The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

The Latest On Abortion Law Reform In Victoria

Posted by Clem Bastow on October 8, 2008

Further updates from the front line in the abortion law reform debate in Victorian Parliament indicate that the reforms could very well be passed sooner rather than later, with a number of key MPs previously opposed to the reforms now indicating their support for the changes. Labor MP Jenny Mikakos’ response was particularly notable:

The shock move came as Labor MP Jenny Mikakos also backed change despite her strong religious background, declaring that Christian values did not override her belief in an individual’s right to choose.

“I can reconcile myself as a Christian as being both anti-abortion and pro-choice,” she told Parliament last night.

And, from The Age‘s coverage:

Labor’s Jenny Mikakos also admitted having doubts about abortion because of her strong Greek Orthodox faith, but decided she would support it because she believed she could not deny the choice of abortion to other women.

In other words, while you may not believe in obtaining an abortion yourself, or for your partner, who are you to prevent others with differing belief systems from doing so?

It’s a shame there aren’t more people like Mikakos speaking up in this debate; it’s essential to get it out there that personal religious beliefs shouldn’t trump general human rights (can someone fax Denis Hart?) when it comes to the health and wellbeing of a woman versus an unborn “child”.

I use inverted commas around “child” in this context because, despite what the anti-choicers seem to suggest, I don’t see that there will be a huge increase in either abortions full stop, or late term – post-24-week – abortions if this reform is passed; thus, the majority of terminations will occur well before there is any chance of the foetus having any chance of even heavily assisted survival outside the womb.

One Response to “The Latest On Abortion Law Reform In Victoria”

  1. Goanna said

    This is the beginning of the end for the Brumby Government. This law which allows abortion until 9 months, if 2 doctors agree, and will not allow a doctor, nurse or social worker to refuse to refer a woman for abortion because of their conscience, has gone to far, and will call a backlash. It is just what the DLP needs to reestablish itself in the public mind. Peter Kavanagh has already been doing the rounds of the media, and the resultant publicity will boost the popularality of the DLP, and give them a cause to take to the people. People who oppose abortion will choose the DLP rater than the Family First, because of Fielding’s support for abortion. Todays press also reports that the Liberal party is increasingly opposed to abortion, which will also increase their vote. Fair minded people, even feminists recognize that Brumby has gone to far with this Bill. There will be legal challenges to this Act, which will ensure it is in peoples mind right up to the next election. Not a very smart move Mr. Brumby.

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