Feb 16 2006

Australian Women Tell Godbag Where To Shove It

Quoth Kate, one of our Aussies:

“If anyone cares, we here in the Antipodes have won a victory over godbag fetus lovers; our health minister now has no say at all over RU486. Control of it goes to a professional body called the TGA where it will almost certainly be given the OK.”

For those who missed it [Aussie Senator Lacks Clue], this victory was largely the result of a cross-party squad of women senators who did their fucking job. One salivates over the idea that women politicians can actually give a fuck about women. Here in the States we’ve got 2, maybe 3 women in high office, and I believe their spines have all been irreversibly vaporized, probably from having worn high heels all their lives.


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  1. laughingmuse

    Dang, I’m blocked from the previous entry’s comments.

    Anyways, I just love the “ABORTION PILL” all over the newsstory.

    Kudos to those Aussie reps! ‘Bout time someone in government did their jobs properly.

  2. Twisty

    Laughingmuse, whaddya mean you’re blocked from comments? Do you mean on this blog? Because that’s not supposed to happen.

  3. CafeSiren

    At least two of those women are from the state in which I currently reside. I get the idea that they are noisy opponents of institutionalized patriarchy. The problem is, they’re two among hundreds. And while some male members of our government appear to care more about living women than the stuff dependently gestating inside them, most were elected not to. There are no consequences for being a godbag if that was precisely what you were elected to do, right?

    Wait: according to EMILY’s List: “Women hold 80 of 535 seats in Congress (14.9 percent). Fourteen women (nine Democrats, five Republicans) serve in the Senate, and 66 women (43 Democrats, 23 Republicans) serve in the House of Representatives.”

    Crap — now I might just have to get depressed again. All those women… and still we’re losing ground.

  4. Les

    California’s two senators are both women and by some shocking and unreported incident, they BOTH have recently discovered they have spines and are actually voting on things the way they ought to. I think somebody finally informed them that they have people who VOTE for them who are actually people and not lobbyists.

  5. yeahpope

    Cheers to some good Aussie decision making.

    And greetings from Germany, the country where abortion is still technically illegal, even if the law is not followed up to if an abortion happens until the 12th week of pregnancy and is preceded by counselling.

    Not to spoil the Aussie glee, but despite the independent approval of abortion drugs, there is absolutely no way fetus lovin’ pharma companies can be prevented from withdrawing abortion drugs from a particular market – just as it did happen here in January. I ranted about that a couple of weeks ago here.
    I would really like to tell those half-wits where to shove it, too!

  6. laughingmuse

    Hey Twisty

    No, my comments weren’t blocked – I’m blocked from getting to the Comments section, probably because of the title. :)

  7. Aussie Liz

    It’s been an incredible time – one in which discussion of women’s rights was all over the front page of the papers, and everyone was having their say over coffee or dinner, all across the country. This was a mixed blessing. On the one hand the open discussion of women’s rights is very exciting. On the other hand, you can imagine what the opponents of non-surgical abortion were saying.

    Some of the arguments got really ugly – not only sexist but racist also. One woman senator actually said we were “aborting ourselves out of existence” and we’ll all end up muslim if we don’t stop. Another more subtle godbag was using the line that he only opposes abortion because his church cares about women and the terrible emotional toll that abortion takes on women, who need much more support (subtext: but many fewer choices as they are too feeble to deal with choice, but they are not too feeble to have to have surgery rather than a pill if they are ungodly sluts).

    The rare “conscience vote” meant that we actually got to see what our representatives thought on this issue – it was reported in the papers. Each one of them knew they’d have to answer to their family members and their constituents, who would know how they voted. And they voted for non-surgical abortion.

    One woman senator went to work wearing a t-shirt reading “get your rosaries off my ovaries” and all across the country, people like me cheered.

    The women senators from different political parties who introduced the Bill have had a sudden power surge and have vowed to work together on other women’s issues. So all in all, a good result.

  8. Trope

    Yes, Kate! Of course we care! It’s wonderful news! Any word on whether the lady politicians were wearing high heels??

  9. alyx

    “One woman senator went to work wearing a t-shirt reading “get your rosaries off my ovaries” and all across the country, people like me cheered.”

    That was Greens senator Kerry Nettle. I didn’t know much about her prior to this whole RU-486 brouhaha, but she is now on my ‘would so make out with her’ list.

    “One woman senator actually said we were “aborting ourselves out of existence” and we’ll all end up muslim if we don’t stop.”

    THAT was Danna Vale; staunch pro-lifer, formerly closeted bigot, and Liberal MP (of course). I detailed and dissected her idiotic pronouncements on my blog, though unfortunately didn’t address the racist angle.

    “It’s been an incredible time – one in which discussion of women’s rights was all over the front page of the papers, and everyone was having their say over coffee or dinner, all across the country.”

