Monica Doumit: Labor caution slows left grab

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Accompanied by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Sydney Catholic Schools Director Tony Farley, left, National Catholic Education Commission chief Jacinta Collins, Cathedral College Principal Michael Kelleher and federal Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese visits his old school on 9 May, the final Monday before the election. Photo: AAP, Lukas Coch
Accompanied by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Sydney Catholic Schools Director Tony Farley, left, National Catholic Education Commission chief Jacinta Collins, Cathedral College Principal Michael Kelleher and federal Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese visits his old school on 9 May, the final Monday before the election. Photo: AAP, Lukas Coch

Unlike previous governments, the anti-life left have not yet managed to score hoped-for wins on abortion and gender

The newly-minted federal Labor Government made a couple of small but significant indications this week that they are willing – and perhaps even desirous – to distance themselves from the hard, progressive agenda pushed by some of their state counterparts and the Greens.

The first indication related to abortion.

On Friday of last week, the first face-to-face meeting of federal, state and territory women’s ministers since the election of the Albanese government occurred in Adelaide. It was billed as focusing on women’s safety and gender equality.

However, in light of the Roe v. Wade decision in the United States, many of the state ministers wanted to discuss a national legislative approach to abortion to safeguard any state placing any limits on the near-unrestricted abortion-till-birth regimes now in place.

“Despite this pressure, Labor seemed to back away from the abortion push on both fronts.”

Following intense lobbying from abortion giant MSI Australia (Marie Stopes International Australia under a new name so that people will not be reminded of the eugenicist motives of its founder), state ministers also wanted to revive a 2019 federal Labor policy on abortion access. Under that proposal, public hospitals would be required to provide abortions as a condition of receiving government funding.

A hospital that did not have the desire or the resources to provide abortions would, it seems, not be able to offer any government-funded healthcare at all.

While MSI Australia is the largest and the only nationally-operative private provider of abortions in Australia, it also provides abortions within some public hospitals as well, so a re-introduction of this policy would seemingly mean more abortion business for MSI.

Despite this pressure, Labor seemed to back away from the abortion push on both fronts.
Federal Women’s Minister Katy Gallagher downplayed the idea of national legislation when speaking to the media.

St Vincent’s Hospital, Lismore, is celebrating its centenary this year. PHOTO: Courtesy of St Vincent’s Hospital, Lismore

She told media that “nationally consistent laws for the provision of termination of pregnancy services … is a matter that constitutionally rested with the states and territories” but that she was happy to facilitate the discussion at the meeting, because issues that the states and territories wanted to raise should be facilitated on the agenda. In other words, it’s not federal Labor looking to safeguard abortion laws.

That idea is coming from the states and territories, and all the federal government is doing is allowing the discussion to occur.

In relation to the requirement that all public hospitals are required to provide abortions as a condition of their government funding, it was Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who shot that one down.

Asked on radio if he would revive the policy in response to a request coming from a Queensland Labor MP, he simply answered ‘no.’

“Federal Labor was also quick to change Medicare forms used to register the birth of a new child after it was revealed that they had been altered to replace references to ‘mother’ with references to ‘birthing parent.'”

Ditching the policy wasn’t altogether surprising, given that the internal review into Labor’s 2019 election loss blamed it for losing votes amongst religious voters. But the decisive way in which the PM responded did surprise some.

On a separate but related issue, federal Labor was also quick to change Medicare forms used to register the birth of a new child after it was revealed that they had been altered to replace references to “mother” with references to “birthing parent.”

The change to the forms occurred under the previous government.

According to a spokesperson for Equality Australia, the use of the word mother “does not describe the experience of men and non-binary people, who give birth to children too.”

Veronica in Intensive Care after birth. Under NSW’s proposed legislation, she could have been killed.
Veronica in Intensive Care after birth. Under NSW’s proposed legislation, she could have been killed.

In addition to trans ‘inclusivity,’ the forms presumably also worked to ensure that surrogate mothers were not listed as mothers.

This attempt at being inclusive, however, alienated the 99.9 per cent of “birthing parents” who identify as mothers.

The Minister for Government Services, Bill Shorten, intervened immediately after the concerns were raised, instructing that the forms were to revert to using the term ‘mother.’

“Undoubtedly, the pressure on them will continue to mount every time they refuse to give in to the demands of left-wing lunacy.”

Each of these moves by federal Labor has been criticised by the same progressive media commentators who helped them to their election victory just two months ago.

Undoubtedly, the pressure on them will continue to mount every time they refuse to give in to the demands of left-wing lunacy. I hope they resist it.

I also hope that this week’s turn of events are an indication that – now they are in government – Labor does not feel the need to pander to the extreme of progressive politics.