“RU486 is designed to knock babies over,” declared Senator Heffernan yesterday.
Well, like most of the abortion debate, I guess that might depend on
how you define a baby, and obviously Farmer Bill thinks a 40-day-old
embryo (actual length less than 10 millimetres) is a baby. But the good
Senator doesn’t stop there.

“The world’s greatest vocation,
without a doubt, is parenthood and no-one can understand the greatness
of that vocation unless they’re a parent,” he said.

There’s a
handy argument. Those of us with no children shouldn’t have a say in
the whole debate, because we just don’t understand. Of course, there’s
an equally valid argument that if you don’t have a uterus you don’t
understand all of the issues involved in abortion – but don’t expect
Senator Heffernan to acknowledge this.

But wait. He does! “I
am not going to get into the merits of it, because I am the least
qualified person in this place to talk about the rights of women over
their bodies. I do not want to get into that.”

Not that this
stops him: “I think that this advance in technology is going to turn
the world’s greatest vocation into an issue of social convenience over
a long period of time.”

Maybe we should turn the clock right
back and give Tony Abbott the power to decide whether individual women
can get access to the contraceptive pill? After all, the pill is no
ordinary drug – it has the power to stop women realising the amazing
vocation of parenthood. It’s turned having children – or not – into an
issue of social convenience.

No doubt Heffernan would like us
all to go back to the days before reliable contraception, and have one
child for Mum, one for Dad, one for the Treasurer – and about six for the Senate.

“The 50-year effect of this will be to destroy what we know as family over a long period of time,” he predicted.

But
wait, there’s more. “Unfortunately, once you let these genies out of
the bottle, you can’t confine it to the original purpose.”

Here’s
more from Senator Heff: “In the Netherlands now, whether you like it or
not, 55% of the people who are euthanised are euthanised without their
consent or knowledge. It is an administrative tool for hospital
administration to clear the beds out. Fifty-five per cent of the people
euthanised are euthanised without their consent or knowledge. Don’t
give me that other crap!”

Without their knowledge? Polling by Ouija board, Senator?

This is an Argumentum Ad Baculum, Senator. Time for a pill, and a good lie down.

Peter Fray

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