The Hon. Cate Faehrmann MLC,
The public wishes at all times for politicians to represent them. However, a member of parliament should refrain from full-blown activism. No one questions reasoned conviction. There is a difference.
However, is it right for you to openly support rallying protestors to potentially disrupt law enforcement in the neighbouring state of Queensland over Adani? To then claim Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk’s government was out of line to “silence climate and anti-Adani activists” who were disrupting a public that overwhelmingly voted in favour of Adani going ahead. Perhaps you might reflect on what some may view as a double standard of silencing those that criticize you for failing to prosecute arguments on your own social media pages?
Do you represent the people of NSW or Queensland? Because if it is the latter you should be running for office there. We have no business meddling in their politics as much as they have no say in how ours is run. That’s how democracy should behave.
In what should have been an important speech you made about women’s rights on abortion, you had to drag it into irrelevant mudslinging surrounding the gender pay gap (illegal), identity politics (feminism) and treating domestic violence as a one-way street.
According to a UK study on domestic violence,
“Male victims (39%) are over three times as likely than women (12%) not to tell anyone about the partner abuse they are suffering from. Only 10% of male victims will tell the police (26% women), only 23% will tell a person in an official position (43% women) and only 11% (23% women) will tell a health professional.
The number of women convicted of perpetrating domestic abuse has increased sevenfold since 2004/05. From 806 in 2004/05 to 5,641 in 2015/16…In 2015, 119,000 men reported to English and Welsh police forces stating they were a victim of domestic abuse. 22% of all victims who report to the police are male. In 2012, 73,524 men did…
Men don’t leave abusive relationships for various reasons – the top reasons being: concern about the children (89%), marriage for life (81%), love (71%), the fear of never seeing their children again (68%), a belief she will change (56%), not enough money(53%), nowhere to go (52%), embarrassment (52%), not wanting to take kids away from their mother (46%), threats that she will kill herself (28%) and fears she will kill him (24%).
Of those that suffered from partner abuse in 2012/13, 29% of men and 23% of women suffered a physical injury, a higher proportion of men suffering severe bruising or bleeding (6%) and internal injuries or broken bones/teeth (2%) than women (4% and 1% respectively). 30% of men who suffer from partner abuse have emotional and mental problems (47% women). Only 27% of men sought medical advice whilst 73% of women did.
Let’s be clear – domestic violence is abhorrent on every level, but it is disingenuous to suggest it is a one-way street because it is simply not. Thank God for those toxic males who took out a knife-wielding perpetrator in Sydney’s CBD recently. You may note that Gillette has now flipped its ‘woke’ advertising campaign to champion what it recently censured to the cost of US$8bn in destroyed market value.
You even took the liberty in your speech to have another swipe at Alan Jones AO in what one can only deduce in the hope he loses his job. You went as far as highlighting ‘male’ and ‘female’ in bold font when referring to him. To what aim?
Unfortunately for you, his career is a matter for his employers, not for a NSW MLC with an axe to grind. He broke no laws. If this speech was truly about abortion, why the need to attack a radio presenter for holding different beliefs to you? He admitted he crossed a line and apologized for it sincerely and publicly, including a letter to PM Ardern who gracefully taunted him back with a sledge over the likely outcome in the Bledisloe Cup. Touché. Two adults who made peace between the only parties concerned.
Since when is it your business, or anyone else’s, to barrack for his dismissal? If you support free speech then you should support it even when those views clash with your own, including Alan Jones. People can make their own minds up about him. He has been put on notice by his employer. It has been sickening to witness those utterly spineless advertisers hiding behind self-censorship post the Ardern event.
If we looked at the ratio of men Jones has pilloried on his radio program over the years it would far outweigh any misogynistic narratives you secretly must wish to be true. It would be safe to assume you are not a regular 2GB listener in the mornings. Perhaps you might ask Peta Credlin if she believes he is the misogynist you charge him to be to cohost a Sky news program with her? For your speech on abortion could be equally interpreted as misandry, given the one-sided stance it took.
