Thursday, May 14, 2009

tram views

Daily, I pass by the East Melbourne day procedure facility. That anodyne name somewhat undersells its primary purpose - its an abortion clinic.

Every morning as I pass by on the tram - long before the clinic itself is actually open - I observe the small group of people who wait outside the gates, armed with three dimensional posters showing fetal development, pamphlets, and scowls.

The group is small - the recent law change in Victoria showed that while there is a group of people deeply against abortion, the majority see it as a necessary evil at least, and certainly a private matter not to be interferred with. Most Victorians were glad to have abortion out of the criminal code.

Usually, the group consists of about four people. Sometimes only one, sometimes as many as seven. Yesterday, I noticed a different composition to the group - they were mainly women. Almost always the group is made up of elderly men, in about their sixties or seventies - probably retired, and with time to hang around and bother perfect strangers about their life choices.

What is the point of this ponder? I don't really know... perhaps the fact that it is mainly older men trying to police young women's choices. Perhaps the fact that the group is so small compared to what I see of the situation in America. Perhaps just the fact that the group is even there, and so persistently. It is just so odd to me.

Surely, if you're really against abortion, you should be spending your time lobbying the government to increase the single parent's pension? Making childcare affordable, and accessible? Looking at contraception access, so that unwanted pregnancies happen less?

It seems to me that if you truly believe abortion is murder - which I do not, but semantics - if you do, surely you should be trying to make both not getting unexpectedly pregnant less common, and - once a woman is pregnant - making the choice to keep the pregnancy easier, by creating the social environment which is supportive, rather than shaming?


  1. Your sensible logical opinion won't get an argument from me.
    They should be carrying signs saying "don't abandon your infant on public steps, please hand it to us for love and money"

    here is a handy hint:
    always say 'pron' or 'abrotion', OR
    you will get evil commentors whose
    life's work is scouring the net for
    mentions of their pet thing.
    You don't want them here.