Category Archives: women’s writing

A comprehensive evaluation of the overall impact of aluminum on human health is overdue

A decade since the launch of the vaccine a book questions the claim it prevents cancer,’ wrote Carolyn Moynihan as she began her review of my book Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed published in August in MercatorNet. Her review was fair with her concluding paragraph:
Lobato concludes her book with an appeal to the media to do their job and give the public the fuller story about the HPV vaccine. You may not agree with her version of the story at all points, but she has shown Big Media some of the things they could be airing in the interests of informed debate.
A month later MercatorNet has published another piece presenting ‘expert’ evidence given by Professor Silvia Carlos an expert on infectious diseases in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarre, Spain. One of the issues that they discuss with Professor Silvia Carlos concerns the safety of aluminium in the HPV vaccine. It is vital that we understand this issue as Gardasil contains 225 micrograms of amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate per dose. The purpose and mechanism of the aluminium as an adjuvent is explained by Exley, C., Siesjö, P. & Eriksson as owing to the homogeneity and generally weak immunogenicity of recombinant antigens, the inclusion of adjuvants is often necessary for the induction of robust immune responses and effective immunisation. In other words the human papilloma virus-like particles made by DNA recombination technology are not strong enough to bring about an immune response so aluminium which enhances the body’s immune response is added.
Silvia Carlos claims that the amount of aluminium in the vaccines is low and quotes the CDC, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which says that aluminium has been safely used in vaccines for over 70 years.
However Canadian researchers Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw state in their paper Aluminium Adjuvants: Are they safe?  
Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. They state that:

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin. Experimental research clearly shows that aluminium adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. In addition: the use of adjuvants in human vaccinations has been linked to adverse effects often classified under Autoimmune (or autoinflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants . Combined with the relatively low cost of hydrated colloidal aluminium salts and their ease of inclusion as effective adjuvants within clinically approved vaccine formulations, the continued use of ABA (aluminium based adjuvants) in human vaccinations is likely to continue. Aluminum adjuvants are also used in vaccines such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-containing vaccines, and Haemophilus influenzae type b and pneumococcal vaccines.

Canadian researchers Tomljenovic and Shaw state that unlike dietary aluminium which usually is rapidly cleared from the body, aluminium that is used in vaccines such as Gardasil ‘is designed to provide a long-lasting cellular exposure’. They explain that while the aluminium that is contained in vaccine facilitates an immune response against antigens it can make its way into the central nervous system. ‘It is not really a matter of much debate that aluminium in various forms can be neurotoxic.’

The authors of a study called Vaccines, adjuvants and autoimmunity have found that Vaccines and autoimmunity are linked fields. They report that: Vaccines are able to elicit the immune system towards an autoimmune reaction. It is vital that we understand the part that vaccines such as Gardasil play in the development of  autoimmune diseases for they are increasing all over the globe and currently affect one in five Americans. In the study the immunologists have reviewed cases of ‘vaccine-induced immunity’ explaining the process as Autoimmune Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants. Adjuvants are added to vaccines in order to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies but in some people they cause immune reactions and symptoms that manifest as autoimmune disease. The latest HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 contains 500 micrograms of (AAHS) which is given as two or three shots.

The safety of our teenagers is at stake. They are being injected all over the world with Gardasil which has 225 micrograms per dose and in Australia next year will be given Gardasil 9 containing 500 micrograms per dose. Tomljenovic and Shaw call for a comprehensive evaluation of the overall impact of aluminum on human health which they stress is overdue. In the meantime the HPV vaccination programs should be ceased. There is zero scientific evidence that HPV vaccines have been proven to prevent a single case of cervical cancer in any country (Dr Sin Hang Lee).





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A terrific new novella by Hoa Pham


Wave explores the alienation of being an international student in Australia with great pathos and depth, told with Hoa Pham’s characteristic compassion and lyricism.—Alice Pung

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Haifa Fragments

In Haifa Fragments 

khulud khamis unpacks the multiple layers of culture, religion, sexuality, politics, feminism and nationalism in the hope of gathering the fragmented pieces of the past and reclaiming the lost contiguity of being Palestinian. – Samah Sabawi, Palestinian playwright and commentator

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Maisoon is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, raised as a Christian and in a relationship with a Muslim. Her boyfriend Ziyad wants the tradition-defying Maisoon to commit to their relationship. ‘…For Allah’s sake, Mais, what’s your problem? I want to marry you! I want us to be a real family.’

