The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Godbags At It Again!

Posted by caitlinate on March 8, 2009

SO there is this article in The Age today. The headline reads as such:

abortion law under threat

Well, actually, it isn’t. But anything for a good headline right? Though, in my own personal dream world, something along the lines of ‘Catholic Church attacks women’s rights again! World expresses outrage but not surprise!’ would be preferable.

The basic gist is that the Church has gotten some legal eagles to state that a clause in Victoria’s abortion law contravenes international law and a bunch of federal senators have jumped on the bandwagon to state that it’s making them real sad and they’re full of a whole lotta concern. They’re worried about the rights of medical practitioners who have to reveal their religious beliefs! Yep. The rights of godbags to not tell people they’re godbags should come before the right of a woman to gain information that effects her health, well being and autonomy!

The international law they cite is in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and part of the make up of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Also part of the DHR is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which covers measures to be taken for eliminating discrimination against women in political and public life, education, employment, health, marriage and family. But we must not let such unimportant things distract us from our important crusade of, well, discriminating against women.

Just to be clear. As I understand it both a covenant and a convention are legally binding and Australia has ratified both without reservation. Through ratification, a country becomes a “States Party” (sometimes called a “member”) to a convention, and must implement and enforce its principles.  This means that its national laws must conform to the provisions of the convention. Contained within the Convention is the following:

Article 10

(h) Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families, including information and advice on family planning.

Article 12

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care services, including those related to family planning.

Article 16

1. (e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;

International law? Two can play at that game.

Personally I don’t care why said medical practitioners believe in forced pregnancy. I just need to know they do and be directed towards someone who isn’t a woman hating loony. I’m perfectly happy for them to keep their religious beliefs to themselves, honest. And yes, I don’t care if they get prosecuted for failing to refer their patients to someone who will provide them with adequate health care. If a medical practitioner can be prosecuted for negligence in failing to make such a referal I don’t see why another can hide behind the curtain of religious belief/godbaggery.

Send an email to Robert McClelland letting him know you don’t think the law should be overturned and support his current stance in rejecting such a notion.

ON a whole other topic I’m really interested in the senators quoted or named in the article who think the law should be overturned. Can they be named as having this opinion without their consent? Because if not it means they’ve either ratted out their own woman hating to the media or have at least confirmed it when asked. Which, to my mind, means they’re out there publicly announcing their concerns and objections as a method of bolstering the actions and views of the Church… gross.

2 Responses to “Godbags At It Again!”

  1. crystalsinger said

    I think we should encourage religious groups to fight for implementation of International law – can anyone say hoist by their own petard?

    So long, of course, as we implement all provisions of the UN DHR. The looks on their faces when they realise they’ve also been fighting for the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Oh! the irony.

    Of course, religious zealots have an awful lot of practise at being very selective when it comes to which sections of scripture legislation to obey, and which to ignore…

  2. […] Godbags At It Again! […]

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