December 12th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: The challenges facing Tony Abbott

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Abbott's victory took media by surprise

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Senate committee recommends against same-sex marriage

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Euthanasia bill defeated in SA

ENVIRONMENT: UK's climate research centre discredited

ECONOMICS: Birdsville Amendment stops fuel predatory pricing

ENERGY: Time for a new Coalition emissions policy

THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION: U.S. Christian leaders draw a line in the sand

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Women's health risk ignored by Rudd Government

UNITED STATES: Health care reforms unleash passionate debate

RUSSIA: Medvedev's desperate drive to modernise Russia

EDUCATION: Whatever happened to adult authority?

SCHOOLS: Are independent schools enemies of social cohesion?

Westmore has not read my report: Fr Frank Brennan

Morally handicapped politicians

Market economics misunderstood

Surafend massacre


CINEMA: Dickens' Christmas tale brought to life A Christmas Carol (rated PG)

BOOK REVIEW: FIRES OF FAITH: Catholic England under Mary Tudor, by Eamon Duffy

BOOK REVIEW: THE REVOLT OF THE PENDULUM: Essays 2005-2008, by Clive James

Books promotion page

Women's health risk ignored by Rudd Government

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, December 12, 2009
During October, the gender and reproductive health unit of the federal Department of Health held consultations in major cities on a "new National Women's Health Policy". The Melbourne consultation was at the Windsor Hotel. It was all very gracious - we were seated at tables in groups of 10, and a healthy lunch was provided with fruit for dessert, and no cakes or pastries.

However, a revealing incident towards the end of the consultation rather spoilt the ambience of the occasion. One of the attendees - the only man present - made a verbal submission on how natural family planning achieved a higher success rate at lower cost for sub-fertile women who wished to have babies, compared to the lower success rate at much higher cost achieved by IVF procedures.

A radical feminist at an adjoining table leapt to her feet and interrupted him declaiming that she was sick of the Right to Life with its religious agenda. The chairwoman did not rule her out of order and did not allow the man to finish his presentation. She claimed it was because time had run out, but we felt he should have been allowed to finish as he had been unfairly interrupted.

The interjector was illogical as the man was not a member of Right to Life, was not speaking on its behalf, nor was there anything religious about his presentation. He was statistically comparing success rates and costs of two methods of achieving pregnancy and a live baby.

The interjector not only demonstrated the lack of logic for which radical feminists are famous when dealing with scientific data that does not support their agenda (e.g., insisting at one and the same time that men and women are the same but women have more empathy, better communication skills, etc.); but she was also exhibiting the rage which grips radical feminists when any wholesome suggestion is made in regard to reproductive health.

As the focus of the Rudd Government's "new" health policy is on "prevention", representatives of my Endeavour Forum and I did our best to have recorded the physical and psychological risks faced by women who have abortions.

As the deadline for submissions was November 20, we believe it is important for concerned citizens to follow up these submissions by writing directly to Health Minister Nicola Roxon, at Parliament House, Canberra, asking her why women are not given information on which to make an informed choice.

Listed in the blue box on this page are medical references we provided in our submission, including:

1) Two recent studies showing an increased risk of breast cancer caused by induced abortion (which add to 28 other studies dating back to 1957 also showing this increased risk).

2) Three studies showing the increased risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies which can be associated with cerebral palsy for the hapless infants. (The NSW case of [Kristy] Bruce v Kaye, NSW Supreme Court, April 2004, was a sad example of a cerebral palsy case caused by a prior abortion, litigated in Sydney).

3) Yet another study of mental health problems following induced abortion. This is the third study by Professor David M. Fergusson of New Zealand, who, significantly, is an atheist and "pro-choice", so cannot be categorised as a religious fundamentalist or a right-to-lifer.

This new study by researchers at the University of Otago indicates that 85 per cent of women who had abortions reported negative mental health outcomes as a result. The authors concluded that anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 per cent of all mental health disorders in New Zealand result from women having had abortions.

Fergusson and his team assert that there is little justification for claiming that legal abortions should be promoted on the basis of improving a woman's mental health.

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons) is co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.


1) Increased risk of breast cancer caused by induced abortion

V. Ozmen et al., "Breast cancer risk factors in Turkish women - a university hospital-based case control study", World Journal of Surgical Oncology, Vol. 7, No. 37, April 2009.

P. Xing, J. Li and F. Jin, "A case-control study of reproductive factors associated with subtypes of breast cancer in Northeast China", Humana Press, e-publication online September 2009.

2) Increased risk of premature birth and cerebral palsy

B. Rooney and B.C. Calhoun, "Induced abortion and risk of later premature births", Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2003.

P.S. Shah and J. Zao, "Induced termination of pregnancy and low birthweight and preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analyses", British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Vol. 116, Issue 11, October 2009.

H.M. Swingle, T.T. Colaizy, M.B. Zimmerman and F.H. Morriss, "Abortion and the risk of subsequent preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analysis", Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 2, February 2009.

3) Increased incidence of mental health problems

D.M. Fergusson, L.J. Horwood and J.M. Boden, "Reactions to abortion and subsequent mental health", British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 195, Issue 5, November 2009.

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