pseudo swede blemishes the internet with her impure thoughts and so on.

sunnuntaina, helmikuuta 27, 2005

via personal political

Anne Summers, on the real detail behind Abbott's relinquishment of his son.

As she reports, the decision to relinquish their child was not a mutual decision at all, but one which Abbott pushed Kathy Donnelly into. They had decided to get married.... until he got cold feet, and then was surprised when she broke up with him when she was seven months pregnant.

And janet albrechtson can fuck off with her slimy insinuations about "what would have happened to the children of unwed teenage mothers had they not been adopted?"

Number one, how DARE you imply that unwed teenage mothers are by their very nature toxic to their children - have a look around you - there are wonderful parents and not so wonderful parents, and neither age nor marital status can reliable deliver either result.

Number two, no one has taken adoption off the agenda. Women can still adopt out their babies (though they are warned of the grief that many women suffer on separation and throughout their lives), and the provisions for women to maintain some contact with relinquished children is much better than in the 1960s and early 1970s when abortion was peaking - it is just that very few women choose to. When you look a little further into the stories of women who relinquished children to adoption, as Adele Horin , it is clear that the years of big numbers of adoptions were foundered on coercing and disempowering women.

"Adoption is the sensible solution for the parentless child and the childless parent."

Please tell me Janet, how are the children of unwed teenage mothers "parentless"?? Unless you don't think these women have a right to exist? or would you be happier if we just disposed of them and the welfare cost they represent?

mind you, if i were janet albrectson's child i would WANT to be adopted out.

god help the ABC board...

torstaina, helmikuuta 24, 2005

Following a conversation in the comments, here are some further adoption resources:

ARMS (Association of Relinquishing Mothers)

Information on the process of making contact between a relinquished child and mother in NSW

Research on the relinquishing mothers' pain associated with the loss of their child

Adoption Research and Counselling Service (western australia?) ARCS Ph: (08) 9370 4914

Research on effects of adoption on adoptees:

Victorian Government services, including relinquishment counselling

A South Australian woman (also a relinquishing mother) who offers phone-counselling

1. Clear evidence of Global warming
Oh no.... old rice and monkey nuts agrees with me... He even picked out the same quote from Abbott...

Abbott did insist Daniel not become a "political football" in his campaign against abortion, but then said: "I am disappointed there are so few babies adopted these days because there are plenty of parents (wanting to adopt)."

And here he is arguing for a tougher line on rugby thick-heads who assault women...

what. is going on with this world?

2. Jazz Ballet

So! Guess why *I'm* walking like a cowboy today?

That's right! I took a Jazz Ballet class at the Sydney Dance Company the other night.

Actually, it was more like this:

Which was HIGHLARIOUS because:
- i've never done jazz ballet before in my life;
- i was wearing sneakers;
- i forgot to dress like thiiiiiis; and
- i have about the same level of coordination as her.

Despite this, i LOVED it! Got all sweaty, did my little shoulder rolls and dramatic head flicks (ouch: cervical vertebrae!), went "to tha floor" and even
got a little clap at the end.

(well, we all did... that is what jazz ballet is all about, applauding our own and other's lack of coordination)

oh yes! i'll be back! and before you know it, i'll be frontlining the next production of FAME!


tiistaina, helmikuuta 22, 2005

On that same topic, some apt words from Pinko Feminist Hellcat:

Abortion apparently hurts women because we just can't take the thought of killing our babies; however, giving them up for adoption is just like giving away a pair of shoes. Gosh, it's easy, and those naughty sluts who decide they don't want to give their children up for adoption after all are selfish whores! Don't they realize that there are people out there who want their baby?

Of course, people who would force women to breed for their benefit aren't selfish. Not at all.

maanantaina, helmikuuta 21, 2005


(via Zoe )

I couldn't think of a better word to describe Tony Abbott's approach to his biological son - past and present.

Relinquishing your child to adoption - what a great story!

