Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eff You Peter Carlisle

There is a pro-choice rally in Wellington on Tuesday. I really wish that I could go. Partly because I want to feel like a proper days-of-yore feminist who goes to six protests before breakfast and then goes home to read the Beauty Myth. Partly because abortion is actually illegal in New Zealand and because getting an abortion requires already vulnerable women to jump through hoops like little sparkly-ruffed circus dogs. I'd like to go to the rally because for a woman to choose abortion in New Zealand she has to see two different doctors and she has to tell them that the continuation of her pregnancy will endanger her life, her mental health or her physical health. If she lives outside of Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland she will have to travel, often meaning many days away from work and away from her local support network. MP Steve Chadwick is currently proposing an Abortion Reform Bill to take abortion out of the Crimes Act, which surprisingly will be opposed by anti-abortion group Voice For Life. The life that they advocate for of course being that of unborn foetuses, rather than the full and healthy lives of women and their planned families. So I have a few pretty good reasons for wanting to go and protest.

But mostly, I'd like to go to the rally to say a big 'fuck you' to Peter Carlisle. I don't know who Peter Carlisle is, but he posted this on the Facebook event page for the No More Jumping Through Hoops Abortion Rights Protest and I instantly hated him:

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Needless to say, I am more than a little offended by the dismissive, misogynist, homophobic, slut-shaming and inaccurate Peter Carlisle. So were a whole lot of other open legged lesbians on the event page. Nicola made this brilliant point:


Astute, although I often wish that we didn't have to use extreme situations like rape or incest to suggest that a woman should be entitled full control of her body. Hannah casually pointed out Peter's apparent lack of basic biological knowledge:

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My friend Izzy, a she-wolf if there ever was one, eloquently put Peter in his place:

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But Tessa possibly had the best argument of all:

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And just quietly, Peter Carlisle is not only poorly informed about basic biology but also about the meaning of the word contraception. He should possibly get his facts right before posting on a Facebook event filled with slutty lesbians who also happen to be pedants. Contraception is something that is used to prevent conception, so I am guessing that most women who request abortion are a little past that point. And if Peter means that women are using abortion as a method of birth control, perhaps he should go and read this awesome blog post at the Curvature. Here is a snippet:

"Because do you understand the actual words you are speaking? Do you know what birth control is? It’s right there, in the name. It is something you use to control whether or not you give birth. That’s it. Ta-da. The end. When someone says “lots of women use abortion as a form of birth control!” what they mean is “lots of women use abortion.” The extra words are unnecessary. How the hell else are you going to use it?"
I would love to go to that protest to shove it to Peter Carlisle. I would like to shove it to all of the Peter Carlisles of the world; men who think they ought to have a say in what women do with their bodies. I would love to go because full equality depends upon women having full control over their fertility. I would love to show my support for Steve Chadwick's bill, because often it is not abortion that causes mental distress, it is the obstacles that women face. I would love to shove it to Peter Carlisle for suggesting that women who have abortions are sexually promiscuous and for even thinking that the amount of sex a woman has is something that can be used as an insult. It would be great to ask him about a pile of things, like why he thinks that my being a lesbian (or at least a woman who is in a same sex relationship) somehow seems to undermine my stance on reproductive rights or why he seems to think that women are solely responsible for planning when to have kids. I would like to take him up on why he thinks it is appropriate to tell another human being to just shut their legs. I would like to tell him about how no contraceptive is 100% effective and about how nobody is perfect and about the many women who have died in back alley procedures as a consequence of limited access to safe and legal abortion . I would like to tie him to a chair and make him watch Vera Drake. I would like to ask him why he feels so comfortable with the idea of forcing his moral beliefs onto others. I would like to politely suggest that if Peter Carlisle doesn't like abortions then maybe he doesn't have to get one, but he shouldn't rob others of their personal choice.

But I can't go to the protest. I will be sitting at my desk at work devoting eight hours of my day to typing, mediocrity and capitalism. But maybe you can. Go. Shove it to Peter Carlisle.

If you live in Wellington and you want to stick it to Peter Carlisle you should go to the No More Jumping Through Hoops: Abortion Rights Protest at the Court of Appeal tomorrow, on the 5th of October. Make a stand against Right to Life is taking the Abortion Supervisory Committee to court, to try and further restrict women's access to abortion in New Zealand.Meet on the corner of Aitken and Molesworth Street at 12.30pm and wear something red. I understand that organisers are also looking for volunteers to hand out fliers this afternoon at the train station and on Tuesday morning they need help blowing up balloons. Email for more information or go to the Facebook event page.


