Something strange has been going on with Garth George recently; perhaps he has been a wee bit under the weather. A few weeks ago he wrote his "Opinion" column about his culinary tour of the North Island; last week he snuggled up to John Key - now there's an image* - by going all dreamy over a school visit. Honestly, I've been wondering what happened to the old Garth, with his, shall we say, strident opinions about Labour, socialism, abortion, liberalism, women, immigrants, Maori, welfare, 'climate change', homosexuals, atheists... My hypothesis was actually that he's like a bear, an impression confirmed by his photograph (Figure 1.). You see: in times of lean pickings for (food/angry yelling), such as (winter/National government), (a bear/Garth George) goes into hibernation until a time when he is able to sustain himself again (spring/socialist revolution/the Rapture). But then he comes out with a column like today's: "Abortion idea sends chills up the spine".
"There is something chillingly sinister in the proposal by New Zealand's most spectacularly unsuccessful taxpayer-funded social agency, the Family Planning Council, to be allowed to administer non-surgical abortions."Goodness, that does sound sinister. Quite why the FPC is our "most spectacularly unsuccessful taxpayer-funded social agency" is left unclear. Maybe it's because they kill babies. Perhaps it's because all the other social agencies are so successful? Maybe Garth is going to write his column on that next week and doesn't want to spoil the surprise. Apparently, the most sinister aspect of the change is that FPC staff will be able to carry out non-surgical abortions themselves, rather than referring the patient (who has probably already been referred "by a school counsellor or public health nurse") to an abortion clinic. But that's really just an excuse for Garth to write about the real problem, which is early-term, non-surgical abortion. And that's just really an excuse to write about the real problem, which is abortion.
"What this means, among other things too horrible to contemplate, is that teenage schoolgirls can be given the abortion pill and go through a medical abortion without their parents' permission or knowledge."Oh, come on Garth, what are the other things too horrible to contemplate? Undead fetuses out for revenge? The eldritch, non-Euclidean geometry of the sunken city of R'lyeh? Because, honestly, that doesn't sound all that horrible to me.
"To those who see the fetus as simply an inconvenient piece of tissue, such as a cancerous tumour, an RU486 medical abortion may seem easy: You take the pills and that's it."Oh, come on Garth. you can 'straw man' better than that! I'm sure pro-choice don't see the fetus as anything as benign as a cancerous tumour. To most people who favour progressive abortion law, a fetus is a tiny little illegal immigrant, sucking from the 'taxpayer' and stealing all our wombs. Also, remember that 10 per cent of fetuses are probably gay!
"That's bad enough, but there is also a huge question mark over the safety of the RU486 and Cytotec pills. In the United States, the Federal Drug Administration ruled in June 2000 that it would be dangerous for a girl to take those pills unless under strict medical supervision. But such was the outcry from the abortion industry - which slavered at the possibility of only using nurses to perform abortions - that politicians put pressure on the FDA and it had to back off. Since then there have been 12 recorded deaths in the United States of women using RU486, resulting from severe infection in the blood and excessive bleeding during labour."The best part about this news is that a grand total of zero women ever died of infection or blood loss from back-alley abortions, or in childbirth, giving birth to an unwanted baby. Also, no unwanted babies were ever mistreated by their parents. But really, Garth, you don't care about this, right? I mean, it's not like, if the pill were shown to be 100% safe, you would suddenly be OK with it? Thought not. But I do love the thought of the multi-million dollar 'abortion industry' - in New Zealand, the government agency FPC - "slavering" over the possibility of more abortions. I imagine the nurses involved like to give each other a big high-five after each one.
I love it when rabid rightwing conservatives call up St George on their side. I bet that George Orwell, the liberal socialist who volunteered to fight the fascists and clericalists in Spain would have loved Garth's views on just about anything. But, more to the point, anything can be Orwellian if you disagree with it; it's like a 'highbrow' substitute for 'PC gone mad'. I'm sorry that she didn't flat out say that she hates babies and families and really likes killing both, Garth, but you've got to understand that she has a public face to maintain.
'"Safe and accessible abortion services are an integral part of good reproductive health care. Applying for this licence is consistent with that philosophy of access and choice.' [Family Planning president Linda Penno]
That is a classic example of Family Planning's Orwellian dissimulation and it takes imagination to realise that she is talking about legalised murder."
I think I've said just about all I need. There's no need to have a debate on the moral justifiability of abortion here. The only question is whether, now that Garth is 'back on form', is that more or less reason to wish he weren't on the opinion page at all?
*Disclaimer: Garth George is 100% straight, so don't even think about it.