Pro-Choice

I will start with two things:

1. This is in response to an article featuring on Buzzfeed written about a young Queensland (QLD) man, Kurt Tucker. 

2. Kurt Tucker’s opinion doesn’t mean shit. 

So once again, I was click baited by Buzzfeed. Happens daily, I’ve learnt to roll with it. This time though Gina Rushton pulled me in with “This young bloke is very happy that abortion will remain a crime in his state”!

🚨TRIGGERED🚨

Firstly, it’s not just his state, it’s mine too. There are approximately 4.8 million people living in Queensland according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and we have an almost 1:1 gender split (99.1/100 Males to Females). One could argue Mr Tucker has a grandmother, mother, sister, female colleagues, fellow students, and potentially a girlfriend, wife or fiancé or a combination of any of those. Either way, statistically he should be seeing more women in his life than men. After this article, I wouldn’t be surprised if flies didn’t associate with him. 

Secondly, his opinions are irrelevant as he lacks the fundamental hardware for this to ever be an issue for him. 

This is Kurt Tucker. University Student, President of the University of Queensland’s Liberal National Club, not an owner of a uterus.

kt

This is Rob Pyne, actual politician, champion of legislation to decriminalize abortion, also not an owner of a uterus.

rp

MP Rob Pyne introduced a Bill to the QLD parliament, that would decriminalize abortion in Queensland. Currently, abortion is illegal under our Criminal Code and Mr Pyne’s legislation would have turned it from a matter for police and the courts, into a matter for patients and their medical practitioners.

Our Criminal Code allows for abortion only when there is a mental or physical risk to the foetus or mother or if the foetus is diagnosed with a condition incompatible with life. These laws were written in 1899, by men, and haven’t been changed since. Abortion is legal in other States in Australia though, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania all have varying laws but they aren’t in their respective criminal codes and require medical professionals to assess on a case by case basis. The number of professionals increases when the abortion is considered a late term abortion which is generally after 4-5 months or 16-20 weeks.

Mr Pyne’s bill would have seen abortion decriminalised and in line with other states although, the definition for late term sat at 24 weeks where studies have shown a foetus is viable outside of the womb with medical intervention. This is important, as this week in the pregnancy is where the vast majority of people accept that this foetus is no longer, and is now considered a human being and a child who needs protecting. This is also where it gets tricky.

At what point do we draw a line in the sand and say, “You’re past this point in gestation, so congrats you’re having a kid, here’s a nice picture.” Personally, I believe its 24 weeks but I am also conflicted. We as a society cannot force our beliefs onto another person, so who am I to say that to another woman? Who the hell is Kurt Tucker to say that to anyone?

“I am exceptionally happy that the bills were withdrawn, and I’d be very happy if they don’t resurface in the parliament,” Tucker told BuzzFeed News

Mr Tucker believes that decriminalizing abortion will lead to a large scale uptake of the procedure and that women will start using it as a form of birth control. This only further strengthens my point; his opinion is invalid because he does not own a uterus. I can tell you right now that decriminalizing it, will lead to safer abortions, accessible to everyone, not just the private elite who have the funds to do so. The procedure, for those unaware, is painful, invasive and largely unpleasant and I can guarantee that as a woman, I do don’t know anyone who would willingly run the risk of needing to use this as a form of birth control.

Tucker is quoted as believing the legislation did not set gestational limits and this is a reason for his opinion, he also called the legislation “poorly drafted”. Let’s let that sink in. A university student, criticized an actual politician’s legislation for being poorly written, yet he missed the section of the legislation which defined the gestational limit as 24 weeks. Typical millennial, believes he is entitled to his opinion and that its correct, simply because he is breathing. This is a topic I have followed, but not to extreme levels and even I have seen commentary from various sources quoting the 24-week gestational limit, and yet BuzzFeed isn’t talking to me.

“The idea that a kind of vulnerable mother could be prosecuted does make me uncomfortable, but I fail to see how abortion to a large extent could be stopped without it being in the criminal code,” Tucker said.

So Tucker doesn’t like the idea of vulnerable women being prosecuted, but is fundamentally opposed to a bill that would stop that. I think his key message here is contained in four simple words “…I fail to see…”. Tucker fails to see how decriminalising the medical procedure can actually make it safer for women to have. He fails to see how legal abortions can help a woman who was sexually assaulted access legal and safe medical procedures to remove any accidental pregnancies which were out of her control. He fails to see how women are affected by the is legislation, simply because he isn’t one. He is just a kid who was stopped on the street by a left wing media agency with a staggering social media presence. He knew that his comments would inflame the situation and part of me wonders if he believes the dribble coming from his mouth or if he is just trolling us.

“When people come with a pro-life attitude it is not because they want to control people’s lives,” Tucker said. “It is not because they want to tell women what to do. It is not because they want to be nasty and ruin someone’s life.

“It is because, like me, you’ve come to a real view based on, for me, science, not religion, that at some point in gestation a fetus becomes a human being, and at that point, they should be protected by law.”

Tucker believes his views are based on science. Oh my lord, please stay away from my beloved science. Scientists have been studied humans in the womb for centuries and have so far come up with a lot of evidence based conversation about when a foetus becomes a child in utero and the general consensus at the moment is still 24 weeks for viability. Coincidentally, we ran over this earlier as this is the gestational limit in Mr Pyne’s Bill. So yes at some point, the foetus becomes a human being and according to science, that point is 24 weeks.

Prolifers in my experience have been the opposite of Tuckers description above. I have had a prolifer abuse me, yell at me and call me all sorts of names on a busy Brisbane CBD street, because I dared to verbally disagree with his placard he was flashing in my face. Prolifers stand outside of private abortion clinics and medical centres known to perform the procedures, in order to harass and intimidate women who are attempting to access medical advice and procedures. I am yet to see a Proflifer who doesn’t try to ram their opinion and beliefs down someone else’s throat.

This is why I am Pro-Choice. I want to see a society where a woman can choose what to do with her body without the interference of man, statute or protestor. I want to see a world where harassing and intimidating vulnerable women is illegal. I want to see a world where women are free to do with their bodies as they choose. I still hope that one day I will see that. Given the current global climate, its looking pretty dim.

Tucker said that rather than decriminalising abortion, the state should work on making adoption much easier and cheaper.

Dear sweet baby Lucifer, Tucker wants abortion to be illegal, but the adoption process cheaper and easier. He talks about wanting to protect children, yet wants to make the process of doing that cheaper and easier. The student clearly needs a lesson in child protection. Yes, adoption in Queensland needs an overhaul. No it does not need to be cheaper and easier.

The Queensland Labor government has promised, if reelected, to introduce a bill to “modernise Queensland’s abortion laws”, pending advice from the state’s Law Reform Commission.

The Bill has now gone to Queensland’s Law Reform Commission. In other words, it will be buried under a pile of other legislation on the desk of an overworked paralegal and we will not hear about it further.

As a woman, with a mother, grandmother, sisters, colleagues, fellow students, friends and assorted other family, I can’t help but feel like I have been let down by a room predominantly filled with men. Let down because the decision on what to do with my body lays in their hands and not mine. Let down because they had the chance to change that and rather than risk losing their rich funders for the support of the masses, they chose the money. Let down because yet another news outlet chose to speak to a man about a fundamental women’s issue. Let down that still my state is not in line with the others. Let down that men are allowed to believe they have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with the organs that make me my identified gender and not theirs.

So for now, Tucker, keep your opinions to yourself. Especially when you cannot distinguish facts from your personal beliefs. Thank you Mr Pyne for attempting to make a difference, you have made one to me.

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