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RU486: good news for women’s health

The Senate voting to overturn the restrictive legislation banning RU486 is good news for democracy and good news for women’s health. This reflects the broad community attitudes that politicians are not medical experts and these complex medical decisions must be referred to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, as it is for all other drugs. Now it depends on the House of Representatives to get it right this week and transfer the responsibility for importing this drug into Australia.

Incidentally, I wonder how many people are aware that RU486 does not cause the abortion of pregnancies; it simply reduces the natural progesterone and makes the uterus respond to the second medication, prostaglandin (which is an approved drug!). All this hysteria about RU486 is not relevant. But why let that get in the way of a good media story!
Dr Pieter Mourik (obstetrician and gynaecologist), Wodonga

Abortion, anyone?

In the RU486 Senate debate, those describing themselves as pro-choice repeatedly said the debate was not about abortion, only the process for the approval of RU486. However, all who described themselves as pro-choice voted to give responsibility for RU486 to the Therapeutics Goods Administration. On the other hand, all senators who declared themselves pro-life or anti-abortion voted to keep the control of RU486 with the Minister for Health. The Senate simply voted along lines for or against abortion.

Please, pro-choicers, be honest! Admit the RU486 debate is about abortion. Then please finish your sentences. Please tell us you are for the choice of a woman to end her baby’s life.
Reverend Eugene H. Ahern, Saint Francis Xavier parish, Frankston

So let’s debate it

There is no doubt in my mind that the only reason that the pro-choice people want the responsibility for RU486 taken away from the Health Minister is to make its introduction easier. Any talk about administrative rights is just noise to hide the true purpose of the debate, which is really about abortion itself.

Australians have never had a proper debate to consider the question of abortion, nor do I expect there to be one in the near future. Instead, the laws on abortion followed the extreme examples of life-threatening illness or mental illness to justify what as claimed to be only a few cases per year. No one could ever imagine that this would lead to 90,000 per year.

Flicking responsibility of this 90,000 to the states raises the question of why federal funding is used for the procedures. Approval of money cannot be separated from how it is to be used. Approval of a drug cannot be separated from its purpose.
Damian Murphy, Westmeadows

Beyond Abbott

If politicians of an anti-abortion persuasion have the numbers, they will be successful in having approval for the use of RU486 pill determined by Health Minister Tony Abbott. However, a future health minister may not share Mr Abbott’s doctrinal values and could permit its use. Will those now arguing that this should be a matter for ministerial determination accept that decision?
Roy Arnott, Reservoir

RU486 is a drug that facilitates pregnancy termination. Surgical pregnancy termination does the same thing. Anti-abortionists are attempting to completely hijack the private member’s bill on who approves the drug by using it to generate a debate about abortion – which is going to continue regardless of whether or not RU486 is available. The Reverend Eugene, for example. Do these people think if they say it enough times that it will miraculously become true? Do you think that’s the miracle they’re praying for each night before they go to bed?

Even if the bill is defeated, abortion isn’t going to be stopped. But if RU486 isn’t available it will simply be a small victory for the vindictiveness of the anti-abortion lobby and their disregard for the welfare of women who have an abortion. Spiteful little cunts.

Added to that, the way that they use the emotional hyperbole is disgraceful. Fuck you, Eugene, and your guilt inducing accusation that women are killing their babies. Get off your high-moral superiority-horse and get a bit of compassion about you, fuckwit. They’re not babies and your lies don’t help anyone at such a point of stress in a woman’s life.

As for the abortion debate in general, you might want to have a look at a new documentary, screening its world premiere at ACMI as part of the Real Life on Film documentary festival – abortion, corruption & cops: the bertram wainer story – set in times before abortion was legal, when backyard abortions were the second greatest killer of women in Australia. But then, I guess the anti-abortion lobby hasn’t baulked at the challenge of murdering medical practitioners who carry out abortion procedures so why should I be surprised that they would want to take this country back to the days when the deaths of a few godless bitches wasn’t such a bad thing.

And how curious that all these men see it as their place to determine what women can do with their own bodies.

Letters – Opinion

[tags]ru486, abortion, pro-choice, real,life,on,film,acmi,backyard,abortions,mortality,medical,practitioners,documentary,godless,australia,vindictiveness, anti-abortion,abbott,termination[/tags]

  • February 13, 2006