  1. Thanks for this, Ally. I'll be there tomorrow.
    Permission to reblog??

  2. Great Blog, if only I had known about this earlier!

  3. Ally,

    Firstly, you have unfortunately swallowed the bait of a troll.

    "Sticking it to Peter" is not a valid reason in itself to attend this protest. He likely doesn't care if you go or not and was looking for a reaction rather than expressing his actual opinion.

    Secondly, the abortion debate is a global, current, and complex debate.
    There are many case examples and strong arguments for abortion.
    Although you, and many of the people belonging to "NO MORE JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS: Abortion Rights Protest" may disagree with its complexity please do read the following.

    The other side of the abortion debate is very strong and not held simply by Christians and conservatives.

    Pro-Choice is definitely the most popular opinion amongst generation Y in New Zealand, particularly Wellington. And most current liberal politicians hold pro choice views. (Both are not-formally-researched observations, though likely still true).

    Your side of the argument is a bit unclear, though I am assuming it consists of;

    1) A womans body is her own and she may choose to do with it what she wants. As is her right to free will and self autonomy.

    "I would like to shove it to all of the Peter Carlisles of the world; men who think they ought to have a say in what women do with their bodies. I would love to go because full equality depends upon women having full control over their fertility. I would love to show my support for Steve Chadwick's bill, because often it is not abortion that causes mental distress, it is the obstacles that women face"
    "The life that they advocate for of course being that of unborn foetuses, rather than the full and healthy lives of women and their planned families. So I have a few pretty good reasons for wanting to go and protest"

    The pro-life (P-L) side of the debate says simply that although the child, with a functioning brain, heart, and soul (just like you and me) resides within a womans body; she has no more of a right to kill it than a parent has the right to kill a toddler in their house who they have not planned for, or who is as much of a perceived inconvenience.

    Their argument says that an unborn child has the right to life just as much as you or I.

    And before you, or anyone, claim that a mans opinion on abortion is irrelevant; bear in mind the following. Pro-life speaks of killing an unborn child as equal an injustice and wrong as taking the life of an innocent person, man or woman, walking down the road. As such their opinion is as much in the realm of basic human rights as any law that exists in society today against murder.

    There are many families looking to adopt.
    And as terrible as rape is, in the P-L opinion it does not give the victim the right to murder the innocent and unborn child product of the rape.

    Grey areas in the P-L argument reside around where in time an impregnated egg becomes a human life. If not immediately.

    The notion that killing an unborn child is within the rights of any woman or man is very serious and disturbing.

    Good luck with your decisions on where you stand on abortion.
    I simply hope that your endorsement of abortion, whom many consider with very valid reasons is equal to murder, is not based on;
    a) A desire to be free from male control. "men who think they ought to have a say in what women do with their bodies"
    b) Popular opinion of your peers
    c) A desire to "feel like a proper days-of-yore feminist"
    d) A desire to sick it to Peter Carlisles, or a desire to stick it to anyone in general.


    Greg Hart.

  4. Hi Greg,
    You are pretty patronising huh? I wasn't going to publish your comment because I want to keep this blog a safe space, but you are a reminder of what the pro-choice movement is up against. Your use of the word "murder" is ridiculous and I think I know what a troll is. Peter represents the pro-life debate and the current, active movement within New Zealand to restrict women's control over their own fertility.

    As far as I am concerned there are two questions that a person can answer about abortion.
    1. Do you believe that abortion should be legal?
    2. Do you feel comfortable forcing your moral beliefs onto others?

    And if the answer to the second question is yes, then you have some bigger problems that being a patronising and misogynist bigot.


    Ally Fucking Garrett.

  5. Greg.

    I do so enjoy seeing a response so full of logical fallacies.


    "The pro-life (P-L) side of the debate says simply that although the child, with a functioning brain, heart, and soul (just like you and me) resides within a womans body"

    The heart of a fetus doesn't begin to beat until 18 days after conception. Before that point it has no beating heart.
    The brain doesn't begin to function until 8 weeks into gestation and the use of 'soul' is emotive and non relevant, as the existence of a soul is purely speculative and without credible evidence.
    The fetus is very different to 'you and me' - it is not a sentient, motile, independent entity. It is, essentially, a parasite that depends on the mother for life and it is not sentient.
    The pro-life argument is fallacious, designed purely to be emotive and is without factual basis.

