Senator Boswell is pleased to have facts. He has data that reveals that 91,000 terminations of pregnancy procedures were carried out in Australia in 2003/04. The data is misleading as all terminations come under the same Medicare number. The Senator states that,
“I think this is such a monumental decision in people’s lives that they should have counselling.”
Who is the Senator referring to when he says ‘they’?
- The woman and her husband?
- The woman and her boyfriend?
- The woman and her partner?
- The woman and the progenitor? (in case it’s not her husband, boyfriend or partner)
- The woman and her mother?
- The woman and her father?
- The woman and her sister?
- The woman and her brother?
- The woman and her child/ren?
- The woman and her employer?
- The woman and her support person?
- The woman and her support pet?
- The woman and all of the above?
Counselling for all these people already exists. It is part of the healthcare professional’s role to provide a woman with local support services (for both continuing with the pregnancy and terminating it). The woman can then take any or all of the above people/pets along to any or all the appointments she makes.
The decision to continue with a pregnancy or terminate it remains a private one. The woman will tell those she trusts. She will seek advice from the sage from within the trusted group. A call from a well-meaning, but unwanted Counsellor is not ok. The process and intent has the potential to create involuntary clients. Counsellors have little impact (and even less attendance rate) on such a cohort. Moreover, ramifications for non-compliance (a client hanging up, not wanting to come, missing a scheduled appointment, saying “fuck off”, lying about who they are, feigning wrong numbers, saying “oh she’s moved out” etc.), if in fact such a thing is built-in to Senator Boswell’s grand plan the consequences for non-compliance are too scary to contemplate.
Senator Boswell you are raising poor, unnecessary, invasive-potential policy.
Yet again, not placing the woman and her reproductive rights central to the issue.
Image from here