Monday, August 25, 2008

When ironic just doesn't cover it.

I’m going to start to sound like a broken record, but you know what? Tough. This is my little corner of the intertubes, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

This organisation is pro-life, as is their want. Please note the name - Tell the Truth Coalition.

Everyone has a right to an opinion. I've got no issue with that.

What I do have an issue with is this bunch of badly constructed lies:

The Victorian Government is considering the removal of all legal protection for children up until the moment of birth!

Once this is made law it will:
• Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth.
• Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion.
• Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.
• Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges.
Say NO to legalising abortion in Victoria! Contact your local member of parliament today. Click here to find your local member.


Uh, guys? Have you actually read what the legislation proposes? Because not one of the above contentions is true.

Let's look at it step by step, shall we?

"Legalise ALL abortions until the moment of birth"

No, it doesn't. What it does is legalise all abortions up until 24 weeks. After this point - and here's what the bill itself has to say - "The registered medical practitioner may only perform such an abortion if the medical practitioner reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances, and the medical practitioner's belief is supported by at least one other registered medical practitioner"

"Punish medical staff who refuse to co-operate in an abortion"

No, what the bill says is that if a medical practitioner is not comfortable performing or advising a woman on an abortion or termination services, they must refer them to a another practitioner. All women must have equal access to whatever services are available. There are no prescribed penalties for not participating in an abortion. The only exception is "a registered medical practitioner is under a duty to perform an abortion, and a registered nurse is under a duty to assist in the performance of an abortion in an emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman" So effectively, there is no change to the current law.

"Deny legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion."

Actually, this isn't just a misinterpretation of the change in law, it's an out and out lie. There is nothing - nothing at all - in the new bill, or any of the amendments to the current law that mention denying legal protection to women being coerced to have an abortion.

Yet there are many mentions, in any resource you care to glance at, for women who feel they are being pressured. I would also suggest heading to your nearest Church, because I know most Churches do know the details of services that can assist if you feel pressured, and all Catholic churches I've attended have counselling services if not on hand, then a phone call away.

"Allow violent offenders to end the life of an unborn child without murder or manslaughter charges"

Now this one, this one is almost clever. This one almost works, if it wasn't for the structure of it. Because I suppose it would be a matter of opinion as to what a "violent offender" is, in the case of an abortion. The assumption is that any doctor who has ever performed an abortion is a "violent offender".

Now, if the word "offender" wasn't used, they'd almost, almost be able to get away with this one. But offender? Means against the law. So unless the "Violent Offender" has been charged and convicted under the Destruction of Children Act - which we know no-one has since the Menhennitt ruling in R v Davidson (1969) - you couldn't honestly call them an offender, could you?

Pro-Lifers, a challenge: If you want to protest against the current changes before parliament, that's your right. That's your democratic right in this country and most others, and I respect that.

But do it without lying. Because only the most naieve are going to swallow that bunch of lies and propaganda.

*Hat tip to Suburban Marxist andPrivate Tom

19 comments:

M de P said...

visiting from ICLW...

I fully agree - you know, all opinions are welcome, but it only serves to diminish your point if you feel the need to make it through lies and manipulation. Excellent post!

Toaf said...

Exceptionally tidy work, Kej!

Keri said...

Thanks, Toaf!

seriously? said...

Here from ICLW. You are so right. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, expressing it demonstrating if they feel that is appropriate. People sould not misrepersent what is happening nor should they fabricate outcomes of a law.

Well Done.

clarencegirl said...

Well argued and balnaced, Keri.
Nice to read a blog post that does not try to simply put down the other side of the debate.

Keri said...

Thanks guys. I think it's important to let everyone have an opinion, but most importantly, be honest if you're trying to get your own opinion out there.

Tobias Ziegler said...

Great job, Keri. I'm well aware that we are never going to reach a point where there is universal agreement about abortion - but if you're going to try to win people over to your point of view, at least use the truth.

KimboSue said...

Agreed totally. You are allowed your opinions, but base them on facts!

ICLW

alicia said...

I agree, people have a right to protest or disagree, but they shouldn't be lying!! that kinda takes away all the fight in their arguments!

here from iCLW

flickrlovr said...

I love honest and fair debates on issues--great post!

(ICLW)

Ginny said...

Great post & I totally agree. I see that quite a bit in the US as well.

Emervents said...

Very nice. What I wanted to say, only better :-) I don't suppose you got the first leaflet drop these people did? That one got them into a bit of trouble. This latest version is much tamer, though no less apocryphal.

