Tagged: alranz

On the front lines of the NZ abortion rights struggle

La Ranita has a post up at the ALRANZ blog about her attendance at the Supreme Court hearing on the Right to File Ownership Papers On Your Uterus case against the Abortion Supervisory Committee.  On the basis of her report, I have to be optimistic – RTL’s lawyer sounds like a complete numpty.

Again, things kept coming back to how the ASC can be assessing certifying consultants’ performance without second-guessing their clinical judgement in each case. RTL argue that certifying consultants are “gatekeepers” and need to be honest. While clinical decisions are theirs to make, the ASC can review them (again, how this can be done without second-guessing the clinical decision was never made clear. And round and round we go, for a couple of hours…)

This decision has the potential to severely fuck with pregnant people’s access to abortion in NZ.

There’s a nasty little part of me, backed up by my own economic and social privilege, which can see the silver lining of such a decision, though – because right now, far too many people, including people who probably think of themselves as middle-of-the-road but are actually prochoice once you strip out the Family First spin on issues like parental notification or waiting periods, don’t think there’s a problem with our laws.

Because they never come up against them, never have to try to find two, let alone one, certifying consultant to sign off on their right to control their own fertility.  They never have to deal with having to travel cross-country to get their procedure certified, and then performed, maybe having to take time off work or find childcare – because they probably also don’t think about people who are already parents wanting, or needing, to have abortions.

Part of me really feels we need some horrible, ghastly, heartrending catalyst to actually make so-called progressives sit the hell up and realise that there’s a problem.

But you know, I will happily settle for Right to Tell You What To Do getting their sanctimonious butts handed to them so organisations like ALRANZ can get on with changing mainstream attitudes and getting our politicians to realise that the vocal religious minority who get their thrills screwing over peopel with uteri aren’t actually any kind of major voting bloc.  Hence the whole, “Conservative Party aren’t in Parliament” thing.

Abortion is a real issue, right now

Right to Life Enslave People With Uteri continues their unholy crusade to make whatever dents they can in people’s already-shitty access to abortion in New Zealand.

ALRANZ’s blog has the details and background of what was to be heard in the Supreme Court today:

As it stands, that part of the case is essentially focused on whether or not the ASC should be reviewing (second-guessing) certifying consultants’ decisions regarding the lawfulness of abortions they approve.

But as Idiot/Savant notes, ultimately this is about whether the vast majority of pregnant people can access abortion at all.  Because what it’s really about is stopping certifying consultants from approving abortions based on the “mental health” ground – under which most legal abortions in NZ are performed.

There’s a bunch of issues which warrant discussion on that – some people don’t like that pregnant people have to declare themselves mentally ill, others point out that there’s ableism in treating that declaration as a huge indignity.  As far as I’m concerned, being pregnant when you don’t want to be, having your body in the thrall of another being against your will (not to mention the vast amount of crap heaped on pregnant people, even the enthusiastic ones) is quite sufficiently damaging to one’s mental health to warrant approval.

Anyone who has a problem with that better be prepared to present a dissertation on why infestation and bodily possession are such popular themes in sci fi and horror (my counter argument:  the entire Alien series, and especially that scene in AvP: Requiem which we do not speak of) and how this doesn’t have anything to do with the loss of identity and autonomy involved.

I/S gets to the point:  we need abortion law for the 21st century.  We need an unequivocal statement that bodily autonomy is everyone’s right, and that people like Ken Orr and his ilk seriously need to be ridiculed when they imply that us offering choice is “imposing our morals on people” but them taking choice away is okay because Jesus was all about telling wimminz what to do.

It is no longer good enough to say, as many have said to me over the years, that abortion “isn’t an issue” and “the current law is working fine”.  It’s obviously an issue.  It’s obviously not working fine.  Let’s get it done.

Letters from a New Zealand basement: opposing opposition to opposers

Bob McCoskrie needs to give fellow basement-dweller Ken Orr some lessons in media release structure.  But his latest one is such a perfect example of antichoice bullshit it’s hard to pass up (even if it gets downright offensive at the end).

Right to Life supports legislation that recognises the humanity and personhood of the unborn child as a member of the human family that is endowed with an inalienable right to life and is deserving of respect and protection.

