Thursday, February 09, 2006

RU 486

The Australian Senate has passed a bill that would mean that the Minister of Health wouldn't personally get to veto RU 486 (the abortion drug). Currently it's up to the Catholic Minister of Health to sign off on its safety, and its suitability for Australian women ($10 for anyone who can't guess what he decided).

Personally I'm not sure why someone would choose RU 486 over surgical abortion. Surgical abortion is quicker and safer. But guess what? I'm not having other women's abortions, so I don't get a say (and the Male Catholic Minister of Health isn't having anyone's abortions).

I've listened to bits of the debate on National Radio, and avoided crashing my car in fury, so I guess I'm growing as a person. But I have a shortlist of people most likely to cause me to have a traffic accident:

The Finance Minister who used the fact his girlfriend had had an abortion when they were in a relationship to justify his vote against the bill.


George Brandis wanted to correct the 'fallacies' of this debate, one of which was:

Because this is an issue that directly affects women, it is an issue where the point of view of women carries greater weight than the point of view of men
Absolutely, I wouldn't want anyone to think that my view on my body was important.


  1. You may be interested in crazybrave's post on the subject:

    I think you'd like her blog, it's got an Against Abortion? Don't Have One pic :-)

  2. Sometimes faith in the Australian Federal Government is restored. Just a little bit...

  3. Ugh. I would have crashed, or at least been screaming at the top of my lungs (hell I was doing that as I read it.) Why are morons running the world?

  4. Hi! This blog has been added to the library of NZ blogs over at I still haven't finished indexing them all, I had no idea we had so many.

    Anyway, capitalismbad is a good read, thanks and have a good weekend.



  5. Hey Maia, I enjoy reading your blog and I think we have alot in common! I do want to know why you think surgical abortion is safer than RU-486. I would chose the pill because anything surgical is risky. Can you explain your point please?
    I have posted a couple of times on RU-486 at

  6. Hi Moxie

    I'm having problems coming up with stats because everything I google is dominated by 'pro-life' websites. But my understanding is surgical abortion has fewer side effects and a lower risk factor the medical abortion.

    This is probably because it is such a simple procedure. While every medical procedure has a risk, early surgical abortion is actually the safest procedure that is only performed in the hospital. To give you a comparison back when D&C rather than Dilation and suction was the most common abortion procedure it was still safer to use condoms and abortion was a back-up than it was to be on the pill. Although both abortion and the pill are less risky now that they were then.

    As far as I know most of the advantages of taking the abortion pill (such as you can do it at a time of your choosing, or if you need to travel you can wait to actually have the abortion when you get home), aren't available in New Zealand, because you have to take the pill in the hospital (because of our fucked up abortion laws).

  7. Sorry the term I meant was Vaccuum Aspiration not dilation and suction.

  8. Maia, thanks for that. It is about time we have a national debate on our outdated abortion laws and I look forward to reading more on your site about your views.
    I think that I need to know more about the RU-486 side effects because every anesthetic you have poses a risk and it would be good to weigh those risks up. no matter what the answer to the above is - we should still have the option.

    I have been speaking some male friends recently and it is surprising how many don't know what happens when a surgical abortion is performed. i hope that the words Vaccuum Aspiration puts them right!!!

  9. I think my views on our abortion laws can be summed up: "I make it a personal mission to dance on the grave of every single person who voted for the laws" But I should be writing a longer piece sometime soon.

    Most early surgical abortions aren't done under general anesthetic, so the side effects there are actually quite minimal.

    Like I said I believe there shoudl be a choice, I just don't quite understand why people would take the pill option.

    Although it's probably a personality thing. I'd rather have my vaccum aspiration over in 5 minutes, than take the pill, wait 12 hours for it to start working, and then bleed for as long as it takes.