But the young jewellery designer is determined to find her own path with both Ziyad and her father constantly frustrated with her.  Her father, Majid dreams that his only daughter will become a doctor. To Layla his wife, he sighs: “Everything is wrong. Her quitting medical school…and…and…” ” She’s going out with a Muslim!”

Majid has his reasons and these and his carefully hidden past eventually become known to his wilful daughter. In the eyes of Maisoon, her father was the responsible bank clerk who worked overtime most days and always hoped he’d be promoted but wasn’t. He was the meek obedient citizen who knew that he didn’t belong:’Because his name was Majid’. He was of the generation ‘who never dared to raise their heads’- ‘those who grew up under military rule’. Majid wanted a better life for his daughter and disapproved of her working for the Yahudiyya (Jewish) boutique owner…’she could have done better’.

As Maisoon uncovers forgotten papers she is moved by what she learns of her father’s political past. The young Majid had been in love with a Muslim woman and taken part in the armed resistance, resulting in jailtime. He was also a poet.

Forgive me.

So today they finally got you. 

Last time we smoked nargila together you laughed. You said, 

They’ll never get you.

But they did.

You said, ” Who’s interested in a fighter whose weapon is the pencil?”

But they were.


‘Baba, the bank clerk? A poet? Could it be?’ This man, her father who was so angry about her own political activities. The same man who implored her to give up her peace activism: ‘It’s gone, our land is gone, and we are citizens of this state. You can’t bring back the past. It’s dead’.

khulud khamis, unpacks multiple layers in this intriguing novel. The layers are many and concern themselves with those of culture, religion, sexuality, politics, feminism and nationalism. Maisoon lives in a complex world: she is a feminist and peace activist who rails and acts against the gross injustices metered out to those who live in the occupied territories. And as a feminist she wants to live her own life, not the one that her father wants her to lead. She resists a permanent relationship with Ziyad as she explores her sexuality with Shahd. And as she comes to grips with her father’s secret life – a life formed of struggle involving culture, religion and nationalism, ‘the lost contiguity of being Palestinian’ is reclaimed.

Haifa Fragments is published by Spinifex Press

Release Date: March 8, 2015


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In search of cerebral content






What happened to the opinion page? Remember The Age  when it was a broadsheet and there were three or more opinion pieces in the middle pages that bordered the letters to the editor. These were lengthy pieces of analysis  on topics relating to current public debate. Usually 800-1000 words of worthy content  engaging the reader and leading to enjoyable swapping of ideas and information among family and friends later in the day. Of course there are still opinion pieces  in The Age but these are poor replacements, and badly positioned so as not to be  easily seen and rarely read.

And as for ABC radio: Jonathan Holmes former host on ABC TV’s ‘Media Watch’ and now a columnist at The Age recently wrote about content in this digital era lamenting the fact that on Radio National, long-form, specialist journalism is being down-sized in favour of the radio equivalent of fast food. This is sad for those of us who like to read and listen to programs that make us think and not just designed to dumb us down.

Article%20Lead%20-%20narrow6376523111ysdvimage_related_articleLeadNarrow_353x0_11ypkf_png1417557002488_jpg-300x0And it’s not just radio, TV and newsprint that are changing for the worse, it’s the cinema too. Reflecting on her 28 years presenting ‘The Movie Show’, retiring presenter Margaret Pomeranz says: the big change has been how much money has come to dominate the industry, with studios bankrolling sequels but not taking risks on smaller films.

And then there’s the publishing industry – same problem, different product. This time it’s books and the wonderful ideas within that are at risk from technology giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple .

The blurb for  Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing written by Susan Hawthorne reads:  In a globalised world, megacorp publishing is all about numbers, about sameness, about following a formula based on the latest megasuccess. Each book is expected to pay for itself and all the externalities of publishing such as offices and CEO salaries. It means that books which take off slowly but have long lives, the books that change social 269norms, are less likely to be published.

