21 July 2004
Restraint of trade
Marie Stopes International, which provides "sexual health and pregnancy choices" in the South Pacific, offers the following advice to would-be customers on their FAQ page:
We are occasionally subject to demonstrations by anti-abortionists. They usually take the form of a few people gathered outside trying to dissuade our clients from entering the centre. Although these people have no right to interfere with your legal or moral right of choice, we cannot prevent them protesting unless they break the law. We do understand how traumatic this may be and stress that you do not enter into any conversation with these people. Note that they cannot prevent you from entering our centres. Try not to let them distress you and walk calmly past. There will be a member of our team to help you once you are inside the centre.
I have no doubt that Marie Stopes' concern about trauma is genuine; in fact, they filed a protest against the establishment of a childcare center on an adjacent city lot in Perth, saying that "the sight and sound of children playing in a neighbouring property might cause emotional strain for women considering terminating a pregnancy."
Charlie Gregorini, mayor of the City of Swan, can relate:
It would be an emotional situation for someone who's decided to have an abortion and then the last thing they hear before they enter the clinic is the happy voices of children.
Indeed. A two-meter brick wall will be erected to block those scary sights and sounds. Meanwhile, Tim Blair has another idea:
Here's a compromise: the childcare centre is allowed to be built, but all children attending it must be dead.
Solomon in all his glory never rendered a decision as crisp as this.Posted at 10:12 AM to Political Science Fiction