The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Some Thoughts On Melbourne’s Anti-Abortionists

Posted by Clem Bastow on October 6, 2008

I was in the city on Saturday for a function and we walked past Parliament steps, where an anti-abortion protest – “Matt’s Protest”, according to their homemade sign – was in progress. The protesters – count ’em: two – were at one point outnumbered by Police and Parliament security staff. Both protesters were men, and both over the age of 35 (at least).

It was all I could do to stop myself from ducking into the 7-11 and giving them a few more eggs, since they seem to care so much about zygotes, in the face. Fortunately, I counted to ten and kept walking. But why is it that:

– Those who have the most to say about abortion are, inevitably, older males?
– That anti-abortionists care more about embryos and foetuses than about women?

And just who has been plastering those odious “arty” pro-life posters all around Carlton and Fitzroy North? At first you think, “Oh, that must be a Fringe project”, and then you look closer. I would like to congratulate whoever did their best to remove the paste-ups from the Rathdowne and Princes Street intersection this past weekend.

Some things to think about with your Monday morning coffee.


10 Responses to “Some Thoughts On Melbourne’s Anti-Abortionists”

  1. I guess its the same guy(s) with the sign “…Don’t let abortion at 9 months become legal”. Factually incorrect (or perhaps they aren’t good at maths, 24 and 40 both have a ‘4’ in them), emotive, manipulative and just more of the same old bullshit.

    Given the amount of time this man seem to be putting into their protest, what’s the chances they have some nice woman at home doing all the child care and housework, working two jobs and keeping the home fires burning?

  2. lilacsigil said

    It’s not about protecting “the babies”, it’s about controlling women. The idea that a woman can decide what to do with their precious sperm is terrifying. They don’t care about actual children in the slightest, just control.

  3. Mel Campbell said

    Who is “Matt”, I wonder? At first I thought perhaps he was some guy whose wife/girlfriend aborted ‘his’ pregnancy, then – worse – I pondered if “Matt” is a name the anti-abortionists have given to some aborted foetus who has been taken up as a campaign figurehead.

  4. I read with dismay the opinion piece in today’s Age by Nick Miller, which informed me that Catholic lobbyists are protesting the bill on a human rights ground, claiming that forcing doctors to refer patients to other doctors who would perform a legal abortion “infringed the rights of doctors to privacy, freedom of thought, conscience, religion and freedom of opinion.”.

    Since when does religious freedom supercede secular human rights (ie a woman’s right to a legal abortion) under the law? I wonder how these same Catholic lobbyists might respond to claims for other types of religious freedom, such as that of the Islamic minority who were recently pushing for polygamy to be legalised?

    Am I just a rabid atheist? I am outraged that someone should think that the law should bend to their religious doctrine. Surely they should only have the “free right” to religous doctrine that doesn’t contravene our secular laws.

  5. Leah said

    Ahh this post took me back to a sunny day a year ago when my partner & I drove past an anti-choice (incidentally, I think this is a better term than ‘pro-life’) march and my lovely partner leaned out of the window and gave it a bit of the old ‘Abort This!’ Which of course doesn’t even make sense as an insult, but made us feel better!

    And Natasha, I completely agree that no religion should be above the secular laws of Australia. Individuals can believe whatever they want, but when it comes to our interactions with each other, secularism is our best bet for fair and equitable treatment.

  6. Richard said

    sup, I just turned 21, 2 days ago i have a 2 year old daughter, i had her when i was 18 and my girlfriend was 17, abortion crossed our minds aswell, but we came to the conclution that if we’re responsible enough to have sex (safely) and get pregnant then we should be responsible enough to raise the baby we created. My daughter Amelie is beautiful, and if we couldnt have handled her we could have given her up for adoption and someone else could take care of her and give her a good life. We had every private and obvious reason to get an abortion.

    I think its ridiculous the responses here, what do any of you know about these guys? maybe they think its discusting to allow abortions when the baby can be removed, still live and be given for adoption. (baby’s have lived when born at 23 weeks)

    Im so sick of people throwing out other peoples valid opinions because they themselves are to scared that they might one day have to take responsibility for their actions, how self-absorbed is this society.

    I know for a fact most if not all of you will find a reason to throw my opinion out because im not a women or various stereotypes about males not taking care of baby’s and whatnot, but seriously you know nothing about me, or why me and my wife have come upto our decision. These guys whoever they are have just as much of a say as any woman, religious people have just as much say as any athiest. We’re all equal in Australia, remember?

  7. Mel Campbell said

    Richard: of course you’re welcome to have a say and we welcome your opinion. That’s what being pro-choice is about: having a say over how pregnancy will affect your personal circumstances. You and your girlfriend decided to have your baby. That was your personal decision and it’s not our place to criticise it.

    That’s the difference between this blog and those protesters. They DO want to force their opinions on people. To rephrase what you said yourself, these protesters know nothing about why women and their partners have come to their decisions. But they THINK they know better than a pregnant couple how best to respond to that pregnancy. That is the spirit of being anti-choice.

  8. mscate said

    I saw those protesters on saturday also and asked my ‘Groom’ if he’d mind if the wedding photographer took a few shots of me ripping up their ridiculous signs.

  9. Jaye said

    I saw those two standing on the steps as my tram went past parliament the other day. I think I muttered ‘fuck off’ a little too loudly because people moved away from me!
    I think that’s a great point that they care more about the embryo than the lives of real women.

    How quickly that all important embryo becomes yet another child to point blame on a ‘welfare draining single mother’. I find it interesting how the father’s ‘rights’ are discussed loudly but talk ceases when it comes to ‘responsibilities’.

    Get your freaking rosaries off my ovaries fools..

  10. You gotta love the anti-choice lobby’s inability to spell 🙂

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