Other people’s wombs

(Via Philobiblon (2006-02-13): Weep for Australia. Weep.)

There’s been some debate in the Ozzie parliament lately over abortion, mostly focusing on abortifacient drugs, and whether to approve the use of Mifepristone (RU-486) in particular. On Tuesday, MP Danna Vale decided that it was time that the real issue in this debate — how many Australians are Muslim and how many are Christian — got a hearing.

AUSTRALIA could become a Muslim nation within 50 years because we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence, a Government backbencher says.

The former minister Danna Vale is one of five Coalition women proposing an amendment to the private member’s bill that seeks to remove ministerial veto over abortion drugs such as RU486. At a news conference called by the five yesterday, she said it was important politicians considered the ramifications for the community and the nation we become in the future.

I have read … comments by a certain imam from the Lakemba Mosque [who] actually said that Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years’ time, said Mrs Vale, MP for the southern Sydney seat of Hughes.

I didn’t believe him at the time. But … look at the birthrates and you look at the fact that we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence by 100,000 abortions every year … You multiply that by 50 years. That’s 5 million potential Australians we won’t have here.

… The Liberal member for the Sydney seat of Greenway, Louise Markus, said no one wants as many abortions as there are now. The other two women supporting the amendment are the South Australian Liberal Trish Draper and the Queensland National De-Anne Kelly.

— Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald (2006-02-14): Abortion will lead to Muslim nation: MP

In an unexpected development, Ms. Vale, Ms. Markus, Ms. Draper, and Ms. Kelly. did not volunteer to bear the 5,000,000 potential [non-Muslim] Australians that they think it’s so overwhelmingly important to bring into the world.

But there’s always the advantage of sitting in Parliament: if you’re unable or unwilling to volunteer your own womb for the sake of the demographic cause, you can always volunteer other women’s wombs — whether the other women like it or not.

For example, by using bureaucratic red tape and parliamentary stall tactics to force women not to buy abortifacient drugs when they want them.

The Senate has already voted to remove the minister’s veto, but if the amendment succeeded, it would have to be returned to the Senate to be voted on again.

Debate on the bill will begin in the House of Representatives today. Jackie Kelly said she was confident her amendment would be successful.

Another amendment is being proposed by the Queensland Liberal Andrew Laming.

But members are understood to be concerned that the amendment would mean Parliament would be forced into a de facto debate on abortion every time an application was received.

— Stephanie Peatling, Sydney Morning Herald (2006-02-14): Abortion will lead to Muslim nation: MP

Nay-sayers might call that forced pregnancy; they might even cast aspersions on the high-minded public spiritedness of volunteering other women to bear the children you’re not willing to, and making them do it when they’re not willing to. But you could also think of it as a sort of Reproductive Eminent Domain — a sort of polite request that women who don’t want to be pregnant put aside their selfish interests and petty little lives for a while in the name of a Christian Australia. A request which will, of course, be enforced if necessary. All for the good of The People, of course.

Pro-choice feminism is the radical notion that a woman’s uterus is not public property.

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4 replies to Other people’s wombs Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Malachi

    “Pro-choice feminism is the radical notion that a ‘woman’s uterus is not public property’.”

    Sounds good to me. Let the continent, and why not throw in Europe, be overrun by angry Muslims. It’s no big deal really, just let them surrender over their country to those who it doesn’t belong to. Oh and just as a way to ensure the country’s demise, I say we pay people not have kids. That will work over nicely, so in 50 years, while our population has sky-rocketted to over 450 million, Austrailia can be a Muslim nation.

    You know, it’s ironic that you feminists seem so hellbent on supporting Muslims because you are campaigning for “women’s rights” yet when the Muslims take over, the women will be the first to suffer. Burqas will be customary, but on a side note, there won’t be any more abortions since Muslims hate it violently. So, there you go.

    Horray for Islam and Reproductive Rights!

  2. Rad Geek

    Look, you and I may disagree about what the probable effects of a growing Muslim population in Australia would be. But that’s not really the point of this post, anyway.

    The point is that if you are genuinely concerned about the religious demographics where you live, and think more babies of your particular ethno-religious group ought to be born, then you have every right to find a willing partner and get cracking.

    However, what you don’t have the right to do is to commandeer other people’s uteruses in the name of your desired demographic results. If she decides that she’s more interested in not being pregnant than she is in a white, Christian Australia, then that’s her decision to make. A woman’s uterus is her private property, not yours and not the government’s. Sorry.

  3. earlbecke

    Yay! EUGENICS!

    …wait.

    But seriously, the whole idea that “we have to produce more morally-superior babies so that we can save the world from the inferior race” idea is creepy…and, from a different vantage point, kind of amusingly primitive. Have we not, in diversely populated modern democratic republics, come past the tribal-warfare “we’d better eradicate these people because they’re different and we don’t like them” mentality? I mean, really?

    Besides, those Christian babies could grow up and convert to Islam anyway. And vice versa. So…I guess I’m not really understanding this logic? They just seem so proud of the idea. As if it were so amazingly fool-proof.

  4. Rad Geek

    Well, I agree with you that the whole set of ideas behind this kind of demographic hand-wringing is slimy and tribalist. (As to why they aren’t worried about the conversion of adults, I think you’ll get the answer if you read “white” for “Christian” and “swarthy” for “Muslim.” Because that is certainly how demographic hand-wringers are reading it.)

    But I think that even if it were true that the end were noble instead of slimey, it still wouldn’t justify the means of commandeering individual women’s wombs for your grand social purpose.

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