Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Medical Matters

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  • Idiot Savant,

    Matthew: that's not quite true. In 2004, 23 of National's then-27 MPs (including the "liberal" John Key) voted unsuccessfully to require teenagers to notify their parents before being allowed to have an abortion. If National's new intake is anything like as conservative as its 2002 rump, then a National victory this election will dramatically shift the Parliamentary balance towards further restrictions and control over women’s' bodies.

    Just another example of what's a stake this election.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1656 posts Report Reply

  • dave crampton,

    <i>This would be unacceptable to a lot of National MPs, not to mention the Christian Right</i>
    Do we have a christian right in this country? if so, where has it gone - or is it merely a hodge podge of individuals who happend to know who each other is?

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    It's always amazed me that the campaign for rights over ones body wasn't extended to euthanasia.

    To me this is the more logical conclusion of that arguement.

    Abortion, is a complex issue. I've helped two very close friends go through it & bit my tongue on the issue.

    The first step in the debate should not start with abortion, but in valuing parents & children. Providing full care for children, sole parents, and drawing in the fathers who are absent from almost all debate on this issue.

    If there is a better alternative for the lives of sole parents and children, to a greater or lesser degree this issue will address itself.

    Re-mercury - I've been getting any replacements in that white stuff for years. I wanted gold for a replacement crown but my dentist wouldn't do it.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Anyways the problem with the law is that it is religiously broken

    Yeah, scrap the law books, just table the 10 commandments in the house.

    Yeah, it'll be messy as all hell, but I'd rather have the messy public debate and settle this thing than keep on with the current legislation. I mean, surely by now we're grown-up enough to just legalise abortion and be done with it.

    I suspect it would pass, but I can't imagine it would be 'grown-up'. If it was I'd feel more comfortable saying 'yeah, have that debate'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    The first step in the debate should not start with abortion, but in valuing parents & children. Providing full care for children, sole parents, and drawing in the fathers who are absent from almost all debate on this issue.

    I'd say the first step is limiting unplanned pregnancies through more widespread and more efficient use of contraception.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK...

    Geriatric misogynistic religious maniacs, form up to my right.
    Baby-killing lesbian Feminazis, form up to my left.
    Everyone else -- follow me to the exits, and don't drag your feet.

    I'm really glad the anti-smacking and civil unions bills were mentioned in passing, because those were two occasions where the stench of slef-righteous bullshit from all sides got a little too thick for comfort.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I suspect it would pass, but I can't imagine it would be 'grown-up'. If it was I'd feel more comfortable saying 'yeah, have that debate'.

    No, it wouldn't be a grown-up debate. But I think it's one that needs to be had. What are we going to do otherwise - avoid it for the next thirty years? Leaving the door wide open for a conservative government to crack down on enforcing the letter of the current law?

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    If National's new intake is anything like as conservative as its 2002 rump, then a National victory this election will dramatically shift the Parliamentary balance towards further restrictions and control over women’s' bodies.

    It's interesting that National's conservative stripes extend only a very little way when it comes to personal freedoms. They're all for fiscal conservatism, but heaven forbid that the state stay the fuck out of citizens' lives. That's paraphrasing Gordon Campbell's comment in this commentary on the new immigration bill, where he observes that the only party that actually takes an affirmative stance on human rights is the Greens. Even Act don't really want to know about keeping the state out of your business, unless it's your (tax-paying) business that they're keeping it out of.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Lucy: unfortunately, our local fundies don't like that either, on the grounds that it is either abortion (yes, really), or encourages people to have sex (something which, like abortion, only they seem to have a problem with).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1656 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    It's always amazed me that the campaign for rights over ones body wasn't extended to euthanasia.

    They're logically consistent positions, and you'll find the same pro-life people opposing both abortion and euthanasia. From the pro-choice perspective, though, abortion is largely an issue that affects young women over and above anyone else, whereas euthanasia affects the elderly and those who care for them more than the rest of the population. It makes sense that the campaigners are different people.

    Back in the 70s it was young women who led the pro-choice movement, with the impressive demographic advantage and record of activism that baby boomers had in those days. Today's young women are smaller in number and less practiced at political advocacy, but I'd like to think that a threat to rights you've grown up with is an easier thing to defend than a radical change to the status quo.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    And how did the size of Catholic families drop from the 10 & 8 kids of my fathers generation to the 2 or 3 of my own.
    TV isn't that interesting ;-)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Smart,

    Oh Dear
    Abortion??
    Energy crisis??
    Supply of alcohol in Auckland suburbs??
    Roll on 2009 when we can all get back to intelligent debate and away from this election madness at least for another three years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Neil: it's like the 70's all over again.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1656 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    We even have Dail Jones.

    (Damn, posted too soon).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1656 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Smart,

    Neil: it's like the 70's all over again.

