Most, if not all, of you will be aware that there is a young lady facing charges in Cairns courts for procuring her own abortion. Since charges were laid there has been a great deal of debate locally and statewide about the issue. It was a great suprise to many to discover that abortion is illegal in Queensland and all abortions performed are done so without the protection of the law.
Last night I attended the launch of Caroline De Costa's new book titled 'Never, Ever Again' at the Cairns Base Hospital. The launch featured a prominant activist on the issue who managed, after 4 years of constant lobbying, and with the help of many, to remove abortion from all sections of law in Victoria. This makes it not only legal but also gives the procedure the same standing as any other medical procedure performed in any hospital.
There were several members of various political sectors there along with many concerned members of the general public and discussion following the launch was much the same. It centered on 'why' it should prove so difficult to remove this law in Queensland and the arguments for and against.
My personal opinion on the issue is........irrelevant. So is yours. Abortion should not be a decision made by the population as a whole, it should be a decision made by the woman involved and a doctor. It is not up to me, or you, to decide for them. If I choose not to have an abortion, I simply won't. If I choose to undertake the procedure, I should be entitled to decide for myself, and should be protected by the law whatever decision I make.
Making abortion legal will not make it become a form of birth control as some would have us believe. However 'easy' it becomes (whether taking a simple tablet or booking yourself into a day clinic) it is never going to be an easy decision to make. It is a tough choice and the mental and physical implications must be acknowledged. In making it legal, abortion can be talked about openly and information would be readily available. This education will give women more facts, therefore making any decision they make an informed choice.
We all, men and women, need to lobby our state members (nag, argue, write letters, hold up a sign) until they understand that not only is it not my right to decide for others, it is most definately not their's either.
According to the whispers, the young woman to be back in court shortly to face the charges against her and her boyfriend will be pleading guilty. She has possibly decided that despite being the only woman on record in Queensland charged under the abortion laws, she is tiring of the fight. I am tired of all the arguing. Just change the law. Then let the arguing occur wherever people see fit to discuss the issue for debate is a valuable tool.