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The Forum > Article Comments > Political will or safer pill? > Comments

Political will or safer pill? : Comments

By David van Gend, published 9/12/2005

David van Gend argues the importation of RU486 demands a unique level of public accountability.

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Does the federal health minister have to approve surgical abortion procedures? No. And yet, similarly, such procedures are unique because no other surgical procedures are designed to end human life. The RU486 issue is not a right to life issue, it is a womenís rights issue, letís be clear on that. Requiring ministerial approval seriously undermines a womanís right to privacy, and seriously oversteps the level of power that should be vested in any one politician. With regard to transparency and accountability in what is a serious and drastic event, there are alternatives, such as recording how many abortions occur each year. I agree, we should be offering alternatives to abortion. It should be a last resort. But it is legal, and it is an option, as such we should be offering the safest alternative in the kindest possible manner in what is a difficult time in peoples lives(note, I am not suggesting RU486 is necessarily the safest alternative).
Posted by Jude, Friday, 9 December 2005 10:02:28 AM
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Correct Jude.

Nothing to do with a politician(s) either male or female, it is an extremely personal individual matter.
Posted by Pachelbel, Friday, 9 December 2005 12:02:33 PM
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Thank you for this article, Dr van Gend. I also greatly appreciated your appearance on the 7:30 Report on 29 November, and wrote about it on my blog. Keep up the good work! Your sensible and compassionate approach will no doubt have positive effects.
Posted by Sherrin Ward, Saturday, 10 December 2005 8:03:11 PM
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eh great another religious fanactic telling the rest of us how to run our lives. Funny that this drug sells best in the Bible belt of USA! It's easy David if you don't like the pill don't use it.
Posted by Kenny, Monday, 12 December 2005 9:33:52 AM
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The importation of RU 486 demands assessment by medical experts and is absolutely insistent that it has nothing to do with politics or religion.

Abortion is legal. RU 486 is a safe alternative that has other beneficial medical uses.

The human race is not about to die out.

Women have right to choose.

If you don't believe in abortion - don't have one.
Posted by Scout, Monday, 12 December 2005 11:24:32 AM
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Scout Ė you say religion and politics should be kept out but what about medical science? Scientifically, RU486 is apparently NOT as safe for a women as a surgical abortion http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17506669%255E7583,00.html

To be (shock, horror) pedantic, abortion on demand is not actually legal in most states of Australia Ė it is generally only legal where there is a physical or mental danger to the woman although this is interpreted very, very broadly.

Yes I agree RU468 may have other beneficial medical uses and they should be considered.

Also what should be considered is adequately helping women so they donít have to be ashamed of being pregnant. Organised religion has a lot to answer for here Ė and so does our current government paying new single unemployed parents (male or female) $29 less than previously under the proposed welfare-to-work legislation!

If the baby gets born, grows up and decides itís not happy it can always legally kill itself (suicide is not illegal, but recommending it is so let me clearly state here that I am not recommending that anyone kill themselves and it is a really bad idea and you should go and talk to someone and not do it). It is the job of the state to protect citizens from killing each other. If a woman gives birth to a baby, doesnít want it and kills it we put her in jail and call it ďmurderĒ. If babies can be born prematurely at 23 weeks, can a women have an abortion at 24 weeks and not be killing a baby?

When I was suicidal I went to a medical centre to see a doctor about it and happened to get Dr David van Gend (this was years and years ago btw when he worked in Brisbane) and he was really good at counselling me against it too. I donít agree with everything he writes about (eg. Iím heterosexual but donít think homosexuality is wrong) but you can see that he is a caring person really concerned about women.
Posted by Pedant, Monday, 12 December 2005 1:53:57 PM
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