    "There are many families looking to adopt."

    Let's adjust that sentence for this thing called REALITY:

    "There are many white, cisgender, heterosexual couples looking to adopt a cute, white able-bodied baby."

    You see, there are tens of thousands of children out there that need homes. But they don't get adopted because they are:
    - too old
    - not cute
    - not white
    - have disabilities
    Because the "many families looking to adopt" don't want these kids - they want a fresh white, able-bodied baby, not some fijian-indian 6yr old with Down syndrome.

    And before you speak about how terrible rape is, I suggest you experience it first.

    "The notion that killing an unborn child is within the rights of any woman or man is very serious and disturbing."

    More emotive nonsense. "Unborn child" suggests a whole and fully formed human child. Let's re-jig that sentence as well, for accuracy:

    "The notion that killing a fertilised egg, a zygote or a fetus is within the rights of any woman or man is very serious and disturbing."

    Suddenly not at all disturbing.


    Cate J.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Hi Greg,

    I agree that abortion is a complicated matter but your argument doesn't really delve into the inequality between men and women. To merely focus on the 'moral' nature of having an abortion with out explaining and acknowledging the gender divide whittles your discourse down to 'It's wrong'.

    Can you deny that most of the time it is the women's responsibility to look after her child? That the world is built around men and not women? Would you agree that in more cases then not the father will leave/or opt out of being present in a child's life? Of course there are single fathers and I'm not denying their existence.

    Perhaps you should concentrate on raising awareness of the rights of women and helping men become more responsible toward their offspring. Your moral rhetoric falls flat when you don't point out that women are predominantly left with the responsibility of looking after a child. So it's wrong for a woman to 'murder' a fetus but its ok to live in a society were women are the ones left to pick up the pieces?

    I honestly can't believe you said when a women gets raped she shouldn't have an abortion. In this situation who is the person that suffers? The woman. Do you know anything about our society? Do you live in a cave?

    This is my call to you, Greg. Go out and help some teenage mums look after their kids, visit some rape victims, babysit for a single mother, or any women who is in unstable circumstances because she kept her child. Instead of hanging around here belittling women, go help those women who have made the 'right' choice in your eyes.

    Get out of your cave and open your eyes.


  8. I assume the troll you speak of is feminism right? Nice one mate. Go back to your pub or young liberals meeting, have a chat about how women are ruining the world, have a chat about how men are so powerless, have a chat about anything that you are totally removed from that somehow guides you to think you have an informed opinion. Do you want to set up your own adoption agency? What really grinds me about people like you is that you are all talk about what can be done ie. adoption but have no desire to actually act on it, when you set up an agency on your own and propagate to young women who have been left pregnant and single by their male counterparts you'll have more effect. So far, you are just another pro-lifer with no understanding of what women go through in these times. You also lack total respect of the process that women have to go through to eventually conclude they will abort is far beyond anything you could comprehend.

  9. LOL Greg, you think you're all special and have some sorted light-at-the-end-of-a-tunnel opinion when really you just are telling the same old tale of the pro-life movement with an anti-women agenda. Way to deflect any responsibility of abortion from men. Are you aware that they often also help make the decision? You are a part of the army that have no respect for your female counterparts. Wake up brother, you haven't a clue. You disgust me, thinking that posting on here would some how would wake us pro-choice movement up to the error of our ways. God, what where the feminists thinking?? What trolls!

  10. Greg,
    Some definitions
    Idiot: someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way.

    Misogyny: is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies. Misogyny is manifested in many different ways, from jokes to pornography to violence to the self-contempt women may be taught to feel for their own bodies.

    "Pro-Choice is definitely the most popular opinion amongst generation Y in New Zealand, particularly Wellington. And most current liberal politicians hold pro choice views. (Both are not-formally-researched observations, though likely still true). " - Get me some names and I'll take you more seriously but more to the point, are you aware of the pro-choice movement? You are out numbered.

    Lastly, considering your are supporting Peter who crassly said we are all a 'bunch of lesbians' and incorrectly labelled abortion as a 'contraceptive' does little for your already failing reputation on this blog. I'd steer clear from now on.