Stick that to the pro-choice mob!

Clearly the reason Mr Abbott is asking the media "don't use my son as a political football" is because Abbott himself wants to claim that privilege over his offspring. It took him exactly one day after the first media release to start using his son as a case study in the merits of adoption over abortion, commenting, "I am disappointed there are so few babies adopted these days because there are plenty of parents [willing to adopt them]." And the anti-choice fundamentalists are lapping it up already...

Clearly, Abbott is not content with just walking out on his pregnant girlfriend to have a holiday , then insisting that she carry through with the pregnancy and relinquish their child to adoption so that he can rest easy with his catholic conscience. When his long-lost son turns up to find out his origins, Abbott then has to make the poor bloke's very life into an anti-abortion campaign, and then demands that his son change his political views to reflect his bloodline, pledging to try to convert his long-lost son by a combination of "argument" and the force of his own "character".

Fuck you very much! No wonder the unfortunate lad "couldn't stop swearing" and then headed off to england when he got the news.

According to Howard, this is a "wonderful story" and anti-abortionist Christopher Pearson said he was "delighted that the story had such a happy ending".

Never mind about the long term trauma which the adoption involved for Daniel O'Connor, or his mother, Kathy Donnelly, or the invasion of privacy for the adoptive family who did all the hard work raising Daniel.

In the words of Daniel's mother, Kathy Donnelly:
You know, someone flippantly said to me the other day, “Oh, you know, it was all for the best", and ultimately, hopefully it has been. But I said to them, “You know, you choose one of your children - and I'll make it easy on you, you can choose whichever one you like - and give them to a complete stranger." Yeah, there's nothing easy about that ? nothing.

She says,
"I never once heard anybody say 'Kathy, you can keep this baby'. The culture was very much that if I had any decency and any concern for Daniel, then all that I could do was relinquish him. The mantra was 'if you love him, let him go'." And that in the five days between Daniel's birth and their separation, "I certainly wept plenty. It was horrendous,"

"It was not in any way an easy decision -- I would say the most difficult decision I will ever have to make," Mrs Donnelly said.

Ms Donnelly's account certainly resonates with many of the 250 000 women who relinquished children to adoption in Australia since the late 1920s, both in terms of the constant grief relating to relinquishing a child, and the suffocating feeling of "choicelessness" for many women facing an unplanned pregnancy.

A series of studies have found among other things that relinquishing mothers suffer from a very high incidence of pathological grief reactions, predominantly depression and psychosomatic illness, and that in one US study, 60% of the relinquishing mothers studies suffered from gynecological, medical and psychiatric problems. Unlike the "post abortion syndrome" furphy the effects of relinquishing their children to adoption is real. And clearly the effect on Abbott has been more in the way seeking forgiveness from the catholic church by launching an anti-abortion, rather than showing any empathy or grief.

Like adoptee Laurie Frisch, I'd argue that adoption and abortion are never alternatives, because they are two very different decisions. You can decide either to terminate or to continue a pregnancy, but you can't just "adopt out" your fetus without first carrying the baby to full term, and giving birth to it, by which time it is very much a real live baby - and more to the point, your child.

I don't think adoption is the neat solution to abortion because i don't believe children are transferable objects, and i think that to erase connections to the mother in order to substitute new "more suitable" parents shows a peculiar disrespect for the mother-child bond.

I have a particular bias here, as my mother also faced an unplanned pregancy - but after being dumped by her boyfriend, ex-communicated by her family, unable to get an abortion, and unable to care for a child on her own, her only option was to relinquish her baby. That adoption, and the secrecy and pain surrounding it, has marred her life with chronic depression. After so many people telling her that "the best thing she could do for her baby" would be to relinquish her (ie get out of her life) she was left with a feeling of nothingness, that she didn't matter - even to the person who needed her most - her own baby. Hence, numerous suicide attempts. When i asked my mum how she thought me and my brother and sister would cope without her, she said she "thought we'd be better off". Depression, suicide and infertility are far more common among women who have relinquished children to adoption.