    I hate to be a pessimistic pain in the arse, but I don’t expect this trend to continue. Now that the TGA has control of the drug, Aussie men will push it to the back of their minds and Australian women will be regarded as they’ve always been regarded: As either Bolshie Biddies or Sexy Sheilas–take your pick.

    If I may digress (just briefly), I’ve always found it odd that so many Aussie feminists are more than willing to take on arsehole godbags when defending their rights, but seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the sexism from yer average beer-swilling ocker imbeciles (and their lewd larrikin sons). Remember, sexism in the Great South (Waste)Land takes many forms–Women in Australia don’t matter unless they’re good-looking Minogue-clones with no personality, and blokes of all ideological stripes won’t let you forget it.

  10. Kate

    Heya thanks for the link. It’s only a tiny step in the right direction — and we here in Australia are behind in many other ways — but it felt good to see women’s issues triumph over the narrow-minded religio-fascist ideology of some Australian politicians.

  11. darkymac

    Our lasses in both Australian Houses not only defended women from the reactionary forces that are everywhere attempting to introduce the crowbar of patriarchal religion into doctor’s surgeries. They also defended Australians of either sex with life-threatening diseases.

    If it needs repeating, obtaining or inducing an abortion is not legally uncertain in Australia if you are a registered medical practitioner. It’s your decision and one that you carry out using the tools that you decide are best for each abortion.
    It is covered under our universal Medicare health system, to which every citizen both contributes through taxes and from which every citizen is entitled to a percentage of funds for the range of accepted medical procedures.

    All that the Bill has done is to correct an indefensible anomaly where a politician took control of approval for registration of a drug that – among some few other therapeutic uses – is of limited use in some abortions, and which needs thorough investigation and approval by those with medical and pharmacist qualifications. There is a federal body that already does this and the Health Minister has been running an agenda that has had him promising yearly examinations of the drug for over 4 years and at each examination finding specious reasons for refusing its registration. At none of these yearly reviews has he allowed the federal body, the TGA, to examine the drug’s suitability.

    The Roman Catholic Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, is a pugnacious idealogue who is running a reactionary agenda on behalf of the more woman-hating sections of the Roman Catholic Church of Australia, which is endorsed and given spin by the Archbishop of Australia, Cardinal Pell.

    Preventing the TGA from registering the drug, and that’s all that Tony Abbott has been doing, hasn’t much impeded the abortion work of Australian medicos and it’s getting argued by some medicos that it’s value in treating Cushing’s Syndrome alone is greater that as an abortifacient. There are a wide set of other disease states that the drug is useful in treating:
    breast and prostate cancer, glaucoma, depression, endometriosis and uterine fibroids, inoperable meningioma, all due to its hormone blocking effects.

    So Tony Abbott, Australian Minister for Health, has, through his deceitful – some kindly call his way of working ” byzantine” – dodging on behalf of uterine landlords, reduced the health of many Australians for no good reason.

    I think it’s a bit of a shame that not more in the “debate” went for his throat.

  12. Rhus

    Ah, good news! Of course we care to know!

    As an aside, if I’m not mistaken, the ones who coined “saquen los rosarios / de nuestros ovarios” were Argentinian feminists. Whichever the original language, the phrase certainly deserves translation.

  13. Rhus

    Tsk. Sorry. I botched the first link.

  14. Sharoni

    We care! It’s nice to hear some news that’s good for our side for a change. And I was outraged (we blame the patriarchy) to hear that because this drug is an abortifacient, the other good things that could come from it were just kind of shoved under the rug. But that’s the religious right for you, just never mind all those sick people, we can’t have the babies aborted at whatever cost! asshatted godbags. Down with the patriarchy!

  15. Shalfalfa

    I heard that there was a showdown afoot in Australia – but I didn’t hear the results. I’m happy! I agree – lovely to have women politicians who WILL stand up .. but then, I’m in Canada, it would be nice to have some even if they stayed seated.

  16. kage

    I’m proud of the four women (from the 4 main parties) who pushed this bill through. And of all the women (and men) who stood up for our right to choose. It was as gratifying as watching parliament has ever been. Still can’t fathom the 3 women who voted against it (2 left wingers BTW).

    Good ol’ Tony Abbott (who incidentally started priestly dude training as a youth) hasn’t given up the fight yet, his newest [URL=http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,18194845%5E662,00.html]tactic[/URL] is forcing church-based counselling on women seeking abortion. He believes ‘abortion clinics’ (strange term as most procedures here are done in hospitals) don’t give unbiased advice, and that counselling should be at arms length from ‘abortion providers’ (AKA doctors).

    I’m amazed he believes these doctors have a vested interest in performing more abortions, it’s not like they neem to drum up business in the medical marketplace. And I’m gobsmacked he thinks the church will offer unbiased advice, after all they don’t really have a long history of tolerence and understanding.

  17. kage

    BTW: it’s the pariarchy’s fault I messed up my linky.

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