Keri said...

emervents, I didn't, but I got a tip-off about it, cruised past the website and found that tripe.

I just don't see what possible advantage there is in gaining support through such obvious deception.

It floors me.

Chris said...

1st one: Having two doctors approve an abortion still makes it legal. Doesn't make it illegal. Like any normal person would expect... the baby is going to be born tommorow.. what do you think it just pops out of no where? grow up.

2nd one: These medical staff don't want to participate in abortions. They don't WANT to kill babies. They have a conscience and some morals. If they actively refuse to participate YES they will be punished. Once again try reading the bill.

4th one: If it's not a baby, what's stopping a violent offender just killing the unborn baby, i.e if a boyfriend (crazy Doctor) doesn't want a baby what's stopping him from doing the abortion while his girlfriend is drunk. (it's only an abortion, they'll be legal now).

To anybody whose even considering an abortion i want to give you some things to think about:
Why should the baby have to suffer the consequences of it's parents?
If the baby was born before the abortion took place and the abortion done outside the womb. You would here the baby cry, probably kick and if you saw the scissors getting punctured into the skull...
It's a baby, just being muffled by it's mothers womb.
Have a look at the website theres some good videos...

Emervents said...

I love it when Pro-Lifers attempt logic.

Chris, your arguments are flawed because you have hidden premises that are false.

1. Please find ONE example where a woman merrily "decides" she wants to abort a baby capable of being born alive without grave concerns for either her health or the baby's welfare. It's a monumental decision not a mere whim. To imply that it is anything else is to reveal your contempt for women and your view that they should not be autonomous moral agents. Perhaps you believe the story about the apple and the snake? And you're wrong about the legal issue, the according to the new laws it is possible for an abortion after 24 weeks to be illegal. The legality will depend on the circumstances.

2. Medical staff who object to abortions should not be working in women's reproductive health. Period. Providers of abortion have every right to refuse employment to conscientious objectors. Do you seriously think a good Catholic nurse is going to apply for work at a family planning clinic anyway? Besides, a medical professional who refused to perform ANY medical procedure to the detriment of a patient would be guilty of professional negligence and punished. The bill only protects women from being at the whim of their healthcare providers, by ensuring that they are referred to a healthcare provider who is sympathetic to their needs, and that they can have an abortion when their life is at stake. Again, if you don't want to perform abortions then don't work in women's health care. It's quite simple.

3. ANY operation performed without a patient's consent is assault. Whether or not it's an abortion is irrelevant. That is one of the more ridiculous arguments being bandied about at the moment.

4. It seems you only object to late-term abortions if you are worried about the baby crying. You really need to clarify that. In fact, your whole thought process could do with a bit of clarification.

Here's some things you could consider:

Some developmental biology obtained from a medical text book rather than a Pro-Life website (where medical facts are exaggerated to the point of falsehood).

Some ethics not obtained from a religious source (most of which advocate stoning women to death for minor misdemeanors). "Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong" by Louis Pojman is meant to be a good beginners text.

Oh, and finally, please butt out of our deeply personal and private reproductive decisions. Ta.

Michelle said...

Chris, I don't have much to add after emervents has so wonderfully rebutted your frankly ludicrous scenarios.

It's people like you who give those who genuinely feel abortion is wrong (but don't force their opinions on others) a bad name. Histrionics and ridiculous ideas do no-one any good.

What really annoys me is the assumption that people who are pro-choice have no (or very few) morals. Because everyone knows that pro-lifers are the only people who live moral lives.

Funny how many who subscribe to such a view (I'm not saying you do since you've not indicated but your semi-literate rantings suggest otherwise) have their morals dictated to them by a third party rather than having them actually sitting down and making decisions for themselves. In fact, if you had sat down and really thought about it, maybe your response to Keri's post may have been worthy of a more reasoned response. But it isn't so I haven't.

Keri said...

Like any normal person would expect... the baby is going to be born tommorow.. what do you think it just pops out of no where? grow up.

What on earth are you on about? This sentence (If you could call it that, ellipse fest that it is) makes no sense at all.

2nd one: These medical staff don't want to participate in abortions. They don't WANT to kill babies. They have a conscience and some morals. If they actively refuse to participate YES they will be punished. Once again try reading the bill.

Oh, you fool. One thing you need to learn very quickly on this blog is that there are only two things I won’t tolerate here, and one of them is statement without fact – if you can’t back it up, shut up. Considering I’ve already linked to comprehensive statistics of practitioners views on this subject, that lie is debunked before you’ve even told it.

