Hugo Kelly writes:
Tony Abbott’s uncomfortable manoeuvring about the banning of abortion pill
RU-486 raises a few questions:
*Why can’t Australian women obtain a pill that would make the need for a
surgical procedure unnecessary, and avoid a costly burden on public health?
*With the gradual decrease of Medicare funding for surgical abortions, will
it soon be cheaper and preferable to fly to New Zealand to have a non surgical
abortion? If so, can Australia be considered the Ireland of the Pacific.
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*While abortion is legal in Australia, what exactly stops us from having
access to a safe, accessible, inexpensive and less traumatic procedure?
John Howard indicates he will review the ban.
It seems a no-brainer. The Government’s refusal to allow Australian women
access to RU486 fails the Liberal Party’s individual autonomy test, but it also
fails the rational test, the utilitarian test, the commonsense test, the
separation of church and state test, not to mention the economic test.
The force behind this policy rethink is Liberal MP Sharman Stone, the
parliamentary secretary for Finance. Dr Stone says she’s motivated by the plight
of women in her Victorian rural electorate of Murray who could not get access to
surgical abortion procedures.
She says she hopes the strong anti-abortion views of the Health Minister and
his parliamentary secretary, Chris Pyne do not obstruct the introduction of
RU-486. That’s some backbone – and not the least bit exhibitionist, like the
noisy National rebel in the Senate.