  11. I don't see the point in abusing Greg with names. Sure, he was a bit condescending, but that often comes with trying to put across a different view and reciprocating with taunts weakens your argument.

    I am pro-choice. I am not sure I could actually go through with an abortion. I'm old enough and in a position where I could give a child a good life. And this is my personal choice. Other people can choose the decision they think is best for them at time (if they have that luxury).

    I think a lot of pro-lifers confuse pro-choice with pro-abortion. How many women who have abortions set out with that goal or just loved the experience? I have never faced the decision and as I said, I'm not sure I could go through with it, but I'd appreciate the choice to make a decision about my body and future.

    I find the notion that Greg champions the rights of over a child that may not be born over the rights of a living, breathing woman disturbing. So, a woman becomes some sort of publicly-managed receptacle for a life with more rights than her the moment she gets pregnant? And Greg is willing to stick with this view for rape cases? The act of abortion is worse than rape? Who's giving out these 'rights'? I don't even know what to do with that!

    So Greg, I say fine, have your opinion but stop short of applying it to other people. That is what pro-choice is about. We're not all amping for abortions. I could probably never have one. And if I had a baby I couldn't give it to some else to raise. These are my choices. I don't begrudge you for cherishing a potential baby from the moment of conception. But I also don't begrudge any woman for making a decision about her body and her future, regardless of her reasonings.

    From my own research I'd be quite interested to hear Greg's view on capital punishment.

  12. "And before you, or anyone, claim that a mans opinion on abortion is irrelevant; bear in mind the following. Pro-life speaks of killing an unborn child as equal an injustice and wrong as taking the life of an innocent person, man or woman, walking down the road. As such their opinion is as much in the realm of basic human rights as any law that exists in society today against murder"

    Read: You guys! Don't be sexist to me just cos I'm a man, ok? Just let me be totally sexist to YOU by trying to control when, how and if you have children, whether you want them or not!

  13. I agree there are taunts, and considering the hurt that people like him cause; I think they are totally justified, Anonymous. Taunts come from hurt and anger, and amongst the taunts are adequate and real explanation for why people like Greg generate so much anger. So personally I see no problem with people expressing their rage in this way when someone is falsifying the situation of abortion for a pro-life agenda on an inappropriate forum. Particularly when one belitting the feminist movement. It was brought on himself. However despite that comment, I totally agree with you and appreciate your position as a pro-choicer person who could not personally have an abortion. I am a queer person and it would be rare that I find myself in a situation of unwanted pregnancy but I feel as emotional about the issue as any other woman it may effect. I think it is great and important that more people voice their support of a woman's right to choose even if it is not a personal choice. In fact this makes the case stronger. Despite Greg's hurtful and misinformed post I am enjoying reading the fall out.

  14. I'm pretty sure it's actually acceptable to taunt someone who thinks women are nothing but incubators.

  15. After I made my post I thought about why I think taunts and insults weaken an argument rather than add to it and I had a frightening realisation that I am probably associating "silly emotions" with weakness. And where does this linkage come from but emotional=women=weak. Oh god! Is there any hope for me?! :)

    I also thought gosh, if there's any argument that should encourage an emotional response it's when someone is claiming we should consider a woman who is brutally assaulted and then goes through the anguish of finding out she's pregnant and makes the awful choice to undergo an invasive and I imagine emotionally-traumatic medical procedure a murderer. The notion that Greg holds such disregard for a human life is "serious and disturbing".

    Do people like Greg actually apply their views to people they know and love, or are they formed from a distance from anyone who actually faces such a situation? Is Greg really going to advise (as I believe that's what he'd be doing!) his mother, sister or daughter that yep, it's terrible you've been raped but you best carry this baby to full term or else you're a murderer? Don't worry, we'll adopt the little bastard out!

    And even with this, I find it uncomfortable to push the pro-choice debate out to cases of rape. No society should have that level of control over anyone's body. Rather than trying to demonise abortion perhaps Greg and his ilk could refocus their attention on removing some of social factors that make abortion the best option for some women.

  16. Hi Ally,

    I was at the protest today and wanted to say a huge thank you for coming along (which you managed to do!) And another big thank you for calling out dickheads like Greg, and Peter Carlisle.

  17. ^ What she said. Thank you, Ally! You AND STeve Chadwick BOTH got to come along after all. 'Twas awwesome.

