November 5th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: CANBERRA OBSERVED: 'A dangerous moment for our democracy ...'

EDITORIAL: 'Simpler, fairer' labour laws? You've got to be kidding!

SCHOOLS: Mathematics at mercy of trendy educators

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Oil for food - or was it for a Mercedes?

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: WTO negotiations falter on trade liberalisation

VICTORIA: Water bill spells disaster for farmers

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Too many bulls in the China shop? / Anti-corruption conference / Logging onto other people's forests / Report from (another) conference / Little social protection

ABORTION: Cutting Australia's abortion rate

EMBRYO EXPERIMENTATION: Government push to use super funds for embryo research

WESTERN CIVILISATION: What conservatives should champion

CINEMA: In Her Shoes: Is Hollywood finally tiring of sleaze?

Maternity payment could make difference (letter)

How democracies perish (letter)

Justice for the worker (letter)

BOOKS: THE DEATH OF RIGHT AND WRONG: Exposing the Left's Assault on Our Culture and Values


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Maternity payment could make difference (letter)

by Dr David van Gend

News Weekly, November 5, 2005

Maternity costs kick in early in pregnancy, and so should the maternity payment.

Health Minister Tony Abbott's proposal to pay part of the lump sum at 14 weeks is sensible and costs the taxpayer no extra. For the mother it means some money is available when it is needed to pay for maternity clothes, time off work with morning sickness and extra visits to the doctor. Obviously the cot and car capsule have to be bought before the baby is born, not after.

Yet Michelle Reeves of Campaign for Women's Reproductive Rights (CWRR) sees this constructive proposal as a threat to the abortion culture, "an outright attack on the woman's right to choose". She acknowledges that for some pregnant women this is "desperately needed money" but fears it could turn some women away from abortion (AAP, October 16, 2005).

As a family doctor, I look after one young couple, for whom a few hundred dollars given to them early in pregnancy by a kindly relative made all the difference between despair and hope.

Given that that the Medical Journal of Australia (vol. 163, no. 8, October 16, 1995) has reported financial pressure as the number one reason given for having an abortion, where is the harm in Government attempting to relieve this pressure?

(Dr) David van Gend,
Toowoomba, Qld

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