90% of General Practitioners agree with this law. 5% do not, and that’s their prerogative. Under the law, they will not be penalised for not carrying out an abortion – they will only be obliged to refer to another practitioner. As the post itself states – as does the proposed legislation, which I’ve linked to – the only time a practitioner is obliged to carry out an abortion or termination is if the mother life is at risk. That’s already the law, Chris. There is no change to this provision.

4th one: If it's not a baby, what's stopping a violent offender just killing the unborn baby, i.e if a boyfriend (crazy Doctor) doesn't want a baby what's stopping him from doing the abortion while his girlfriend is drunk. (it's only an abortion, they'll be legal now).

This is the weirdest mish-mash of jumbled rhetoric I’ve ever laid eyes on:

A) I’ve never said it’s “not a baby” I’ve said – specifically – it isn’t a child in terms of using correct terminology. If someone say a “six-month-old child” it’s a very different proposition that a six-month old foetus.
B) How often do you think someone’s boyfriend who doesn’t want a child is a doctor and also crazy and has the know-how to do an abortion and hide it from colleagues, family and the authorities? Once? Twice? Or how about – and this is my guess - never?
C) What woman who wants to keep her child gets drunk to the point where someone can do an abortion on her without her consent? How convenient for the “crazy doctor boyfriend” that she does so in a place where it’s easy for him to perform an abortion on her, too!
D) What in the name of arse has this got to do with the bill currently being considered? (Hint: it starts with N and ends with othing) there are no changes to the Destruction of Child laws.

To anybody whose even considering an abortion i want to give you some things to think about:
Why should the baby have to suffer the consequences of it's parents?
If the baby was born before the abortion took place and the abortion done outside the womb. You would here the baby cry, probably kick and if you saw the scissors getting punctured into the skull...
It's a baby, just being muffled by it's mothers womb.
Have a look at the website theres some good videos...


The foetus is the consequence of the parents actions, Chris. No woman, as has been stated, takes this decision lightly. Don’t come here and sermonise. I won’t have it. Honest debate is welcome, but you don’t have the right to tell any woman in a vulnerable position what to think about – they have enough to think about as it is.

You would not hear the baby cry unless it was born full term or close to, as before that it would not have the lung maturation to do so. It certainly wouldn’t up until at least 24 weeks.

And what scissors are you talk about, Chris? Even this pro-life organisation doesn’t claim that abortions are done by puncturing a foetus’ skull with scissors. That isn’t how it happens.

What website are you referring to specifically with that last line, Chris? I’m always on the lookout for honest opinions from the other side.

Surprisingly, I don’t seem to have much luck finding them.

Oh, and Chris? Something to think about:

Although a fetus may show some response to a noxious stimulus, this is a reflex response at least until 26 weeks gestation, as nerve fibres responsible for pain do not begin to reach higher brain areas until 26 to 34 weeks gestation. Source: Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria

Wheras a woman feels that pain both physically and emotionally. Now tell me, you want to put the foetus before the woman as a human being?

Oh, and Emervents - sensational.

Portraits In Sepia said...

Ok , here are my two cents even they aren't even worth that much. I am a little afraid to leave my comments because it seems like comments from prolifers...even sincerely misguided ones are attacked but whatever...
I am pro-compassion. Compassion for the pregnant woman who finds herself in a situation that she does not want to be in for whatever reason...risk to her health, result of a rape, economic pressures, and other things I humbly admit I do not have personal experience with. I would not presume to judge a woman who finds herself facing an unwanted or risky pregnancy.
And compassion for the unborn child.
Whether or not life begins at conception will be debated for all eternity. At what point life actually begins, if not at conception, will be debated for all eternity. I believe your personal beliefs on this point ultimately drive your stance on the abortion issue.
I don't know when life begins but I do believe it happens before birth. I believe the grief a woman feels when she miscarries at 9 or 12 or 20 weeks is real and is because a life inside of her has died.
I prefer to err on the side of caution and assume that it begins at conception. Might seem like a simplistic argument but there it is.
I too, detest it when people use lies to support their arguments. It doesn't serve anybody or any purpose.

Keri said...

Portraits in Sepia - you certainly won't be attacked by me for that comment. The only people who get attacked here are those who attack others, and people who deliberately lie, obscure the truth, or harass others.

And I totally agree with what you say about judgement - and that's my main issue with many on the other side of the fence. They claim to live religious lives, but they're quite happy to judge others against the tennant of God when it suits them.

Thank you for your post.