A man, enraged, kicks his pregnant partner in the stomach until she miscarries. A baby he didn’t want. Later, she dies.
It’s a horrific image, a terrible crime. But should it be a double homicide?
The debate about the rights of the unborn is set to rev up – again – as South Australian Family First MP Robert Brokenshire prepares a Bill that declares it a crime to “destroy the life of” or do “grievous bodily harm to” a foetus.
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Those crazy Republicans! First there was Todd Akin with his ‘legitimate rape’ comments, then yesterday we had Richard Mourdock saying if a woman became pregnant from rape, well, that was what God intended.
Only in America, right? Well, no. The extreme right-to-lifers here are on the same page.
What the bumbling Mr Mourdock was saying was that being pregnant with your rapist’s child is not a good enough reason for abortion. It’s actually a standard pro-life line.
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Over the past week tensions between fostering diverse opinions while respecting the reproductive rights of women were brought to the fore by a decision of the University of Sydney Union (USU) to approve the creation of a “pro-life” club.
LifeChoice purports to “promote the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, through reasonable and informed discussion on the issues of abortion and euthanasia in Australian society.”
It is the first clause in its mandate that has attracted the ire of numerous feminist groups and collectives on campus calling for the group to be disaffiliated from the USU. Members of LifeChoice have responded that any such an attempt would be a threat to free speech and the diversity that underpins the USU.
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Most people would agree that free speech is worth protecting, even if it leads to despicable Neanderthals standing before a microphone.
I think it preposterous, then, that there have been moves to shut down a recently established pro-life society at the University of Sydney. The existence of LifeChoice Sydney, a secular and non-partisan organisation aiming to promote discussion of abortion and euthanasia, is under threat just a week after it was approved by the University of Sydney Union.
Pro-choice advocates have labelled the society “non-inclusive”, “extremist” and a threat to the safety of women on campus. They have mooted an amendment to the Union’s constitution that prohibits the establishment of any society that is pro-life. They have even proposed that the Union representatives who approved the society be “censured”.
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Pull up the drawbridge, cue the statement about “inconclusive evidence’’ - another pesky health warning is about to get in the way of making dosh.
The Federal Government is considering product warning labels on alcohol bottles as part of a strategy to curb the rates of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, something a dozen countries around the world already do.
The industry has, unsurprisingly, come out against the prospect of “cigarette-style” warning labels - because it may apparently cause a flurry of terminations from guilt-wracked women.
Imagine if the above headline was: “In support of the wholesale slaughter of babies.”
Examine your reaction to it. Your reaction is the problem.
Now, there are only two credible reactions to reading something like this. One is that it’s some kind of poorly-focused black humour, that the author is being deliberately provocative (and not very funny). The other is visceral moral outrage. The very idea that we should do such a thing.
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I am extremely proud to be a member of the Australian Labor Party. A party that is committed to pricing carbon, that is increasing superannuation, and that will soon introduce Australia’s first National Disability Scheme.
I was proud when we started building the Education Revolution, apologised to our Indigenous brothers and sisters for the pain and suffering that previous Government’s have subjected them to, and when we introduced paid maternity leave.
November 24, 2007 was the day I will always remember as the day the people of Australia voted against inequality in the work place and, for as long as I live and breathe, I will fight against any party that tries to remove Australians’ rights at work. I am also pro-life.
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Labor for Life may sound like a North Korean punishment but it is, in fact, a fringe group that apparently departs quite radically from Labor policy.
They want to see an ‘end’ to abortion, a position which is closer to that of the Australian Christian Lobby (the ACL has endorsed them in a newsletter) than those of the Liberal or Labor Party.
On their Facebook site, they take what could be a sly dig at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s view that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” with links to a poster that reads: “Anti-abolitionists of the 19th Century said they just wanted to keep slavery ‘safe, legal and rare’.”
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When I was pregnant with my second child, the 19 week ultrasound brought potentially devastating news. Our child had a growth on the lung which could kill them. At that stage, doctors were unsure what would happen.
The growth could get bigger, squashing internal organs and killing the baby. If that happened, they could induce the baby at about 26 weeks so doctors could try to operate. Or it may not grow any bigger and the baby could have it removed after birth.
News that a couple had the wrong twin aborted at 32 weeks when one was diagnosed with a serious heart defect brought these memories flooding back. This poor couple ended up losing both children, which is horrific for all involved.
Welcome to the second day of the Punch Festival of Obvious Ideas, our salute to stuff that should be said. Here, we have a look at why we need to force some politicians to earlier elections - and no, it’s not about who you think.
Babies torn apart then pieced back together, or left on a shelf to die. A cover up of mass medication in the water, poisoning us all. Random drug tests for kids.
Welcome to the weird world of Upper House MLC Ann Bressington.
Ms Bressington, who only got 32 primary votes but surfed into the SA Parliament on the ever-popular Nick Xenophon’s coattails. Ms Bressington, who set out on an anti-drugs platform but quickly became a one-woman lightning rod for paranoid conspiracy theorists.
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When a friend told me I was mentioned in The Punch, I looked forward to reading the article because I associated The Punch with Punch, the British weekly magazine of humour. Instead of wit, I found the article by Tanja Kovac in The Punch yet another inaccurate diatribe against pro-lifers.
Tanja asks where are Archbishop Hart, Margaret Tighe and Babette Francis? Archbishop Hart is very possibly on his knees praying for you and for the many social welfare agencies of his Archdiocese.
Tanja, just look up the phone book under “Catholic” and you will see the long list of activities undertaken by the Catholic Church to help those in need. Ever heard of “The Vinnies” (the St. Vincent de Paul Society)? Or Mother Teresa’s “Missionaries of Charity”? As for Margaret Tighe, like me she is probably working at a computer replying to tiresome articles from those who don’t bother to get their facts straight.
