UPDATE: 23 August. This in today’s Southland Express. woo hooo:
ALRANZ, supported by Mothers for Choice, had some great meetings in Dunedin and, mainly, Invercargill this past week and weekend. We made contact with a number of supporters, gained some new ones (and members, yay!) and talked about ways to support the Southland abortion service when it gets under way and/or comes under threat. More detailed reports are yet to come, and will appear here and in ALRANZ’s August newsletter, due out … well … soon. Meanwhile, thanks to prochoice Southlanders for their hospitality, and even to the anti-choice folks who showed up on Thursday night at the meeting and were respectful of it being a ‘safe place’. (Excepting the person who called one supporter of choice a “Baby Killer” on the street a few days after the meetings.) Here’s one side of the flyer we did for the meeting:
I thought as pro-choice people, we were all about reducing termination numbers. Yet I am really disappointed to see you are campaigning to have a termination service in Invercargill. You and I are aware that that will increase the number of terminations in Southland.
We should be reducing the number of termination facilities and increase the number of FP clinics
Well, it will increase the number of abortions in Southland, yes, because right now there aren’t any. But I assume you don’t mean that, rather you mean that more Southland women will have abortions if there’s a local service. I don’t know, as you seem to, that this will be the impact. And even if it were, I don’t know what that would reflect: women who previously went to the private clinic in Auckland instead going to SDHB in Invercargill? We’d have to do some actual research! While I agree that we should increase the number of FP clinics, it doesn’t make much sense to me to try to reduce the need for abortion services by making sure there aren’t any — or that they’re really hard to access. Taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean that we should be campaigning to close down clinics or making sure there are NO services at all. But then, that’s the same thing as campaigning for a ban on abortion. Not really prochoice. I for one would like to see abortion numbers go down because the numbers of unwanted pregnancies go down, not because women can’t access abortion services.
I agree with Captiver: reduce termination numbers means reducing unwanted pregnancies. Alranz and like-minded groups exist so that people with unwanted pregnancies will have a choice, that’s all. And having a choice is meaningless unless those who exercise their right to terminate their pregnancy are provided with facilities where they can get an abortion safely, cheaply, and locally.