Independent publishers such as Susan Hawthorne of Spinifex Press are seeking another way. A way of engagement with society and methods that reflect something important about the locale or the niche they inhabit. In  Bibliodiversity Hawthorne writes that Independent and small publishers are like rare plants that pop up among the larger growth but add something different, perhaps they feed the soil, bring colour or scent into the world.

We need to cherish our remaining newspapers, our beleaguered ABC , and nurture our book and movie industries from which we gain so much.  And in the words of author P.D James who died last week: Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

And hang on to the dwindling hope that good content sees the light of day in a world where money, not thought, rules.

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Write what you need to write!

P.D. James on writing:
Screen shot 2014-11-28 at 4.39.11 PM“Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.” Continue reading

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The women roar


Last Woman Hanged written by journalist and author Caroline Overington is the story of Louisa Collins. Twice married, Collins endured not just one, but four trials for the murder of her second husband and was finally convicted of his murder and hanged. It’s also story of how the courageous women of New South Wales and beyond rallied to fight for the life of this unfortunate woman and in the process women’s rights and suffrage were won.

It’s an engaging book! This Australian story takes place in the latter half of the nineteenth century where life was extremely hard for women. It concerns Louisa Collins, a young woman who had been forced into an early marriage to a man she didn’t love, and to whom she bore nine children. Her youthful days were spent feeding, washing and caring for her family. When hardship struck and the young couple found it difficult to make ends meet, Louisa and her husband Charles Andrews took in borders and very soon one of these, Michael Collins became Louisa’s lover. It was just a few months later that Louisa’s husband suddenly became sick and died. Friends and acquaintances noted and were appalled that Louisa failed to mourn the loss of her husband and all too soon became Michael Collins’ wife.

From what we read Louisa was in love with Collins even though it is suspected that Collins married her for the insurance money left to her on the death of her first husband. Collins soon gambled this away leaving the couple in debt with many mouths to feed. It wasn’t long before Louisa’s second husband Collins also became sick with ‘gastritis’ and despite medical attention succumbed. This time the sudden death of a relatively young man was noted and Louisa was accused of slowly poisoning Collins with arsenic.

The evidence gathered at the four trials into Collin’s death was circumstantial. No-one saw Louisa administer any arsenic neither was she seen to purchase the poison. Whereas the first three trials had failed to reach a guilty verdict the fourth trial saw her guilty of the crime of murdering her husband. Those involved were determined to find the woman guilty. Life in the 1880s was difficult for women who were often at the mercy of abusive husbands from whom they could not escape. Employment for women was rare and refuges even rarer. Therefore Louisa Collins must be seen to be punished for the murder of her husband – it wouldn’t do for her to escape punishment for other women suffering at the hands of her husband might get similar ideas.

But the evidence that convicted her was circumstantial. The testimony obtained from May, Louisa’s young daughter claiming that she had seen a box of rat poison containing arsenic in the house and the evidence from the expert who doubted that the men would absorb enough poison from handling fleeces to cause them death was crucial and led to Louisa’s conviction.

But not before the women of the colony had their say. The women roared. For they had very few rights. A woman’s place was definitely in the home. Women could not vote, and they did not sit on juries. Women had no say on the question of capital punishment. Many women supported Louisa and wrote to the governor and newspapers declaring that while Louisa may have done a terrible thing and poisoned her husbands, she should not be hanged. This they considered was barbaric. The women would have their say and they did.

In January 1889 a committed group of women set about to try to save Louisa’s life. One of the most determined was Mrs Eliza Pottie, a fifty-year-old mother of ten who among her other activities was president of the Mission Home for Women at Glebe, established to help unmarried mothers. But most importantly Mrs Pottie was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union which believed in controlling the supply of alcohol to protect women from violent husbands. They advocated for women to be able to work and vote. Together with ten other women, Pottie drew up a resolution arguing that it was abhorrent that a woman and a mother should be hung till she was dead. Other women such as Elizabeth Parsons was responsible for the so-called petition of the women of Victoria which was signed by more than 500 women who declared that although the crime was loathsome the punishment by hanging was barbaric and was anathema to the spirit of modern civilisation. Although the Governor Lord Carrington promised to consider the petition he did nothing and Louisa was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol on Tuesday 8 January 1889.

