rather a lot,
I'm glad that Tony Abbott no longer has veto power over the importation of RU486.
Back in November, I blogged that I doubted the Australian Parliament voting for a more pro-choice position on RU486 against John Howard's very craftily implied wishes would make a big news story in Bushco's American media, even though him winning the vote a few years ago to send troops to Iraq was covered widely.
I grant entirely that sending troops to war is generally considered a bigger story, but with the speculation about new Supreme Court Justice Alito's position on imminent challenges to Roe v. Wade, surely the position of Bushco's War-on-Terra ally on such an important social policy matter should make a blip or two on the media radar.
So, Google News gives me low level stories on Bloomberg.com, CBC Canada, CNN and Fox News, so I guess my prophetic skills kinda suck - I didn't think the story would get even that much attention in deference to our Lord Voldeshort's (thankyou Daily Flute for the new Howard nickname) image as a strong partner in Iraq. Ach, I should have realised - I doubt most Americans realise that the only Aussie troops over there are a few hundred of our most elite soldiers who are at far less risk than the underfunded and minimally trained American grunts anyway, and they wouldn't be able to pick Howard out of a lineup, so what does it matter over there?
Still, it's good to see that the cross-party working group of female senators who sponsored this bill are planning to introduce more bills directly addressing the concerns of women voters e.g. childcare, value-neutral pregnancy counselling, Medicare funding for reproductive health, sex education. If some of the forced childbirth mob are so concerned about the abortion rate and the low reproductive rate of middle-class Australians, perhaps they might consider making childcare a tax-deductible expense for mothers who wish/need to continue to work? Maybe business tax deductions for providing on-site creches as well?
It's appalling to read of the womb-ownership paradigm made manifest in the conviction of a young man who murdered his married lover after she ended the affair and told him that she'd aborted her pregnancy by him.
"Abbott the Feminist" image from The Daily Flute