The politics of abortion

When it comes to abortion and politics, action matters.

So does honesty.

And collectively, the Victorian Liberal Party has shown that it lacks any will to act on abortion and that it is completely duplicitous in its approach. These facts simply cannot be ignored, notwithstanding the efforts of one or two very brave Liberal politicians, such as Bernie Finn.

That’s why today’s report that Family First will now look at withholding preferences from the Victorian Liberal Party makes perfect sense and is one that I applaud.

So let’s look at the Liberal Party’s actions.

First up, when it comes to action, it doesn’t matter what the Liberal Party says about abortion while it is in opposition. All that matters is what it does when it is in power.

And on this score there are only two numbers that count: 0 and 508.

The first number represents exactly what the Liberals have done to wind back these laws: nothing. There has been complete and utter inaction. In fact, there is a good case to argue that the Labor backbencher, Christine Campbell, has done more to highlight the problems of these laws than the actual Liberals running the state over the last four years.

The second number is even worse. It signifies the difference between the number of days that Labor administered, funded, supported, protected and oversaw these evil abortion laws and the number of days that the Liberals have.

Today that number stands at 508.

That’s 508 days more than Labor that the Liberal government thinks it is fine and dandy to administer laws that allow abortion up until the day of birth. And the only thing about to change on this front is the number. Tomorrow it will tick over to 509.

That means that the Liberals actually have a far worse track record administering abortion in Victoria than the Labor Party.

It’s a stone cold fact encased inside the hardest possible reinforced concrete. There is absolutely no getting around it.

So it’s time to stop thinking that the Liberals are more pro-life than Labor. They aren’t.

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With all this in mind, let’s examine the honesty of the Liberal Party.

And when it comes to honesty it does matter what the Liberal Party said in opposition because we all know that oppositions will say anything to gain power. The only way of knowing if the words of a party in opposition are honest is to see if they mean them while in government.

Liberal MPs mostly voted against the abortion laws while in opposition. And they have mostly said nothing at all about abortion since gaining government. Even after Geoff Shaw announced that he would bring forward a bill to outlaw such things as partial-birth and sex-selection abortion there has been nothing but a stony silence.

That’s dishonest.

During the 2010 election campaign the Liberal Party was most welcoming of support from pro-life groups and was happy to receive preferences from minor parties with pro-life policies. In fact, given the slim victory margin obtained by the Liberal Party, it is likely this support was crucial in helping it gain power. Yet this support has not been treated with the good faith it deserved.

That’s dishonest.

In fact, after the election the Liberal Party’s opposition evaporated in the wind and it just efficiently assumed control of Labor’s abortion laws and kept the killing humming along nicely. Premier Napthine has even gone so far as to say the he has no intention whatsoever of changing these laws.

That’s dishonest.

In effect, the Liberal Party has changed its position in order to curry favour with both sides of this argument.

That’s very dishonest.

Yes, we all know about Emily’s List and the pro-abortion lobby within the Labor Party. This is not hidden. All it simply means is that the Labor Party is honest where the Liberal Party is not.

So the words ‘Liberal Party’, ‘honest’ and ‘abortion’ do not belong in the same sentence, unless you are pointing out the dishonesty in this situation.

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This is important to understand. In just a few month’s time Victorians who are pro-life will essentially have to choose between whether they want an honest pro-abortion party running the joint instead of a dishonest pro-abortion one.

Granted, it’s not really a great choice. But the news that Family First is going to ruthlessly play havoc with its preferences means that some consolation can be gained from the sleepless nights this will cause the cowardly collective of conservative MPs. And I’ve spent enough time around cowardly conservative politicians to know that the thought of losing will cause peptic ulcers. Sometimes this is even enough to perform a minor miracle and strengthen the backbone.

If Liberal MPs don’t stand up on abortion, Family First will have no choice but to proceed with its plan. And there is no doubt that some of these politicians will lose their seats. The government will change hands as well.

Of course, the Liberal Party will huffily claim that it deserves pro-life votes. And it will sook about Family First’s ‘alleged’ lack of integrity.

But the Liberal Party has no integrity when it comes to action on abortion. Just remember those two numbers: 0 and 508. And the Liberal Party certainly has no integrity when it comes to honesty on abortion either.

So it has no leg to stand on, precisely because it has taken no stand on abortion at all.

Of course, those Liberal MPs who have had a backbone should receive Family First preferences. But there’s not many who have actually done anything while they have been in the corridors of power.

And time is running out for those who have been hiding in the background. But they will have to make their position known when Geoff Shaw’s bill is debated and voted upon. Of course, if this bill is sidelined it will only be because the Liberal government allows this to happen. And that will make Family First’s preference decisions that much easier to make.

The best part about Family First’s announcement is that for the first time in a long time the pro-life movement will be playing to its political strengths.

Pro-lifers might not currently have the power to elect a ‘pro-life’ party into office. But they do have the power to toss equivocal politicians out. And they should do this, even if the new guy is just as bad as the old, simply for the message it sends.

After a while, politicians who want a career will start listening. They haven’t had to recently because the Liberals have always just assumed that they’ll get the pro-life vote. And it’s been handed to them for free. And in politics, things that are free are ignored.

But now both Liberal and Labor candidates will be required to compete for the pro-life vote. And that means there will also be a greater pressure to act. From both sides of politics.

