Imagine the Outcry

Imagine the outcry if men had to make appointments to see two different doctors and lie to them about an impending mental breakdown in order to make their own reproductive choices.

What an interesting statement from the pro-abortion opinion writer, fortunately hidden behind A Newspaper paywall. Apparently it is her position that women have to lie in order to make a reproductive choice.

Surely, apart from rape situations, the decision of whether or not to have sex when there is a chance that pregnancy could result is a choice that does not require a lie?

In 1977, a little-known piece of legislation called the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act came into effect. It set out a narrow and restrictive framework under which New Zealand women could obtain an abortion. It followed a Royal Commission and was intended to be conservative and obstructive; doctors were so scared of prosecution that an estimated 4000 to 4500 women had to fly to Australia to access abortion services over the two years following the act’s implementation.

Of course, in time the legislation backfired on the conservative anti-abortion movement. In one sense, in the long term, the act was a victory for the abortion rights movement (though it certainly didn’t seem like one at the time) as it allowed for legal abortion in New Zealand for reasons other than “for the preservation of the life of the mother”, which had previously been the only legal justification for abortion in this country. In effect, the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act, alongside additions to the Crimes Act, acted as a legislative loophole that maintained abortion’s status as a criminal offence, but allowed terminations to be legally administered in certain situations. In practice, today that means that most abortions are approved on the grounds that continuing the pregnancy would put the mother’s mental health at risk.

Contrary to what anti-abortion campaigners would have you believe, however, obtaining an abortion is not an easy task, requiring numerous appointments and much hoop-jumping. It is especially difficult for rural women, who have to travel great distances to access the care they need. The reality is that most of the women seeking an abortion are forced to endure considerable disruption to their lives and lie to two unfamiliar doctors about the state of their mental health in order to assert their agency over their own bodies. Meanwhile, in the background, abortion technically remains a crime.

The inclusion of abortion in the Crimes Act treats women as either human assets fit for forced use as incubators or idiots unable to make health decisions for themselves, depending on how charitable your reading of it is. Imagine the outcry if men had to make appointments to see two different doctors and lie to them about an impending mental breakdown in order to make their own reproductive choices. Expecting women to do so to avoid the fate of becoming a walking incubator for a child they, for whatever reason, do not want, is insulting. […]

Neither of those options appears to be a “charitable” reading of the situation. Both sound highly offensive.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility for one’s actions?

The biological facts are not that difficult to understand: Female + male + unprotected sex = chance of pregnancy. This is not a new concept, it is one that has been around for quite a while.

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