Here in Australia, the adoption rate dropped dramatically in 1972, the year that the sole parent's pension was introduced and abortion became legal in most states. Since then, the non-family adoption rate has continued to drop so that the last annual figure was 79 cases for the whole of Australia. What this shows, is that when women have real choices - to raise a child as a single parent or in an existing relationship, to abort or to relinquish their child to strangers - only a tiny percentage choose adoption. In fact, there is now a court case on foot in which women who allege that the State Government coerced them to relinquish their babies for adoption because they were single.

Still, I would not argue that adoption should be out-lawed, (though i don't think birth mothers should have their legal connections with their children erased and should be allowed to maintain contact) as there are clearly some cases where it can work well. Where there is no secrecy, where the birth mother's special continuing relationship with the child is respected, then adoption could operate to expand families (linking adopted and birth families) rather than tearing apart birth families to create adoptive families.

Again, the key here is choice - both for the mother, and for adoptive children.

torstaina, helmikuuta 17, 2005

Here we have the ridiculous situation where on the very same day that alexander downer admits that Mamdouh Habib may have been abused in Egypt, Kim Beazley is taking a stick to the poor man in his best impression of a terrorist-hunting conservative. Ooh Kimmy, you are so *tough*!

I have no bloody idea what Mr Habib was doing in Afghanistan in 2001 - just as much as I know about what Mrs Collopy who taught me year 9 history was doing in Point Lonsdale in 1973 - isn't the world a jolly great mystery? But if Mr Habib was doing something wrong or illegal, then isn't it the federal police's job to find out about it and charge him with an offence? That's (apparently) what we have a criminal justice system for, I thought...

And apparently delivering "democracy" in the US includes paying journalists to play the government line.

torstaina, helmikuuta 10, 2005

Put that damn kettle on!

There's some women with opinions coming through!

keskiviikkona, helmikuuta 09, 2005

Ladies, can't you feel the love?
A whole host of male politicians and priests and the Self-Appointed Commander Of Wombs! raising the collective whine "I really care about women and their ability to make a informed choice" - while doing their best to put their own religious / "moral" limits on women's access to safe, affordable abortion. So caring, so loving, so attuned to the hardships of being a woman and having to make all those big important decisions without a gaggle of conservative male authority figures telling you what to do.

So, guess what, the tactics of the pro-life movement have changed. Damn it, they're hardly even using that tag "pro-life" anymore, but instead, they are all about being "pro-woman" and helping women "make life-affirming choices" which are "best for women, and their babies". Like most of Australian neo-conservatism, there is nothing original about it - its proponents have sourced most of their wording, media angles and "research" directly from the US pro-life movement. In the US, the group "Feminists for Life" have registered as trade-marks the catchy slogans "Refuse to Choose" "Women deserve better" and "It's time to question abortion". Feminism's never been this slick - or had such a seemingly boundless advertising budget.

The selfish mothers versus poor innocent unborn babies thing just wasn't cutting it these days - too many people know first hand the difficulties involved in an unplanned pregnancy to buy into the misogynistism which has long underlain pro-life logic. Besides, why alienate women when they could be some of your best tools in cramping down on women's rights? It was certainly a perverse but popular tactic in conservative resistance to women getting the vote - getting women to speak out against suffrage and to sign Antisuffrage petitions. Somehow, getting a representative of an affected group to stand up and say "yes! don't give us democratic / reproductive rights - we don't want / deserve / need them" makes it okay to restrict the rights of everyone else.

Hence, we have the newly-branded "Pro-woman" pro-life movement! They even had a wank-festconference to prove it, though whether its media spokesperson, Rachel Patterson, has paid for the right to use the registered trademark "Women deserve better" is unclear.