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Most people agree that we, as a society, want to decrease the number of abortions.
Like any grand statement, the means to getting to this end will be the judge of our seriousness and principles.
Tory Shepherd is right to point out our goals cannot be achieved through “guilt, hate and fear mongering”.
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Ah pro-choice warriors, methinks thou dost protest too much.
The sheer passion and vigour with which you attack anyone who gives off even the vaguest whiff of pro-life sentiment casts doubt upon the substance of your convictions.
Shout those evil medievalists down! Throw names, mud, whatever – just make sure you get ‘em good!
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All those people who think sex is just about procreation must be doing it wrong.
Every time a conservative talks about outlawing abortion, or making terminations harder to get, the background message is that sex is dirty and evil and the sinners must bear the consequences.
Because they are never simultaneously arguing for better sex education, or improved access to contraception. They either ignore how the pregnancy happened in the first place, or talk about abstinence.
That this medieval Catholic view of the world persists is startling.
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(Eds note: Peter Michael covered the Queensland abortion trial for the Courier-Mail)
It was like a morning after pill. That’s what Tegan said. That’s how they do birth control in Russia.
Except by the time she took them – five tiny pills over 48 hours – she estimated herself to be about five weeks pregnant. “I woke up with a period the next day. And other than that I was fine,’’ she told police brightly, in explanation.
It begs that hoary chestnut: When does life start? When sperm meets egg? When there is a heartbeat? When newborn child emerges from womb and opens eyes and lungs to the world? It does not matter. Not in this case.
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The first story I covered as a court reporter was about the point at which life begins. It was a big question for the tiny Moe Magistrates’ Court. The year was 1989.
Every Friday night, one of the local lads would throw a sex party. One night his heavily pregnant girlfriend objected, so he punched her repeatedly in the stomach.
The eight-month-old foetus didn’t survive.
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Angie Jackson, otherwise known as Angie the Anti-Theist, looks defiant in her latest Youtube video.
In case you don’t know Angie, she rocketed to fame a few weeks ago when she had an abortion live online. She twittered it. This week she went online again, to defend her decision – both to abort and to broadcast – in the wake of the backlash.
In the original video, she says: “I’m having an abortion… right now. It’s not that bad, it’s not that scary… I’m at peace with my decision.” “It’s just not that bad.”
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Dear Trevor Grace,
I write to commend you on your candidacy in the upcoming SA state election.
For too long, our government has been a slave to the neo-leftist, baby hating and quite frankly DISGUSTING collection of man-hating feminists intent on destroying every beautiful soul chosen by God to populate this green planet. And I say green because as you so rightly hint at on your website, climate change is nothing but a LIE perpetuated by beardy-weirdies intent on taxing the hard working because their own laziness and pursuit of the ARTS means they can neither afford air-conditioning nor a house to put it in.
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I often ask myself why I am pro-choice, why I feel it is ok for a woman to terminate a living, growing being that is inside her, yet I am inherently against murder, against capital punishment and the right of the state to take away the life of another.
I toss the arguments over and over in my mind, trying to find the loophole that will confirm I am not a hypocrite, that my thoughts and feelings stem from solid reason, not from emotion and sentiment.
It is still difficult for me to put my finger on exactly why I feel that murder, by person or by state, is heinous, yet think that abortion should be legal, and is acceptable.
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We have seen the issue of Abortion raised a great deal in Australian Politics recently, from the RU486 debates of the previous federal government, to last year’s changes to laws in Victoria and more recently, the trial in Queensland of Tegan Leach and Sergie Brennan for purchasing abortion drugs from overseas.
As a young woman, my opinion on the issue of Abortion often brings me a great deal of ridicule.
I have been labeled Anti-women and more interestingly “Pro-Life Scum”. I’ve also have been singled out and bullied and attacked by left-wing ‘feminazi’s’ at political forums (sorry? Human rights?).
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Tegan Leach has become the unwitting “it” girl for abortion reform in Queensland. Unwitting, because who would have knowingly decided to sign up for the sort of exposure that has been thrust on this Cairns teenager, all because she made a choice thousands of women have made before her to abort a baby she knew she was not ready to care for.
However, the charge she faces is that she allegedly did not do it through the proper channels.
Tegan is expected to sell her story exclusively to a women’s magazine when the dust has finally settled on this case and she is legally able to speak freely outside of court, for hers is a case that has opened a hornet’s nest of debate about the rights or wrongs of do-it-yourself drug-induced abortions in Australia and women’s ability to access them.
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A quick flick through some of the side effects of RU-486 makes for sober reading. These range from stomach cramps, through nausea, vomiting to ectopic pregnancies and severe internal bleeding.
Quite clearly, it is a serious drug that should be treated with some caution and strictly only under medical supervision.
If RU-486 weren’t an abortion drug there wouldn’t be any controversy. No-one would question the prosecution of two people for procuring and administering another pharmaceutical with side effects as serious as those of RU-486. But it was never about the drug. It was about access to abortion.
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In Cairns, a young Queensland woman faces the prospect of up to seven years prison for something that over 14 000 women do every year in this state alone - for having an abortion. Her partner faces three years prison for assisting her.
Once-was-feminist-campaigner and now Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh is at pains to try and convince us that the charges are not related to abortion, but rather to do with the way in which the abortion took place.
Premier Bligh has feigned concern about the case – “tragic” she calls it. The Premier is a hypocrite. Her government could act immediately to bring an end to the trauma that this young couple is facing. But not only have they refused to act – they have done everything they can to further add to the isolation of the young couple.
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