As well as being a really absorbing  story about Louisa Collins, her life and crimes, throughout the latter pages of the book Caroline Overington tells the little known stories of the wonderful women who as a result of their involvement in Louisa’s awful plight, underwent consciousness raising leading to a better life for all women.

Louisa’s ordeal led Australian women to become aware of the injustices that confronted their sex and to work towards suffrage and the right for women to earn a decent living and the right not to lose their children after divorce.

Caroline Overington correctly labels Last Woman Hanged a terrible true story but it’s much more. It’s also a wonderful and inspiring story of women’s fight for justice and this needs to be told!



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Surrogacy-male violence against poor women

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On ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’ program July 8, reporter Jane Cowan took a critical look at commercial surrogacy. The Last Resort was filmed in Cancun, Mexico where poor women, often from rural villages come to the popular tourist city hoping to become surrogate mothers. In Mexico successful surrogates are paid up to $13,000 for the delivery of a child to desperate infertile western couples.

The business of surrogacy takes place at Planet Hospital, run by ‘rogue operator’ Rudi Ruprak, a former software developer. Now I would have thought that anyone running a surrogacy business would have to be medically trained but this is not how it happens at least here in Mexico, and in India and Panama where Ruprak has operated and left failed surrogacy ventures.

A former employee-turned patient claimed that Ruprak targets gay couples and single people who due to India’s new surrogacy laws find it difficult to access surrogacy there. In Cancun, Planet Hospital draws its surrogates from poor women, often those escaping male violence, women essentially alone and vulnerable. One of the women featured on the program dreamt of becoming a surrogate so as to earn enough to set up a business enabling her to support her extended family. Sadly her hopes were never realised. When she miscarried at four months, Planet Hospital had already closed its doors leaving the former surrogate penniless and alone in Mexico. She mourns the loss of the child saying :’We also have feelings’. And the gay man who spent $22,500 on embryos could not even access them because as the business went belly-up his embryos were locked away and only accessible should he agree to pay off some of the failed companies’ debts.

I think that this was a powerful program and one that concentrated on the lack of regulations that exist in the industry. There was not a lot of emphasis on the abuses that the women are subjected to, such as the physical effects of the surrogacy and its accompanying treatments, the deprivation of a normal life for the nine months when the women are essentially locked up and kept apart from family and friends. And then if they make it to the end of the pregnancy, once they give birth, they are separated forever from the child. This is abuse and exploitation of women and especially of the poorest, most vulnerable of women who have little job prospects and need this money to improve their families’ lives.

This program makes us think: Does everyone have to have a child? Because this is an industry that only exists because increasingly society seems to believe that everyone is  owed a child while in reality there are plenty of unfortunate children who need the love and attention of rich, childless people.

Screen shot 2014-07-12 at 5.49.51 PMKajsa Ekis Ekman, author of ‘Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self’ claims that surrogacy is ‘child trafficking’. She refers to the industry as a ‘capitalist creation story’ where the parent is the one who pays and the product is a baby. Ekman is to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House in August. The organisers of the festival have labelled her talk with the provocative title: Surrogacy is child trafficking. Kajsa’s presentation is sure to get the attention it deserves!


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Surviving Peace: A Political Memoir

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Surviving Peace: A Political Memoir is described by author and feminist Kathleen Barry as a deeply human narrative set within the growing body of feminist writings on war. 
Olivera Simić tells the story of her life which changed irrevocably after the death of the former Yugoslavian President, Josip Tito  when she was just seven years old. ‘I was proud to be a Yugoslavian girl and belonged to what I regarded as a heterogeneous multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious community,’ writes Simić. The author’s experience of growing up in a typical Yugoslavian family, is one of the areas of her remarkable life, that is covered in Surviving Peace. Even now, and decades since the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was split apart, when the human rights activist, feminist and academic is asked where she is from, she replies, Yugoslavia.

Olivera writes about the war crimes committed by the Serbs to the immense dismay of her fiercely proud and increasingly nationalistic Serbian father. Simić and her father are both ‘obsessed with the war, Srebrenica and the dead.’ Her father refuses to believe that the genocide happened, while his activist daughter continues to dig up all she can about the horrible events of July 1995 when the Serbian army killed Bosnian Muslims in the town of Srebrenica.

