In NSW (Australia) an attempt has been made to rush through a new law that removes abortion from the criminal code. On the face of it, it sounds as if it would be no problem, a simple matter of procedure.
For the past 40 years or so in NSW, a woman has been able to request an abortion in the first trimester without any problem. It is routine and has been for many, many years. There has been no problem, and no doctor or woman has been charged with it as criminal.
But this bill goes far further than that. It provides for abortion on demand up to 22 weeks.
22 weeks! not 12 weeks. By 22 weeks, the foetus is well along the path to becoming a baby. It is no longer a termination, but a killing. Further, if the woman gets the permission of just two doctors, she can have an abortion up to birth. And that is a different matter entirely. There is an uproar.
Most commonly, the media describes it as two opposing groups - those who are 'pro-choice' in all circumstances, and those opposed to abortion in all circumstances.
Most people, most people, are willing to allow the mother to choose termination in the first trimester of pregnancy. Yes, it may be sad and wrong, but sometimes, it is more sad and more wrong for the pregnancy to proceed. And that is the mother's choice and the mother's alone.
The embryo grows to become a foetus and the foetus grows to become a baby.
And most people, most people, are not willing to allow that baby to be killed without very good reason. Late term abortion is criminal, and should not be accepted as merely the mother's choice.
There are two circumstances where it might be a sad necessity - if the woman has some health problem that means her life is threatened if she continues with the pregnancy, and secondly, if it is a non-viable foetus. In those circumstances, yes.
But a mere change of mind? No.
Because the baby is the 'wrong' sex? Absolutely not. In some countries, there are so many girl babies aborted that the population is becoming very severely skewed. Even in Victoria (Australia) where such a law was passed a few years back, there are supposed to be 300 'missing' girls - girls who were never born because they were aborted for not being boys. In Victoria, a certain Dr. Hobart is in trouble because he refused to refer a woman to an abortion clinic for reasons of sex selection. This bill provides no protection for doctors whose moral code precludes the killing of a healthy foetus.
Once, I would have thought that no woman would consider the action of aborting a baby without very good reason. But in America, where there is a lot of argument about the matter, it is said that late-term abortions are common, even that the parts of aborted foetuses are sold for profit. I don't know how much of this is true. I hope not much.
And yet, I have seen a Monster pretending to be a woman, and purporting to be a Feminist (how that term has become misused!) actually boasting that she has had abortions, another saying that she envied those who had had abortions. How utterly sick is that?
My position is the same as what I think is most people's - that it is the women's choice in the first trimester. Afterwards - now that is a very different matter.
This bill needs to be soundly beaten. If a new bill is put forward, it must say 12 weeks, not 22 weeks. And in no circumstances can a foetus be terminated because it is the wrong sex.