Maybe I had Hill Cone all wrong but I thought she was towards the Libertarianz end of the political spectrum. At least as far to the right as the Act party, surely? Yet there she was backing a small minority of doctors who don't want to have to say nasty icky medical
words like "abortion" or "termination" whilst in conversation with patients who express doubts about continuing on with their pregnancy.
How does that view support what I understood to be one of the key tennets of free-marketeers; Choice?
Sadly I cannot get the audio of that section of the Panel to play on my computer to refresh my memory of precisely what DHC said about abortion that riled me so. But I do remember quite clearly that she erroneously stated that we have abortion on demand in Aotearoa NZ already. QoT has rebutted this very well indeed recently, so in the interests of laziness I'm going to crib from her:
Now wait. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, I mean, I’m not a doctor, obviously, I’m just a currently vacant uterus woman. Maybe this “abortion” thing is some kind of drastic procedure, involving expense and trauma and danger?
Well, maybe if you’re the person getting it, especially if you’re not blessed to live in a major metropolitan centre of NZ or if you find the prospect of having to justify your reproductive choices to not one but two consultants who, if you’re lucky, will interpret “mental health” widely and help you circumvent decades-old patriarchal bullshit.
Having to sit there and admit to a person in your medical care that yes, there is an option legally available which you personally would not choose? Cry me a fucking river.
Hill Cone also definitely stated that the media hates to cover abortion, and that Garth George is the only person in New Zealand who ever writes about it. Sounds as if she doesn't read the very paper she writes for, seeing as how they put this latest abortion-related news story on the front page, as their lead story, on Friday. And then it was the lead item on the very Panel discussion she was partaking in when she said this. Oh dear.
And then DHC went on and on about the having-an-abortion-is-mental-trauma-for-the-rest-of-your-life argument and how it's not like having a tooth removed. No one pro-choice argues that having a termination is all daisies and kittens and lollipops. But we do support a woman's right to control her body, and we respect other women enough to treat them like moral adults. Quite apart from the fact that it's kind of contradictory to argue that doctors shouldn't have to give women information about abortion and women don't understand enough about abortion to be able to make that choice.
Overall, I'm struggling to understand if Deborah Hill Cone is actually anti-abortion, because to be fair to her she doesn't actually come out and say that*, or just deeply uninformed about the issue. If the latter turns out to be the case, it would be kind of ironic given the subject of her most recent column in the Herald (hat tipped to Editing the Herald).
* Pleasantly surprising was Gary Moore, on the Panel with DHC. When he started out by saying "I'm Catholic" I prepared to change stations, but he followed it up by stating his support for a woman's right to choose and for access to abortion.