October 9, 2012
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Well, who would have thought?
Free birth control led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births, a large study concluded Thursday.
From a huge study in the United States
I’ve never been able to understand the mindset of people (read, the Catholic Church hierarchy) who condemn abortion, and in the same breath, condemn contraception. Yes, I know that the Church’s arguments can all be held together by some cant about respect for life, or openness to life, or some such thing, but it just seems bleedingly obvious that if you want to minimise abortion, then one easy way to do it is to make sure that women have easy access to effective contraception, of their choice.
That choice bit is important. Our Minister of Social Welfare is keen on getting beneficiaries to use long term contraceptive implants, to stop all the slappers from breeding. But in the US study, women were offered a *choice* of contraceptives. When women could choose, when they were empowered, rates of unwanted pregnancies dropped dramatically.
Of course, it’s much harder to control women when they have choice…
August 28, 2012
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I have a column in the Dom Post today, about abortion.
Abortion is a woman’s moral choice, not a crime
Why the level of surveillance? It’s because we don’t trust women to make decisions for themselves. Abortion has been treated as a matter of morality, but instead of allowing the people concerned to make moral decisions, we have insisted that they get opinions from other people first. …
When we deny women the right to make decisions about abortion for themselves, then we deny women’s autonomy. We say that women are not capable of making moral judgments, and that they are not autonomous adults.
June 1, 2011
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Just under three years ago, a judge in New Zealand agreed with Right to Life New Zealand that many abortions in New Zealand might not be lawful. Right to Life NZ had argued that:
the Abortion Supervisory Committee had failed to properly interpret the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act, so “full regard is given to the rights of unborn children”.
Under New Zealand law, two consultants must authorise any abortion, and they must do so on grounds specified in the Crimes Act 1961. That’s right. Abortion is a crime in New Zealand, unless you meet certain criteria. One of those grounds is concern for the mental health of the pregnant woman, and as a matter of practice, that’s the box that’s usually ticked in order to enable women to access abortion. It’s an ugly compromise, and not even one that works very well. But three years ago, thanks to Right to Life NZ, and a judge in the High Court, even that compromise was under threat. We all thought that it would be back to the barricades on abortion.
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