    I knew i remembered it from somewhere!!

    Or is it be my amalgam fillings bringing on early Alzheimers

    I am not sure?

    Since Nov 2006 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Hubbard,

    Can we just immediately drop "Right to Life" and "Right to Choose" as polarising BS rhetorical phrases?

    There is no universal Right to Life or we'd be morally obliged to fund every drug and mdical intervention and damn the cost.

    There is no universal Right to Choose in the sense of universal right over one's own body or there'd be no strip search, imprisonment or compulsory vaccination.

    What there is is a continuum of negotiable individiual and social rights and duties of care.

    Me, I'm all for the right to abort a multiplying group of cells, both from a mora and a realpolitik PoV. Once that group of cells becomes a recognisably human being, then no rhetoric is going to convince me it doesn't deserve the full protection of the law. Just where that line is... fecked if I know, call in the philosophers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    The judgement is here (PDF)

    Short version: judgement is reserved on declarations, but the court does say that the ASC has effectively been put on notice about the "wholesale non-compliance by certifying consultants" and will have to do something about it (or at least say openly that it is not going to do anything about it). So, we are in for a shitfight regardless.

    (Meanwhile, I have to rewrite the post I was about to make, dammit).

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1656 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Some timely links, via MetaFilter,
    just to put a bit of perspective on where society was prior to legalising abortion. The second link, in particular, is not for the easily upset.:

    Repairing the Damage, Before Roe


    Bastardy and Baby Farming in Victorian England:

    The primary objective of professional baby farmers was to solicit as many sickly infants or infants under two months as possible, because life was precarious for them and their deaths would appear more natural. They would adopt the infants for a set fee and get rid of them as quickly as possible in order to maximize their profits. The infants were kept drugged on laudanum, paregoric, and other poisons, and fed watered down milk laced with lime. They quickly died of thrush induced by malnutrition and fluid on the brain due to excessive doses of strong narcotics. The costs of burial was avoided by wrapping the naked bodies of the dead infants in old newspapers and damping them in a deserted area, or by throwing them in the Thames.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    pretty much with andrew hubbard on this.

    There is no universal Right to Choose in the sense of universal right over one's own body or there'd be no strip search, imprisonment or compulsory vaccination.

    ...age of consent, illegality of the best recreational drugs etc etc etc

    - should also add,
    What of the rights of the father?
    absolutely none?
    a father can't prevent an abortion of his child?

    to trivilize this,

    torture is ok in guantanamo because we wouldn't want to decide what the US gov can do inside their own building.

    The father should have the right to veto abortion. except in cases of rape, proven prophylactic failure or molestation, if an agreement can't be reached then the state should provide mediation and counselling to any of the casualties.

    why?

    1 because abortion is paid for by the tax payer
    2 because sexual intercourse can bring about pregnancy in the adult female

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1686 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Who has compulsory vaccination?

    The minute men have to decide whether or not to support another life inside their own bodies, with the accompanying discomfort and medical risks, then I'd be the first to stand up for their rights to choose.

    It's not about your genetic relationship to the fetus, it's about your right to make decisions about what happens to your own body. Abrogations of that right tend to be justified on the basis of harm. There's a lot of focus made by pro-lifers on the harmful effects of abortion, but they pale in comparison to the risks involved in pregnancy and illegal abortion.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Lucy: unfortunately, our local fundies don't like that either, on the grounds that it is either abortion (yes, really), or encourages people to have sex (something which, like abortion, only they seem to have a problem with).

    Oh, I know. But given that the only way to keep the fundies happy is for women to be barefoot and pregnant (either in a nice Christian marriage, or as payment for their heinous sins) or virginally chaste, I'm not inclined to give a damn about what they think.

    The father should have the right to veto abortion. except in cases of rape, proven prophylactic failure or molestation, if an agreement can't be reached then the state should provide mediation and counselling to any of the casualties.

    Uh, no. Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, who has to go through the physical and emotional strain (and risk) of having the kid and then raising it, as well as bearing the brunt of the financial and societal burden? Not the father. If someone wants kids that badly, they can go and find a woman who is happy to have their kid, rather than treating an unwilling woman as their own personal baby incubator.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    B. Jones, as far as i understand it, females have come complete control of their bodies and do have the right to consent or not to unprotected sexual intercourse.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1686 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Perhaps mark taslov can present all his prospective female sex partners with a contract where they agree to carry to term any possible pregnancy under all circumstances unless he releases them from that obligation.

    That should help safeguard his rights against the unwanted termination of his progeny.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    ps: contraceptives, even when properly used, fail surprisingly often.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Mark, yes. That is entirely a non-sequitur, however, unless you forgot to type "and therefore she should face all the risks resulting from that, medical technology to avoid this notwithstanding, but only have half the say in whether or not that's used." With which I'd disagree.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

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