Firstly, dude, employ some fucking commas.  Is the unborn babby the thing which is endowed (phwoar) or the “human family”, whatever the fuck that means?

Second, foetus =/= person.*  And even if it were, no person has the right to occupy another’s body and live off their organs.**  No actual “right to life” codified in any law I know of actually permits enslaving other people via biological hookup.

Right to Life believes that the majority of New Zealanders support protecting the right to life of unborn children.

I believe in fairies.

The killing of unborn children the weakest and most defenceless members of the human family in the womb, is a violation of the human rights of unborn children.

That would be those rights we’ve established no human, born or undead unborn, have, right?  But let’s never let the facts get in the way of trying to play people’s emotions with a string of irrelevant adjectives – after all, if you have to remind people that ickle babby feeetusses are Vulnerable and Weak and Helpless, you may have just acknowledged you’re on the losing side of this battle.

It is also a violation of the human rights of women who deserve respect and protection for their child in the womb.

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion, folks:  women deserve respect so much that we have to take away their ability to choose to undergo a medical procedure.  And Right to Life Ken Orr and his boner respect women so much they think stubby-limbed fish-beings pweshus babbies take precedence over those women’s lives and desires and bodies.

The” right to choose” is a cruel lie,there is no human right that permits us to choose to kill another human being.

Except … that pregnancy can and does kill women.  Pregnancy is in fact nine times more likely to kill a woman in New Zealand than an abortion.  But because Ken respects incubators women so much he thinks they should die in order that stubby fish-beings might live.

So … Ken thinks “unborn children” do have a right to life which necessitates killing living, breathing, thinking human people.  I mean, ambulatory uteri.

You might think that’s a bit extreme, surely the antichoice movement understands that sometimes pregnancy can be really dangerous to women’s health, even fatal.   Surely they’re reasonable enough to allow that some abortions are necessary to save women’s lives.

Oops, no.  Mind you, that was a Catholic case, they’re a totes minor voice in the antichoice movement.

ALRANZ, the spokesman for a culture of death, with a national membership of less than 200, does not represent the views of women and ordinary New Zealanders, its proposal to decriminalise abortion is a threat to the wellbeing of women.

Lessons learnt:

  1. ALRANZ is a person (specifically, a man)*** with a really cool single name, like Cher or Prince
  2. Ken Orr can’t convince anyone to come down to his basement to proofread his press releases
  3. “Women” and “ordinary New Zealanders” are distinct, separate groups in Right to Life’s world.

ALRANZ knows that before we can decriminalise abortion we must first deny the humanity of unborn children.

Wait for it …

The decriminalising of abortion would be a denial of the humanity and personhood of the unborn child.

Wait for it ….

The denial of the humanity of Negroes gave us slavery.

That’s just the appetizer …

The denial of the humanity of Jews gave us the Holocaust.

BOOM!  Godwinned it!

Yep, the all-time classic Abortion Is Just Like The Holocaust argument.  Which for a start ignores some pretty complex political and social considerations around the situation in 1930s Germany/Western Europe (hint: Hitler was not the only person who wasn’t too keen on Semitic folk) but also just reveals the basic weakness of the antichoice side:  they have to resort to absurd emotive “arguments” designed to make people flinch and say “oh no that’s terrible!” instead of actually relying on fact, or logic, or, well, anything.

It’s also kind of hilariously ironic that Judaism is pretty down with the abortion rights, given that whole “first breath” test for personhood.  Hilarious that is if Right to Bonerlife weren’t exploiting genocide to shock people into not thinking.

See, when you have to actually rely on the horrors of the Holocaust to win people over, because the actual reality of abortion isn’t good enough … you and your boner are pretty screwed, right?

Let’s not forget the slippery slope argument for good measure:

If today we allow the denial of the human rights of unborn children by the decriminalisation of abortion, which vulnerable section of our community will be next?

I’m thinking hipsters, or maybe people who still subscribe to the Sunday Star-Times.  Oh, wait, except they’re all born, autonomous beings who aren’t using a woman’s breath, blood and organs to survive.  Damn.


*It’s a guppy!

*Any antichoicers who want to prove this is all about controlling women by commenting about how “women bring it on themselves when they have sex” should feel absolutely welcome to do so.

**And doesn’t that just tell you plenty about Right to Bodysnatch’s worldview?