  18. No Thank you guys, Charlotte and Emily, for such a positive and well organised and excellent protest. It was awesome. I can't wait to come to the next thing that Action for Abortion Rights organises.

    (And probably also a thank you needs to be mentioned to my excellent boss who read this blog post and then asked if I wanted two hours off. Awesome.)

  19. The idea that 'taunts and insults weaken our stance' is an example of the Tone argument, which has been used to silence minorities for a long time.
    i.e. "You might get more progress with women's rights if you weren't so ~angry~ and ~abusive~ about it. If you were ~polite~ and ~nice~ then I might listen to your points."
    The above quote of course ignores the fact that -relevant- arguments are -relevant- whether the person is angry or not. Whether they say them politely or not.

    Or, in simple terms so that everyone can understand (even Greg and Peter):
    If you are standing on my foot, it doesn't matter *HOW* I tell you to GET OFF MY FOOT, you should still GET OFF MY FOOT - I shouldn't have to tell you ~nicely~ and ~politely~ for you to GET OFF!

  20. My post got booted, in short; Greg, would you support the legal adoption of children who were otherwise unable to be cared for in the right environment to a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered couple? Will I see you protesting for GBLTQI rights to adopt? Because I expect you to in light of your comments.

    What are your opinions on late term abortions that are conducted on women who do not want to rid of their child at all but discover it would live a life of pain and suffering because of a genetic illness or a birth defect? Perhaps this mother has no right to government support to care for this child?

    You lack of running to your own defense on this blog to answer our questions says a lot in itself about how educated you are on what a complicated topic this is.

  21. If Greg’s fear is feminine criticism of a male perspective on abortion, ("And before you, or anyone, claim that a mans opinion on abortion is irrelevant") perhaps this example (from Judith Jarvis Thomson) might bring home the reality of the situation for him.

    Imagine you wake up one morning back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. He has a fatal kidney ailment; you alone have the right blood type to help him. His family have kidnapped you and plugged your circulatory system into his, using your kidneys to clean his blood as well as yours. To ‘unplug’ yourself spells immediate death for the violinist. His family tells you it will only be 9 months that you need to spend in bed, attached to this stranger. During that period you will be at risk of a myriad of health complications, your diet will be severely restricted, you may have to resign from employment, and any relationships you are in will inevitably suffer.

    Are you morally obliged to accede to this situation? It would be very nice if you did, but are you obliged to? The pro-lifer suggests that a woman’s (here, a person’s) right to choose what happens to their body is outweighed by the right to life of a stranger. So in Thomson’s example, there is no choice but to watch your life (and body!) disintegrate in order to save a perfect stranger’s life.

    Perhaps my favourite 'pro-life' mistake is that the concept of the 'right to life' is unproblematic. If the right to life is dependent on the use of (and disregard for) the body of another person, is that person obliged to permit you the use of his body?

    If every person’s right to life always outweighs every other person’s right to choose what to do with their body, why are we all not required, morally or legally, to donate a kidney to a dialysis-dependent person? Why is the donation of blood not a legal obligation?

    Or is it just the pregnant woman’s lot that she is essentially a fetal container?

  22. These are interesting comments. I am what is generally known as pro-life, though I think the term is fairly loaded (pro-choicers are also pro-life). In essence, I am against the availability of abortion on demand.

    The NZ abortion law has struck a balance between two competing rights. The right to bodily integrity of the mother and the right to life of the unborn child. I accept that the mothers rights are on the whole more cogent than the child's. But the unborn child does have some sort of right to life that must be weighed in the mix by lawmakers, in the same way as other rights.

    The terms embryo and fetus do not refer to non-humans, but humans in a particular stage of development, such as a toddler or teenager. In fact, fetus is a Latin word meaning “young one” or “little child”. Human life biologically begins at conception. This is a scientific fact, not a religious or philosophical theory. An unborn child at conception has acquired its own unique set of genetic information and can be expected to grow, as all of us have, into a toddler, a teenager and an adult. On this basis, she’s not “just a collection of cells” any more than the rest of us are.

    There is an example above of being biologically connected to an unconscious violinist. This is different - there is no duty of care involved. Parents are required to care for their children. If some random person was hanging around your property slowly starving you would not be required at law to feed them. If that person was your child you would be. There is also the issue of choice. If you wake up and someone has put you on the dialysis without your consent, that would be akin to a rape scenario, where abortion is currently permitted. However, if several months before you had signed up to the dialysis program, though not expected to be called upon to perform, that would be different.

