Below is an article at my place by contributor Amfortas who hails from Tasmania. He says of it: “The issue is more Freedom of Speech attached to a concept of abortion. My intent was to draw attention to the restriction on and punishment of speech. It is in the context of a new law on abortion.”
In this green and pleasant land of Tasmania, run into the ground by feminists, socialists and greenies, it will soon be ILLEGAL to speak out against abortion.
BIG SISTA has spoken.
Whilst what passes for ‘ the thinking public’ has been embroiled in matters of Press Regulation and Freedom of Speech restrictions in Oz (as a lesson taken from the UK), the quiet backwaters have been busy sneaking in draconian ‘part restrictions’ on free speech complete with severe punishment.
“Abortion has effectively been legal in Australian states for more than 40 years, although it has remained in the criminal code. The number of prosecutions in all that time can be counted on one hand. So why the sudden enthusiasm for decriminalization?
“Because the real aim of the Labor-Green coalition which is running Tasmania is to criminalize abortion dissent. With only two weeks for the public to respond, the Health Minister, Michelle O’Byrne, has drafted what may be most draconian abortion law anywhere.
“The neighbouring state of Victoria decriminalized abortion in 2008. Ms O’Byrne says that this is the model for her bill. But the Victorian bill contains no penalties for conscientious objectors; the Tasmanian bill does. The Victorian bill doesn’t mention counsellors; the Tasmanian bill threatens counsellors with jail. The Victorian bill doesn’t mention protests; the Tasmanian bill threatens protesters with jail.”
The penalties proposed are horrendous imposing enormous fines (higher than the national average annual wage) on even disinterested people for ‘failure’ to help procure abortion.
“If this bill passes, a part-time volunteer counsellor for an organization supporting pregnant women could be jailed for a year and fined up to A$65,000 if she refuses to refer a woman to a place where she can get an abortion. The bill’s definition of a counsellor includes anyone who gives ‘advice or information relating to pregnancy options’ and ‘whether or not for fee or reward’. Overnight, all agencies which disagree with abortion will be forced to shut down.
“Medical practitioners will be obliged under threat of a $65,000 fine to make referrals if they have a conscientious objection. To anyone who believes that an unborn child has a right to life making a referral means cooperating with evil. The proposed laws are coercing participation in the overall process of abortion procurement.
“Nurses who refuse to participate in abortions could be fined $65,000. The right to peaceful protest will also be shut down. The bill imposes a 300-metre-wide exclusion zone around abortion clinics. The maximum penalty is 12 months in jail and a $65,000 fine…
“To make matters worse, the prohibited activity includes intimidating, protesting or photographing, and ‘any other prescribed [sic] behaviour’. The sloppy wording, in combination with an open-ended section on regulations, could be used to punish innocent activity.
I know and understand the difficulty many women may have from time to time with their personal attitude toward abortion. I would not be at the head o a queue to throw stones. But this Feminist-led Bill, from the claimed ‘nurturing’ sex, would not just throw stones at anyone speaking out for the silent unborn child, but actually throw their sorry arses in jail and deprive their own children of a parental wage.
Just read the second section again. A person who is asked for a view by a pregnant woman, be they a Qualified Professional ‘counsellor’ or just a family member can be JAILED. The Bill makes no distinction between anyone providing ‘counsel’.
Are feminists mad? It is a legitimate question.
Or just bad? That is a legitimate question too.