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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 16 August 2008

All your genitalia are belong to us... for now

I just discovered something rather odd about my new home. Okay, something else odd. Abortion is a crime in the State of Victoria. So what, you may say. There are plenty of other places in the world where it's illegal, and whatever your views on the issue (and for the record mine are that it's distasteful but as I'm lacking a uterus I'm not going to tell women what to do with theirs) it's not an unusual situation. I think the same applies in the Republic of Ireland, and no doubt girls who inadvertently get themselves up the duff nip over to the UK for a quickie termination. Australia's physical isolation makes that a bit tricky but a quick bit of googling shows that the law is a little less strict in New South Wales and, since 2002, abortion on demand has been legal in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra and surrounding areas for those unfamiliar with Australian administrative divisions - think Washington DC with even weirder animals).

But here's the strange thing - Victoria is one of several States to have very liberal prostitution laws. Brothels and escort agencies have been legitimate businesses here since 1994 (though street prostitution is still illegal) and no-one gets a record for using or working in one, the girls get regular medicals and blood tests and so on. So... how come a woman has less freedom when it comes to her uterus than she has in respect to the rest of her reproductive system? It's also odd that the situation is more or less the reverse of the UK. When will governments develop some consistency?

Well here it might not be that long. The Age reports that a bill is going to be put before the State Parliament very shortly that could see abortion legal before Christmas. Ladies of Victoria, I still say there are much easier and healthier choices available for birth control: pills, jabs, condoms, caps and not least keeping your legs together. But right now there are parts of your bodies that really belong to Parliament, and if that offends you more than abortion then why not pop round to Spring Street this week and let them know.

Update: The bill has been put before the Victorian Parliament, amid protests from 15 or so people outside. Mostly men from what I saw on the news. I just don't get it. Women don't go round telling us men what to do with our balls apart from "Christ, can't you leave them alone for five minutes?"
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