Moves to the right underpin NSW abortion struggle.
Easy access to free, safe abortion is the right of every woman.
NSW is the last Australian state where abortion is still part of the Crimes Act, though it has been widely available for nearly 50 years. Legislation to decriminalise abortion is currently before the NSW parliament.
Those opposed to it are well organised, powerful, loud, deceitful and divisive. Apart from the Uniting Church, most church leaders and their closest followers have always opposed abortion. They knew they couldn’t defeat the Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill.
It easily passed the lower house by 59 to 31 with the support of Premier Gladys Berejiklian, after many hours of anti-abortion grandstanding and amendments.
These amendments were deliberately designed to raise a series of dishonest, sensationalist and unsubstantiated claims in the community through social and traditional media platforms.
The Australian Medical Association criticised proposed amendments, particularly a successful lower house amendment making “informed consent” a part of the legislation.
According to Guardian Australia, AMA Vice President Danielle McMullen said, “Our concern with having it as a separate, statutory requirement within legislation is that it implies there is some extra hurdle when really there shouldn’t be.”
She said informed consent is already “a standard part of clinical practice” and that the passing of the amendment risked creating confusion for doctors and patients.
“A termination is a medical procedure like any other,” she said.
Legislation like the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill has been left to conscience votes for many decades. It’s clear the far right is using religious communities to destabilise those who resist their line.
The anti-abortion crew have a clear agenda: to flex their muscles, to weaken the bill, to delay so they can get their lies into conventional and social media. They aim to revisit the issue again and again in the future.
They take heart from the Medivac Repeal Bill, which recently passed the House of Representatives. It seeks to reimpose delay, suffering and potential deaths on refugees from Manus Island and Nauru urgently needing health care in Australia.
It’s no coincidence it’s happening when capitalist economic crisis is increasingly likely and a US initiated trade war is preparing the ideological ground for a shooting war.
Australia’s role is to be a US puppet. The pro-US cheer squad in the far right aims to isolate and crush any opposition to the ultimate patriarchy of imperialist war.
The Vanguard will dig deeper into this attempt to crush resistance. People will inevitably fight back and learn deep lessons.
We aim to arm all those who lead the fightback with the knowledge that the masses create history and that we belong with them like fish in a sea of people. We must resist every attempt to divide them, and blame the ruling class not the people when they are misled.
We aim to arm the people with analysis, organisation and confidence in the ultimate ability of the masses to defeat imperialism and the ancient, brutal patriarchy with it.