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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Abortion, Childcare and paid Maternity Leave

Saw Sarah Madison (spell?) from the WEL speak on Seven's Sunrise this morning (Nov 3), complaining about the helicopter incident and drawing a line to Tony Abbot. Koche seemed to dismiss any connection, but Ms Madison was adamant. Quote from memory was something like, "Women need access to abortion, childcare and paid maternity leave and the current Federal government is eroding these rights".

This surprised me in an number of ways. If I understand the issue correctly:

BEFORE the child is born...if it is
a) wanted, then paid maternity leave should be provided
b) unwanted, then abortion should be provided

These are of course to provide for the welfare of the mother (and partly for the child) in (a) and solely for the mother in (b). I don't think it can be argued that you are proving for the welfare of the child by aborting it.

AFTER the child is born then child care should be provided. A natural consequence of (a) above. This is of course to provide for the welfare of the child. Or maybe the mother, so that she can return to full-time work, or maybe both, so that her wages may provide a better standard of living for her and her child.

BUT the Right wing Tony Abbot and his ilk are having none of it. He says, "NO" to abortion, "NO" to paid maternity leave and"NO' to increased child care.

My thinking is both the same, and different (and I think more consistent).
NO to Abortion (it's hard on the little ones)
YES to Paid Maternity Leave (helps mum and bub)
YES to Child Care (helps mum and bub too)

If the child within is to enjoy the benefits of Paid Maternity Leave and State Sponsored Child Care, abortion is not an option. Why sustain what you have allowed to be destroyed? Be consistent. Either the child is an object, a chattel, a possession or it retains its own distinct identity separate from its mother's will for it. On the one hand, the individual reserves the right to choose to abort if she sees fit, yet on the other if the child is "wanted", society as a whole is expected to pay. I don't think so. WE have an obligation as a society to see that its most vulnerable members (pregnant women cnsidering abortion) have the full weight of society's care and support to enable them to carry the child to term and access acceptable child care arangements.

Welfare mentality? Yes. Economic rationalist? No.

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