Yet on the subject of abortion, it might help to delve into all of the facts.
It is an absolute necessity to ensure safe hospital/clinic-based abortions are made available where it is warranted and necessary. It should never be seen as a way to sacrifice those on the altar of convenience, especially where some cultures choose to do so on the basis of gender, usually at the expense of females. So much for feminism.
Do you think this is only a traumatic thing for women? Is it possible that some fathers of the fetus can suffer considerable anguish with regards to termination? Should they wish to raise by themselves, should they be denied that right, no matter how small the probability of such a scenario?
1,000 women may die from unsafe abortions in The Philippines. It is terrible. Your speech made reference to the WHO and the five million women hospitalised from abortion-related complications. 47,000 die. Another awful statistic.
Perhaps you might look at the even more ghastly stats on abortion.
c.700,000 fetuses are terminated in America each year. Down from 1.4 million in 1990. Hardly stats to cheer about. Of course, the arguments for a woman’s right to choose will always be thrown at pro-lifers. Yet allowing termination until birth in places like New York, a city that lit up monuments in celebration of being able to terminate right up to the point of delivery rightly raises concerns about infanticide.
Eurostat statistics on abortion reveal that Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy alone terminate a combined 760,000 fetuses per annum. Across the EU-28 there are 1.25mn terminations. Without getting into a debate on abortion rights, the pure statistical number points to 20.4% of fetuses never make it out of the womb alive.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, some 56 million abortions occur annually. Every. Single. Year. To think that WWII saw 50 million deaths in 6 years of conflict with the widespread use of lethal weapons. So abortions kill at a far higher rate than global conflict. What a sobering thought.
Now even the religious “far-right”, as you call them, can distinguish between medical need and the irresponsibility of couples to engage in sexual activity. RU-486 was supposed to be the miracle cure that ended abortion for good but the numbers remain so high. It is tragic. We should all reflect on how to improve the choice set made available.
You claim that a mother might not be positioned to give the best start in life to a child. Is that the only out? What might the fetus say? Unfortunately, the fetus doesn’t get any rights and this is what some “far-right” people question. You might argue it is just a clump of pre-formed cells. What if that tissue turned into the next Einstein or Mother Teresa? You would actually find more pro-life advocates support alternatives to abortion, including far more robust adoption facilities to give the unborn the right to life. At the moment the current rushed debate in NSW Parliament is purely binary.
With respect to Planned Parenthood (PP), only 3% of its patients are abortion-related in number. Most of it is related to pap smears, health checks, birth control and other consultations. Yet in its latest annual filing, every single division saw a decline in business activity except abortion and guess what? Total revenues rose appreciably. Which essentially means that abortion is the highest margin service offered by PP.
Which begs the question, why is there a pressing need to rush abortion legislation in NSW? People are free to travel to Queensland or Victoria to have it conducted as much as someone in Alabama can travel to New York to have a procedure.
That is not a valid reason to prevent an update to abortion legislation in NSW but it has been so ill-considered and done under unnecessary pressure without balanced and reasonable debate or due process. It deserves nothing less, even if it includes dragging those from the stone-age kicking and screaming. No wonder the Premier has had to back down. It was poorly executed from the start.
You’ll find the “far-right” less of a menace by allowing reasoned legislation based on common sense and civil discourse.
As far as forcing doctors to conduct abortions against their conscience, that is something that has no place in any legislation. There will undoubtedly be enough medical practitioners who do not carry guilt in conducting abortions yet the state has no place forcing the will on those who don’t. Surely the marketplace in our digital world can quickly separate those who will and won’t terminate fetuses purely based on gender selection.
If you truly wish to advance the cause of women’s rights, engage all sides of the debate. Your opinions are as valid as those on the other side of the coin. They should be weighed by the market of free speech.
The power of listening to all perspectives is what is needed more than ever in politics. Instead of defending your own, defend those of others. If your arguments are compelling then they will stand on their own merit.