Pro-choice supporters hold a rally and march under the banner of
Pro-choice supporters hold a rally and march under the banner of "Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Choice" PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

Was abortion letter ‘blatant ignorance’ or campaigning?

Letter to Editor

I WRITE in response to a Letter to the Editor by Mr Jeffrey Eacersall, published in The Gympie Times on October 8, 2020.

Mr Eacersall, I must presume that you have not read the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 (Qld).

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Surely, if you had, you would know that your statements are blatantly incorrect.

Under the Bill, a medical practitioner may perform a termination on a woman who is not more than 22 weeks pregnant.

Let me remind you that, at this stage, the foetus is approximately the size of a sweet potato, and has no conception of existence. Indeed, the only circumstances in which a termination will be considered after this 22-week period has passed will be if the life of the woman is endangered or if the pregnancy is not viable.

Before the adoption of the Bill, abortion was considered to be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld). As a result of this, and of social taboos on the subject, many women were required to seek alternative methods in which to terminate a foetus.

Pro choicers holding a vigil
Pro choicers holding a vigil

In Wales during the 1920s, for example, women would use candles, glass rods, penholders, curling irons, cutlery, and catheters to self-induce a termination. This was an incredibly dangerous procedure, with many women dying as a result.

It is important to remember that women who have carried the foetus for six or more months do not simply wake up one morning, and decide that they no longer want it. They are excited to meet their new child – they have painted the nursery, and picked out clothes and books for their new baby.

So imagine the mother’s utter grief when she is told that she cannot carry that child to term, because it is killing her. Or because the child will not survive the birth, and, if it does, it will be severely disabled with no quality of life.

Pro Abortion protest in Brisbane.
Pro Abortion protest in Brisbane.

You stated that it is ironic that Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk closed the borders, and yet continues to ‘sanction the killing of unborn children’.

Mr Eacersall, I was not aware that pregnancy was contagious like the COVID-19 virus. But let’s pretend for a brief moment that your comparison makes a modicum of sense. Globally, COVID-19 deaths average between 300,000 and 350,000 individuals each day.

If I was asked to choose between saving the lives of 350,000 people, or preventing 30 inanimate clumps of cells from being terminated with the consent of the person whose body they inhabit, I know which option I would prefer.

Anti abortion rally at SA Parliament House marking the 40th anniversary of the legislation of abortions in SA.
Anti abortion rally at SA Parliament House marking the 40th anniversary of the legislation of abortions in SA.

I respond to you, Mr Eacersall, because I wish to educate you on the blatant ignorance that I feel you have displayed. Quite frankly, I am uncertain as to why you chose to comment at all; the only conclusion I can draw from your poorly-researched Letter is that this was an advertising attempt for the LNP, One Nation, and Katter Party for the upcoming State election.

But let me leave you with this parting thought – women across the globe, and throughout history, have never, and will never, need a man to comment on what she can and cannot do with her body.

Brittany O’Shea-Hill, The Dawn

Gympie Times


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