And that is why Family First’s decision is not just principled politics. It is also pragmatic because it stands the best chance of achieving a positive outcome as well.

There are other parties with pro-life platforms that will also be contesting the Victorian election, such as the Australian Christians and Democratic Labour Party. I support many of the objectives of these parties and I’ve written previously that cooperation between them would lead to better electoral outcomes.

There would be no better way to kickstart this cooperation than if these other minor conservative parties followed in Family First’s footsteps as well. And that would also turn the current headaches in Liberal Party HQ into full-blown migraines.

It’s what minor parties should do. If they aren’t able to put on the pressure, they might as well not be in the game.

Vic Libs & Abortion

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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8 Comments

  1. Annie, we will have to agree to disagree. I am very inspired by Bernard and his courage to be able to say things others are to afraid to say. I am very pleased to hear you are pro-life, however I do hope you will one day understand the direct link between contracetive methods and abortion, and that these pharmecutical devices and pills when used as contraceptives are infact contributing to the pro abortion ideology. Also I do hope you see that faith and reason are inseperable, and that prayer is more powerful than you assume,
    This quote applys to our politians today regarding the abortion issue, “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” – GK Chesterton

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Kat. I appreciate a lot of what Bernard says as well. That’s why I’m here, he’s saying things many agree with but don’t speak about. I may not agree with all, but I admire the courage and fortitude it takes to publicly say it.

      Thanks for the discussion. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  2. Kat, I understand what you are saying. I used to be pro-choice and am now pro-life but no amount of attempting to change laws changed my mind. And in a democracy, choice is what it’s all about.

    My point above is that by only focusing on one aspect of a political parties platform, you are trying to force a Politian who has been voted by the people, to represent the people, in every issue that is brought to the table to focus on only one issue. You are trying to hold a politician hostage, incapable of doing their job for the people by blocking resolutions until you get your own way. This is manipulation and shows a lack of integrity and is extremely poor leadership. I’ve seen this play out in America and it is not pretty.

    Not only will you not change abortion by holding political parties hostage, you will end up weakening your own position. And worse, you are not addressing the root cause of why abortion is being supported by the general population. Abortion is just the BEGINNING of the moral relativistic mindset we have. You can fight the battle for abortion but lose the War.

    Another approach is needed, because this fight against abortion is symptomatic of a much larger issue in society. Address the larger issue, and the abortion debate will go away.

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    • Annie, I do not think you do understand what I am saying, if one does not have the right to live does this not undermine everything our current laws and policies as irelevent And is it not the job of a politician to make sure that EVERY Australian. including those in utero are included in the laws that are made? I wonder where you stand on contraception as if one truly identifies as being pro-life the one must be anti contraception as they are often abortefacients. The reason why apparently so many support abortion is either becasue they have not been presented with the facts regarding both mother and baby, abortion procedures and post abortion syndrome, or they have become so uneducated they are the product of todays feminist ideaologies and false representation of women, gynecological health and fertility, and this includes pathetic sex education programs that are aimed at young teens encouraging “safe sex” chucking in some contracetives and providing abortion services if the contraceptives fail, and they often do. A nation that kills its own children is a nation without future.
      Pope John Paul II

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      • Katy, I do understand what you are saying. It is imperative that all life has the right to exist, otherwise all other rights are moot and void. I agree with you, which is one of the reasons I am pro-life. I’m not arguing that the pro-life position is one that should be ignored in favour of another.

        However, I do not think the method that Bernard is advocating will have the desired result. If you hold people hostage in one area of politics to force people to do something about another area PARTICULARLY when you hold a minority view, you will lose votes and lose any power you had to effect change. You are also not representing the people who actually voted for you, but rather the unborn.

        I am against abortificants also. I am trying to develop a consistent position on birthcontrol, which can be sometimes difficult as I do not have a religious belief hence I’m kind of swimming around on my own. My pro-life position has developed due to a better understanding of absolute truths, objective truths and morality even if I do not have faith this comes from a God. But it appears to be correct nevertheless.

        What I do know, is that the reasons people are pro-abortion are not going to change regardless of what laws or programs a politician tries to implement. And since we live in a democracy you aren’t going to change this. This is not the solution and I am against holding politicians hostage as I believe this is an abuse of power and will not cause any real progress.

        If you want to stop abortion I think you have to try something that will actually work. We can legislate until we are drowning it. That will not stop abortion.

  3. Bernard,

    Political parties are voted in by the people and they work for the people. They don’t work for ONE ideology, they represent MANY ideologies and MANY different people in this society. You may wish they focused on abortion, but you are just one person. And the evidence is very clear, the vast majority of Australians support Abortion.

    Even family oriented political parties need to have more to offer than just being pro-life as there is far more to do when turning back the time on the anti-family policies that have arisen in our society in the last 50+ years.

    You cannot win this one politically nor is it fair to blame the liberals when they are simply acting in the interests of the majority of their voters. Change will occur when the hearts and minds of people change.

    Remember, Politicians are answerable to the public , ALL the public.

    Post a Reply
    • Annie, no other law has any real significance if one does not have the right to live. And peoples hearts and minds will not change on their own, especially when good men do nothing.

      The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.

      Post a Reply
      • Im thinking the exact same thing as Kat. Men like Bernard are doing an extraordinary service.

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