July 16th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Federal Labor's crisis of identity

EDITORIAL: Decisive shift in US Supreme Court

LABOR PARTY: The lesson Labor still has to learn

WORKPLACE RELATIONS: No more hurdles for Howard's dismissal laws

RURAL AFFAIRS: Confronting the myths about agriculture

CENTRAL ASIA: China's march on central Asia

REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY: The dark downside of donor insemination

PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY: Defending the role of parliament

STRAWS IN THE WIND: US fury at Israeli arms sales to China / Not helping the poor / Turn of the tide? / Government's embarrassment

OPINION: Free speech under attack in Victoria

Howard Government's attack on Australian workers (letter)

Why the silence over abortion? (letter)

Ignorance no excuse (letter)

High price of extra water (letter)

To rule or to govern is the question (letter)

Malaria worse than DDT (letter)

BOOKS: THE CUBE AND THE CATHEDRAL: Europe, America, and Politics without God, by George Weigel

BOOKS: MAO: THE UNKNOWN STORY, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

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Why the silence over abortion? (letter)

by Dr. A.W. Hartwig

News Weekly, July 16, 2005

It cannot be over-emphasised or stated too frequently that, as Babette Francis wrote, "Making abortion legal or illegal has never, historically, made the slightest difference to the safety of women" (News Weekly, July 2, 2005.)

No dangerous activity has ever become less dangerous because it has been legalised.

Like Babette, I too wonder "why feminists with real power" - otherwise obviously intelligent women - are among those objecting to the airing of the abortion issue.

Is it conscience which drives the pro-abortion lobby?

Experience indicates that those who break the moral code, and especially those who commit evil, are troubled by pangs of conscience. Such troubled people have only two alternatives: either they can conform their actions to the moral code (whatever it may be) or conform the moral code to their actions.

The former calls for repentance; the latter leads to rationalisation, ideology and, ultimately, a social activism in which those who feel guilty unite and try, through political means, to make wrong right.

For those unable to accommodate either course, there remain analgesics of varying types and of varying potency.

So, is a guilty conscience contributing to the drug dependency of many Australians or to the high incidence of suicide in 21st-century Australia?

Are we honest enough and courageous enough to find out?

Dr. A.W. Hartwig,
Auchenflower, Qld

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