FNQ; the outpost of choice.

I hadn’t ever been to Queensland when my more adventurous friends returned from their “up north treks” to tell of sun, surf, four X and reproductive rights suppression.

Back then the only clinic in the whole state was in Brisbane. Even this one surgical termination service in Brisbane was barely tolerated by the government. If you lived in a remote part of the state or you were poor- too bad.

I remember as an urban, Melbourne girl being so outraged by this. We took it for granted that a woman had a right to choose. My mother and her generation fought for those rights and I thank them. When my tanned friends told of news they had heard around feminist circles up there in the sunshine state that the Queensland government was planning to force all females of child-bearing age to have a pregnancy test before they were allowed to hop on the bus to travel south to NSW, I was incredulous. That story (true or not) was a radicalising point for me. I had supported enough of my friends through an unwanted pregnancy to know how real their fear and terror was of having to make a choice either way. I was not going to be quiet.

Now, some 25 years later, tucked away in an office in Cairns, as the result of a conscience vote, we have Professor Caroline De Costa leading the way in reproductive choice for women. Next month 40 RU486 pills we be landing in Australia. 40 women, supported by their medical practitioner, will have a greater choice when accessing a termination of pregnancy.

For those that don’t know- Cairns is in Far North Queensland.

“This [the use of RU486] is something that women want and it is a matter between us and our patients and nobody else.” -Professor de Costa.


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4 Responses to “FNQ; the outpost of choice.”

  1. Dave Says:

    … and the echo of the Abbott receded into the night…

  2. Suki Says:

    …Alas, in his identity-crisis induced fugue, the Abbott missed the narrow steps surrounding the moat protecting the monastery and tumbled into a deep, murky water.

    From that day to this, moat builders far and wide cite this incident when trying to sell the protective qualities of their product.

    Shares in moats’R’us are going through the roof…

  3. pre-dawn leftist Says:


    I grew up in Queensland through the Bjelke Petersen years and I have a vague recollection of the proposal to pregnancy test girls. My gut feeling it was suggested by one of the more redneck ministers from that carload of idiots which was the Qld Cabinet in the 1970s. I suspect it was quietly put down by the Liberal party members of the Coalition (back then, they actually lived up to their party name, and also had some spine). Hopefully someone can supply more fact. Things which I do know actually occurred were the police raid on the abortion clinic in Greenslopes in 1986, and the police removal of condom vending machines from the walls of the male toilets in the Qld University refectory in (about) 1987 when I was a student there. All of this while simultaneously the Police Commissioner and a bevy of Cabinet Ministers were severely on the take (remember the Fitzgerald inquiry), and the Police one day actually blocked off the main street through the Valley so a crane could install a new roulette wheel in one of the illegal casinos which the Police Minister and the Premier denied existed till they were blue in the face.

    Looking back, its almost unbelieveable that all of that happened, but it did, I was there. Bjelke Petersen is the main reason I will NEVER vote conservative. John Howard and Tony Abbott are rapidly catching up…

  4. Suki Says:

    pre-dawn leftist, your recollections make me celebrate that I grew up in urban Melbourne where we could at least demonstrate and self-determine.

    I can remember hearing of these draconian measures and as the ‘rest of Australia’ we would just dismiss them as the madness of Joh-land.
    Conservative has moved far too far to the right and the scariest one of all is Philip “I wear an amnesty badge” Ruddock.

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