    Some have commented above that the balance between the right to life and right to choose must compel us to donate organs or blood. This is a different argument and this can be explained by reference to the crime of murder (please keep in mind that I am not saying abortion is murder). If you actively take steps to end a human life, that is murder. However if you see someone drowning in the river who requires your assistance, and you do not help them, that is not murder. You are not deliberately causing their life to end, though you may be withholding your assistance.

    It would be good to get some constructive comments on this. I hope my post has not offended anyone, but has perhaps given some sort of insight into the "pro-life" mindset.

  23. Again, Anonymous, I really debated whether or not to publish your comment. My problem with your stance is about how philosophical the whole thing is. To be honest, Anonymous, I feel a lot more comfortable if decisions about abortion are made by what women what, rather than your musings about what embryo means in Latin.

    Because while it seems like you view the entire thing as a whimsical debate, abortion rights are actually the right for women (and those who can physically get pregnant) to make choices about their body. And while I could chit chat with you about when or when not human life begins or the definition of a blob of cells, this is not the important issue to me. We could also chit chat about your stance that parents are obligated to care for their children, because do you mean parents or do you mean men?

    Women are important to me. Women who are 16 years old and want to go to university. Women who already have 3 children and can not afford another. Women who have found out about their child's serious disabilities and will not be able to provide for them, and who know they will not be adopted out. Women who themselves were placed in an adoptive family, which was abusive. Women who are halfway through their law degree. Women who have just been promoted at work.

    If abortion is not available on demand, (which the current NZ system almost provides due to the amazing work of doctors and professionals at family planning, but this is not what is in the legislation) then women who do not want to have babies will be forced to have babies. Or they will seek out unsafe and dangerous methods of termination. This is what it comes down to. Abortion had better be safe and legal, or else women are going to die.

    Again, if you do not like abortion, you do not have to have one. Pro-choice is merely about giving women who do not want to continue with their pregnancy the choice to do so. But if you would rather sit around debating your moral stance on the issue, perhaps you should join some kind of philosophy book club.

  24. Ally,

    My preceding post, wether you choose to believe it or not, was done in Devils Advocate.

    Some eloquent criticism I have had outside this blog;

    "Honestly dude, who do you think you are? Do you think it's your job as a man to tell the little ladies how to fine-tune their arguments? Women like Ally are far more intelligent than you'll ever be. Arguments about abortion aren't just something we partake in because we're bored. The repercussions of abortion laws changing in New Zealand may mean sweet fuck all to you but to NZ women it's a huge deal. Women do not need you to mansplain abortion for them, you stupid, sexist douchebag."

    Steve Chadwick's abortion reform bill would have been a big deal to all New Zealanders, not just woman.

    Though, Steve Chadwick's Bill was defeated in the house, and for a number of reasons. Two of which were that the pro-choice argument lacked sufficient strength and public support.

    One way to increase these two is debate, and defeat of arguments similar to my first post. However bigoted, unpleasant and condescending they may be.

    Abortion effects all New Zealanders. Many couples make the joint decision of wether to keep or abort an unplanned child. And together live with the consequences of either choice.

    I am personally pro-choice. And pro-choice for two main reasons.

    1) People have the right to freedom, the right to make decisions about their own lives and bodies as individuals.
    2) Abortion will occur regardless of whatever the current law dictates. And if abortion is not decriminalized it will continue to be carried out with occasionally inhumane methods, such as obtaining black market Mifepristone and Misoprostol, or primitive self induced abortion. All of which can have severe and horrific side effects.

    I would like to see abortion law reformed, probably just as much as any of you.

    So if you would like to continue this debate, I can continue to argue that particular brand of fundamentalist pro-life advocacy. In particular reply to Cate J, Jess, Stevie, moxey_scribbles, Anon 1, Anon-2, Anon- 3, Hannah and yourself.

    However if either you or your readers express they not interested in holding a debate, I will understand.

    Though I would re-iterate that the preceding post was done in Devils Advocate for the sake of debate on the issue.
    In hindsight It would have been wiser to have added that as a post script, though at the time I considered that a P.S. would weaken the original argument.



  25. I don't have time to weigh in on the debate because I totally have to go to the pub but I wanted to say this is a totally fucking fantastic post. Thank you!

