And for once, it’s actually good. First, Australia ends their ridiculous ban on medical abortion*, and takes the control of the procedure away from their health minister. The responses from politicians are particularly interesting:
The issue split Prime Minister John Howard and his heir-apparent, Peter Costello.
Mr Howard voiced his opposition to the bill, saying it was the duty of parliament to take responsibility for making difficult decisions for the country.
But Mr Costello voted to remove the power of the health minister, after telling parliament how he had to decide whether to abort an unborn child as his wife lay ill and unconscious in hospital, 18 years ago.
“The choice I made was to continue both the treatment and the pregnancy. By the grace of God, both survived,” he said.
“I have no doubt that the law should not have prevented such a choice – that the law should allow a choice, whether physical or mental health of the woman is at risk,” Mr Costello said.
“It’s the duty of parliament to take responsibility for making difficult decisions for the country” vs. “It’s the duty of individual women to make these difficult decisions for themselves.” I know which side I land on. Good on Australia.
Next, the UK considers allowing women to have medical abortions* at home. Allowing women to terminate their pregnancies at home offers them more privacy, and another choice. Women in some parts of the United States, and women across many European nations, already have access to this choice. UK women deserve it, too.
Thanks to Anne for the links.
*Terminology note: Medical abortion refers to the very early-term procedure (9 weeks or earlier) in which a pregnancy is terminated by taking a combination dose of methotrexol, mifepristone and misoprostol. It’s commonly known as “RU-486″ or “The Abortion Pill.” The other –and more common — option is surgical abortion, of which there are various kinds.
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