Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Six words Senator: A Woman and her Healthcare professional.

Senator Boswell is pleased to have facts. He has data that reveals that 91,000 terminations of pregnancy procedures were carried out in Australia in 2003/04. The data is misleading as all terminations come under the same Medicare number. The Senator states that,
"I think this is such a monumental decision in people's lives that they should have counselling."
Who is the Senator referring to when he says 'they'?
  1. The woman and her husband?
  2. The woman and her boyfriend?
  3. The woman and her partner?
  4. The woman and the progenitor? (in case it's not her husband, boyfriend or partner)
  5. The woman and her mother?
  6. The woman and her father?
  7. The woman and her sister?
  8. The woman and her brother?
  9. The woman and her child/ren?
  10. The woman and her employer?
  11. The woman and her support person?
  12. The woman and her support pet?
  13. The woman and all of the above?
Counselling for all these people already exists. It is part of the healthcare professional's role to provide a woman with local support services (for both continuing with the pregnancy and terminating it). The woman can then take any or all of the above people/pets along to any or all the appointments she makes.

The decision to continue with a pregnancy or terminate it remains a private one. The woman will tell those she trusts. She will seek advice from the sage from within the trusted group. A call from a well-meaning, but unwanted Counsellor is not ok. The process and intent has the potential to create involuntary clients. Counsellors have little impact (and even less attendance rate) on such a cohort. Moreover, ramifications for non-compliance (a client hanging up, not wanting to come, missing a scheduled appointment, saying "fuck off", lying about who they are, feigning wrong numbers, saying "oh she's moved out" etc.), if in fact such a thing is built-in to Senator Boswell's grand plan the consequences for non-compliance are too scary to contemplate.

Senator Boswell you are raising poor, unnecessary, invasive potential-policy.
Yet again, not placing the woman and her reproductive rights central to the issue.

Image from here


Blogger Gerry said...

Suki, you have also sent this message to Sen Boswell, yes?

10:49 pm  
Anonymous evelyn said...

Australia doesn't keep accurate abortion records. Medicare uses the same code for abortion as it does for D&C.

D&C's are performed for a range of issues:

Bleeding between periods
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Bleeding after intercourse
Investigation of infertility
Endometrial polyps
Uterine cancer (early diagnosis)
Thickening of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia )
An embedded IUD (intrauterine device)
Therapeutic or elective abortion
Postmenopausal bleeding, or abnormal bleeding while taking hormone
replacement therapy medications

Makes the figure look a little alarmist, doesn't it?

11:24 am  
Blogger amy gardner said...

If there were fewer abortions would conselling no longer be necessary?

Is it only tragic for women because so many other women are in the same situation?

What do numbers have to do with it? They are irrelevant - every experience is unique.

2:36 pm  
Blogger suki said...

gerry, thanks for the prompt...Done!

evelyn, as usual the Senator pays no mind to the details.

amy, your point about counselling being available irrespective of numbers of individual events is a good one, thank you.

5:58 pm  
Blogger amy gardner said...

I also worry though about the use of these numbers to make abortion seem worse. I read a great article a few weeks back: http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/If-terminations-are-really-murder-there-should-be-no-abortion-debate/2005/03/08/1110160822226.html
that makes the point - if abortion is murder then prove it in court and make laws to put women in gaol for having them. If it's not then what do numbers prove?

The logic seems to be, we'll support choice legislation as long as too many women don't make the wrong choice. But if they keep making the wrong choice, then we'll take that option away from you.

It makes me very angry...

11:53 am  

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