Misinformation driving legislation
When we allow dominant discourses based on misinformation to drive legislative change, nobody wins.
Abortion advocates in Queensland are again pushing for decriminalisation based on a lot of myth and very little fact. The way in which the media allows this inaccurate portrayal of abortion is a sign of how low we’ve sunk in completely dismissing the evidence and the actual experiences of women.
This article highlights a few of the very misleading tactics of the pro-abortion lobby in pushing an agenda that doesn’t serve the needs of women at all. Caroline de Costa, an abortion advocate and abortion provider states that current laws are out of touch with the general public’s views. De Costa’s demonstrated how out of touch she is with the evidence in her response to my article on Mifepristone Reversal processes here.
That the general public supports abortion is a commonly stated lie among abortion advocates who seem not to be able to accurately read their own statistics on the issue. As I’ve stated many times, while the general public still falsely believe that women only have abortions in extenuating circumstances, and that late term abortion only occurs when the mother or baby might die, their judgements about whether it should be more available or not are uninformed.
When the general public read accurate information, that 95% of abortions are for psychosocial reasons, that many women feel coerced toward abortion due to their circumstances and that healthy late term babies are aborted as a solution to their mother’s economic or relational problems, we see a different story. I’ve written more about this here and here.
The article goes on to quote outrageous statements such as,
“Prof de Costa estimated about 1000 Cairns women underwent abortions each year, despite the procedure being outlawed.”
This leaves the impression that some kind of shifty, law evading, illegal procedures are being procured down back alleys instead of through fancy clinics which advertise their services on the internet and spring up as first options in any search engine.
The fact is that Queensland women, just like women all over Australia can access abortion just as equitably, without any legal risk, whether abortion remains in the criminal code or not. Since the legislative changes in Victoria in 2008, allowing abortion basically on demand until birth, there are no more abortion providers, and no more benefits to women.
The time, and resources spent changing laws based on misinformation and agendas that are meaningless to the real lives of women would be better spent addressing the social issues women face that lead them to abortions they don’t want. When women are being told to choose between their children and their jobs, and young women are having abortions because universities are unaccommodating to pregnant and parenting women we have a much bigger problem than the current law.
There is something very wrong with promoting abortion as a solution for women who do not want to be tied to violent men, as this abortion provider does . If a woman does not want to be beaten, or does not want to be tied to a violent man, why are we telling her that her only way out is abortion? Why aren’t we addressing laws to protect these women and their children from the violence of men, particularly when issues of domestic violence are being highlighted. To say we need abortion for women experiencing violence is to tell her she has no choice.
How about an alternative solution which protects women and their children from violent men, rather than one which forces a woman to end the life of her own child out of fear of a man?
In the middle of this debate we have women, and often their partners making decisions every day about what and how they should prioritise the competing and increasing demands on their lives. The struggle between economic pressures and the desire to have and raise children; the pressure to delay children as they have come to be considered an interruption to what are increasingly considered more important in life.. education and careers. Further pressure when these same women discover that their most fertile years passed them by while they did everything they could to avoid pregnancy in order to advance their social and professional standing. Many are then forced to be economically tied to reproductive technologies with promises of false hope and major assaults on their bodies in an attempt to do what in all likelihood may have occurred naturally a few years earlier.
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