To understand this memoir it helps to have an understanding of Yugoslavia and the irrevocable disruption to its successful existence that came after the death of President Tito. Consisting of six republics: Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Slovenia, Yugoslavia was held together by the dictator Josip Tito, a man much regarded for his ability to unite the many ethnicities and religions that existed in the federation. After Tito’s death in 1980, ambitious politicians such as Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia stepped in to fill the power void left by Tito and one by one the republics began to assert their independence. Slovenia became the first Yugoslavian republic to have free elections and in 1991 declared its independence. When Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia, the Bosnian war began, accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks and Croats and resulting in a three-way war between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. This is the ugly background to Olivera Simić’s story, Surviving Peace: A Political Memoir. 

Prior to the Bosnian war, inter-ethnic relations were stable, and held in check by the firm dictator’s rule and as the author testifies, the former socialist Yugoslavia was a happy and harmonious place in which to reside; simple and communal and offering free education and medical care. But when the war began in 1992, families became divided, good friends became enemies, and common languages were no longer spoken. And just as the former states of Yugoslavia forged their independence and new identities, Simić’s life began to change. Originally a Bosnian woman, she became a Serb woman, wearing a label that as she explains is an ‘alien, ethnic identity…a key feature of my being’ and which she claims makes it very difficult for her to write about the crimes committed by her people, the ‘Serbs’.

But, write she does, for she considers she has ‘a moral responsibility’ to write believing that she  can correct some of the harm done by the telling of the stories of war. ‘I feel compelled to write, and I treasure the refuge that writing brings me,’ writes Simić.  However ‘speaking up comes at a cost’ a point not lost on the author who finds opposition to her writing not only from her father but also from her brother. In 1992 when he was only 20 years old, Simić’s brother was drafted by the Serb army, an experience, according to Simić that changed him for ever. Rather than deserting the army like many of his friends for he feared that his family would come to harm, he remained in the army, fought on the front line, and saw many of his friends killed. While he is angry at his sister for her writing, he is silent about his war experiences, and fiercely hides his war trauma.

As I read Surviving Peace, I am also aware that although the wars in the Balkans are over for the time being, our world still faces many unsolved armed conflicts and it’s the populations of these warring countries who will, like the Bosnians, the Croats and the Serbs, be made to suffer, and who will have to find a way to survive peace. For this author, finding a place in peacetime is a challenge. In discussing her feelings about the end of the Bosnian war, Simić writes: ‘Instead of bringing me peace, the end of the war has produced an inner war that I  struggle with every day’. For as well as this account being one of survival in wartime, Surviving Peace is a memoir in which the author acknowledges the many difficulties that come with being a post-conflict survivor. Simić documents her personal struggle as she tries to come to terms with the many traumas she endured and which  followed her  as surely as she traversed her way across four continents. At one point in her story, Simić admits to being a patient in a psychiatric ward after she had reached a state of ‘stupor’ descending ‘in a state of inertia and lethargy’.

Olivera  Simić has had a remarkable life so far and documents her many life events and traumas in Surviving Peace: A Political Memoir, beginning when she was the seven-year old girl and experiencing the end of her simple, harmonious life. Simić is now an author, a feminist, a human rights activist and an academic. She lives in Australia and works at the Griffith Law School.

Surviving Peace: A Political Memoir is published by Spinifex Press  and is due for release in August 2014





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Premier Denis Napthine has reignited the debate over women’s reproductive rights

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Common sense should dictate that the issue of abortion be left to pregnant women to decide. But when the history of women’s fight for the right to abortion is considered, it’s no wonder it’s still firmly in the hands of wheeling and dealing politicians.

In the state of Victoria, abortion has made the headlines for the last two weeks with the Independent and balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw  plotting the removal of a section of the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act which makes it mandatory for doctors who are conscientious objectors to abortion, to provide a referral to another medical practitioner without an objection, thus giving the woman a chance to see another doctor who can help her with her decision.

