Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Pro-Abortion Thuggery

Abortion Legislation Bill Takes on Democracy--and "Wins"

Gavan O'Farrell

I was one of the thousands of people who made a submission relating to the Abortion Legislation Bill.  Like many people, I oppose abortion on demand, and my submission gave reasons.

Sometime later, the Parliamentary Select Committee considering this bill emailed submitters.  The email included:

The committee has agreed to hear from as many submitters as possible, focusing on submissions that will most help it consider what, if any, changes should be recommended to the bill.

Select Committees consider –

1.  whether to recommend that a bill should proceed; and
2.  if they recommend that it should proceed, what (if any) amendments to recommend.
This committee seems to have skipped step #1.  And public hearings are yet to occur.  I emailed the committee secretariat describing the usual practice and asking, “How on earth has the committee decided in advance that the Bill will proceed?”

The response:

Detail of the committee’s consideration is confidential to the committee.
In other words, “We’ve made up our minds before public hearings and we’re not prepared to discuss it”.

Having pre-empted the outcome in this way, it is perhaps not remarkable that the committee will hear only 150 oral submissions out of the 2,890 people who said they’d like to appear and be heard (there were 25,000 written submissions): (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_Legislation_Bill_2019)

This bias is not just the committee’s, it was wired in by the decision to make the committee all-female – “all-female” in that the parties agreed to nominate only female members.  David Seymour is hovering around the fringes, having promised not to interfere.

The decision that the committee be all-female was completely pre-emptive and turned the process into a farce.  It is premised on the feminist dogma that men cannot have a relevant opinion on this topic, which is itself premised on the notion that the woman is the only person involved in an abortion.  That’s only true if the embryo/foetus is not a human being, which is the very point of contention.

My purpose here is not to attack the bill, or to attack abortion, but to point out that the central issue has been sidestepped by process.

The decision to hear only very few submitters in person is interesting, especially when you compare it to the epic effort of the committee that considered the End of Life Choice Bill.  The decision suggests that the Abortion Legislation Committee isn’t even interested in putting on a decent show of hearing submissions.  It’s now just a matter of efficiency.  This is honest, but it displays an impressive moral arrogance.

It’s possible that you might not mind so much, if you happen to be Pro-choice.  (I also wouldn’t mind quite so much if the bill was going the other way.)  However, it’s worth bearing in mind that a Government that will compromise democratic processes for one bill will do it for others.  These processes are critical to free speech and transparent law-making, but they are now in the hands of ruthless pragmatists.

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