, parental consent, 24-hour waiting periods, and a ban on ‘partial birth abortion.”

(from Abortion Abatement – Keep Up the Momentum August 18, 2011).

Application to consider: just under 60% of female Labor MPs across Australia are members of Emily’s List including two state premiers – Queensland and Tasmania – and our Prime Minister who was also a founder of the list and wrote its constitution. They are a significant force in our nation and it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-member female to gain pre-selection. Will you vote for them next time? Can we turn this situation around and let Labor know we will not vote for any candidates supported by Emily’s List? Or is it too late?

Lachlan Dunjey. August 2011.

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