In 2008 The Victorian Parliament passed the Abortion Law Reform Act which allows for a registered medical practitioner to perform an abortion on a woman who is not more than 24 weeks pregnant and allows for termination of pregnancy after 24 weeks only if the medical practitioner believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances; and that she has consulted at least one other registered medical practitioner who also reasonably believes that the abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances.

But it’s Section 8 of the act that Independent MP Geoff Shaw and several other Coalition and Labor MPs do not support and it deals with the situation where a woman requests an abortion and the doctor has a conscientious objection to abortion. In this case the practitioner must refer the woman to another registered practitioner whom the referring doctor knows does not have a conscientious objection to abortion. The other provision in contention is the allowance of terminations up to 24 weeks’ gestation.

The Premier Denis Napthine was one of the 32 MPs who voted against the decriminalisation of abortion in 2008, mainly because he did not agree with these two most controversial provisions. And in an article in The Age last week, Mr Napthine was reported to have said: ”My personal view was that 18 or 20 weeks would have been a better number, but I respect that was a decision of the Parliament.” So five years after the decriminalisation of abortion law in Victoria we have the Premier Napthine, not so respecting of the parliament and saying that he would consider any attempt by balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw to overhaul the state’s abortion laws.

Such a move by the Catholic, Dr Napthine is both personally and politically motivated as the Coalition government needs the support of the balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw. According to the Opposition leader Daniel Andrews: ”Denis Napthine will do anything and everything in a grubby deal with the independent member Geoff Shaw to hang on to the premiership and to hang on to government. ”Regardless of your view [on abortion] this should not be the subject of a secret backroom deal,” he said.

Abortion should not be a plaything for politicians hungry to hang on to power.

Screen shot 2013-12-08 at 6.57.24 PMIn today’s Sunday Age Dr Jo Wainer, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University faculty of medicine, nursing and the widow of abortion campaigner Dr Bertram Wainer, wrote about the long, dangerous and difficult campaign  undertaken by Bertram to change public awareness, to ensure women who needed to end a pregnancy could do so with safety, dignity and affordable care. Jo Wainer concludes her opinion piece:

Section 8 requires health professionals, including doctors who preference the wellbeing of the foetus over that of the woman, to tell her so and give her information about another doctor she can see who will treat her as a person capable of making her own morally sound decisions. It is a small thing to ask.

But it is no small thing to those who seek to overturn the contentious sections of the 2008 Act of Parliament. I don’t have a real problem with anyone having an abortion – women have a right to choose whether to mother or not and there are plenty of reasons that this may not be in the best interests of the mother, or the child she may bring in to the world. Motherhood can be hard, constant and never-ending. Single mothers have a very hard time with pensions a thing of the past, and society largely prejudiced against them.

But where there is a real problem is with late-term abortions.  One very public example of this occurred in January 2000, when a 40-year-old woman was referred to the Royal Women’s Hospital by her general practitioner. The woman had been told that her 31-week-old fetus might have skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism). Arriving at the emergency department in a state of great agitation she threatened suicide and demanded that her pregnancy be terminated. The abortion was subsequently carried out with the woman delivering a baby girl with dwarfism.

This was an awful case. Today people with dwarfism are to be found in all areas of life. They are parents, teachers, engineers, musicians and social workers. As I was thinking about this case of late-term abortion, I remember reading Defiant Birth : Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics by Melinda Tankard Reist.

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In Defiant Birth, the author tells the stories of women who were told they shouldn’t go ahead and give birth to their babies because of a perceived disability or imperfection. These brave women went ahead and had their children anyway, many of whom died shortly after birth. But they were born in the belief that the life they shared, even for a short while, was worth it.

Abortion is complex but made more so by politicians and lawyers, when really it should be up to a woman and her doctor. But with most issues in the world today, simple resolutions to problems don’t seem possible anymore.


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‘The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka’ by Claire Wright – a review

Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 8.57.20 PMThis post is timely for it is now 159 years since the famous uprising known as the Eureka Stockade. The story of the massacre in Ballarat on December 3, 1854 after police and soldiers broke the miner’s stronghold  is one of Australia’s great stories, but according to Claire Wright, author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, the story we learned as children neglected half of the participants-the women. Continue reading

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