The Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has recently weighed into the abortion issue, claiming that the rate and ease of abortions in Australia (including the full Medicare funding of abortions) be re-examined.
Further, some members of Parliament (such as Peter Garrett, who Votes FOR trees and AGAINST women’s rights to freedom) have called for a ban on abortions over 21 weeks, forcing the pregnant woman to have an ultrasound prior to the abortion (to understand what she would be terminating) and the removal of Medicare funding of abortions.
Unfortunately, the Governor-General has also decided to break with convention and participate in the debate, which is wrong for two reasons: firstly, the Governor-General should never participate in political or at least topical debate, even if he prefixes the discussion with the non-partisan, non-committal “it should be looked at”. Secondly, it is wrong because while the notion of abortion may be acceptable or not acceptable depending on a moral, ethical or religious standpoint, Government should not play a role in deciding to remove the rights of women, who for whatever reason, may decide to handle their pregnancy in any particular way.
To put it bluntly, the hand of Government should not be in a woman’s womb.
Thankfully, some high profile members of the medical community have spoken up against this new political debate. Let’s hope that the rights of women are maintained and that there are no changes to abortion law.