And actually, some of their points do resonate with many women in the community - yes, we need more child-friendly workplaces and universities, yes, some women would like to continue their pregnancy but resort to abortion because they don't have the financial and emotional support to rear a child, and yes, if you feel like you've been forced into an abortion by these circumstances, then it would be no surprise if you felt some regrets. The question is - how will restricting safe legal abortion solve these issues? Like most feminists, I'm not just concerned about women's reproductive freedoms. I'm also concerned with, and actively campaigning for universal paid maternity leave, child-friendly workplaces, better pay equity and job security for women, and better availability and education about contraceptives. Pro-life women are welcome to join in these efforts, and help reduce the numbers of women feeling like they have no other choice but abortion. The happy side-effect is, that a society that has implemented these reforms, namely the Netherlands, has the lowest rate of abortion in the world of 5.5 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age per year.

But it is at this point that the pro-woman rhetoric of the pro-life movement starts to wear thin and some different stripes begin to show through. Because at the core of this "pro-woman" story is the idea that abortion itself is so "bad" that women should never be allowed to even choose it for themselves. Despite the language of helping women make "informed choices", the pro-life movement still steers women firmly towards only one option - continuing their pregnancy. When people like Victorian ALP MP Christine Campbell say "Parliaments need to find creative life-affirming alternatives for women who often feel abortion is the only option" the subtext is, "you can make any decision you want, as long as it's not abortion".

Traditionally, the "badness" of abortion has been expressed in moral and religious terms, and with reference to the effect on the idea of the body, soul or consciousness of the fetus. The new pro-woman rhetoric instead focuses on the "badness" of abortion for women, then with the traditional "killing babies" tactic thrown in at the end for good measure. Pro-life campaigner, Melinda Tankfull-of-Old Rice and Monkeynuts, has made a niche for herself in bewailing the ills of abortion for women - botched abortions ending in perforated bowells, mental illness and the tenuous link between abortion and breast cancer.

In fact, legal abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in Australia, and a recent review of domestic and international clinical studies reports by the Newcastle Institute of Public Health found that "the legal and voluntary termination of pregnancy rarely causes immediate or lasting negative psychological consequences in healthy women". The breast cancer claim is pure furphy and has been found to have no basis. The heavy involvement of religious groups in the newly-exhumed abortion debate clearly demonstrates that a person's perspective as to the "badness" or otherwise of abortion differs according to their religious, moral, philosophical, or scientific viewpoint. At what stage does a fetus becomes a child? When does it become a human soul? What happens to the soul of abortes fetuses? How do you grieve for your aborted fetus? These are all vital questions, but ones which belong in the realm of belief, faith, metaphysics. You cannot put legislation in place to address the "badness" of abortion without building religious beliefs into legislation, and therefore undermining the people's freedom of religion, and freedom to make decisions about their own bodies.
Secondly, despite re-branding the pro-life movement as "pro-woman", the fact remains that it is chiefly men pushing this bandwagon along - older, conservative, religious men. Although these men are very happy to cite women as being against abortion (eg Ron Boswell begins his tirade with anti-choice quotes from three women ) and to claim that women are being victimised by the "male dominated abortion industry" , their appreciation of women's opinions extends only to those opinions which match theirs. Again, it adds up to good, old fashioned paternalism - men who want to "save" women from making difficult decisions over their own lives.

Despite all the nice talk of reducing the numbers of abortions and making sure women are fully informed, for men such as John Murphy, parliamentary secretary to Labor leader Kim Beazley, "one abortion for me is too many".

When the pro-life fundamentalists run into the persistent hurdle that is real life women who expect to control their lives and bodies, the pro-woman rhetoric suddenly drops. And there's always someone, like Alan Cadman, who'll give the game away, and say what all these "pro-woman" fundamentalists have been thinking in their discussions around the bar, that it is women's own "stupidity" getting them "pregnant willy-nilly" and they should focus on the task of pumping out "more home-grown kids". "Pro-woman" my bottom.