  26. Hi Greg,

    I found it really, really hard to decide whether or not I wanted to publish your comment, because your whole charade has left a pretty bad taste in mouth. Ultimately, I decided to post your comment because I did not want to rob other readers of their chance to respond to what you have said. You sound like an intelligent guy and I think that some of what people have said to you about your "playing devil's advocate" is interesting. But mostly, I think you have been completely condescending and that your actions have been upsetting to some readers.

    I think there are some major problems with the way that you went about sparking your debate. It is cool that as a dude you are thinking about the importance of reproductive choice, because of course abortion is not just about the woman, because so often it is a decision that families and couples make together, but I do think the final decision must rest with the woman. (Or the person who is pregnant, my cissupremacy is showing!) But the devil's advocate thing? Patronizing. How hilarious of you, to get all of the feminists all het up with your theoretical argument. What a good guy you are, angering the pro-choicers because without you how would they get enough wind in their sails?

    If you really are passionate about garnering support for the pro-choice law reform, I would imagine there is something more positive you could be doing. Especially as a man, because male voices like yours are really important within the movement. Did you go to the rally? It would have been cool if you spoke to me there, because I feel like now is an important time for action. There are ways you can contribute without othering yourself.

    If you wish to continue probing the issue in a theoretical way, I also imagine there are more suitable spaces you could be having the debate you want to have, like setting up your own forum or blog or something. As I have said in a previous comment, I don't derive that much enjoyment from debating the issue, because all I can think about is vulnerable women and their families, not about which side is winning.

    Because Greg, pro choicers are aware of the pro life stance. I was called a murderer at the abortion rally. I don't need you and your various internet guises to remind me of what we are up against.


    PS - At least I can thank you for getting me some more page views!

    PPS - Hope to see you at the next Action for Abortion Rights event!

  27. "Though, Steve Chadwick's Bill was defeated in the house, and for a number of reasons. Two of which were that the pro-choice argument lacked sufficient strength and public support. "

    Actually, the bill wasn't defeated in the house because Steve didn't end up putting it in the ballot.

  28. Well, Greg, that was incredibly patronising.

  29. That's really sad Greg, it is unfortunate that you couldn't just join the team and help us. It is important to have men represented in the movement and instead you have chosen to other yourself and provoke people on a very sore issue. It is really disrespectful and shows a huge misunderstanding, not to mention you give other men in the movement a really bad name. I am glad you posted some of the feedback you received, perhaps this shows that in reflection you realise the negativity you have caused. A close family member of mine had a backstreet abortion at 17 in Liverpool, England because of the shame of 'single and pregnant'. So your enjoyment of ruffling some feather has also left an incredibly bad taste in my mouth. I hope you have learnt something in retrospect.

  30. I too wish that I could have attended the protest, unfortunately I had my 24 week scan that day. As a pregnant woman with a supportive and loving partner, abortion was never going to be the choice we made. When we found out at 12 weeks that our child had a high risk of being born with Down's Syndrome due to hormone levels in my blood, we decided not to do further testing (which increases the risk of miscarriage) to determine once and for all if the baby would be born with DS. This is because, we are young parents to be with all other odds on our side and we'd decided that knowing wouldn't change our mind about keeping the baby anyway.

    The case would not be the same for a woman in her later years who is desperate for a child. Or a woman who has had multiple miscarriages in the past. Or a young couple who aren't ready to leave high school let alone become parents. Or a woman who would be bringing up a child on their own.

    I am lucky, my partner is supportive and caring and we are both very excited about bringing our child into the world. This isn't the same for every woman and the attitudes perpetuated by you Greg and you Peter assume a reality that doesn't include these scenarios. All you see is an unwanted foetus that is never to be given a chance at life. You are glossing over the realities of what women go through in abortion without thinking about the emotional ramifications that come before, during and after. Shaming women in the way that you do is unfair and shallow. Pro-choice gives women the choice and authority over their bodies that they should have anyway. It is an incredibly sad reality that this is not so.

  31. Matariki I am so stoked that you came and commented on my blog. It actually makes me feel all warm and awesome that I have created a space on the internet where such awesome, smart ladies come and comment. I can't wait to meet the little person who is growing inside you! xx

  32. Greg, you are a man. Have fun never having to be daunted by the prospect of, unplanned, carrying a child inside of yourself for nine months and then giving birth.