Another day, another politician says something stupid.
Last week, the Australian Senate passed legislation that would strip the Health Minister of the power to veto any decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) that the abortion drug RU-486 was safe. What this achieves is that the drug is evaluated purely on scientific and therapeutic values rather than religious or moral ones, as it was when *one* person – the Health Minister, decides whether the drug can be allowed for general usage.
In response, there’s a bill to be voted in the lower House of Representatives this week which will retain some of the Health Ministry’s veto power over this drug, even if it has been approved by the TGA.
This is all very dry arguably, but trust a politician in the backbench (attention starved?) to associate abortion to the “danger” of Australia becoming a Muslim nation.
Former veterans affairs minister Mrs Vale outlined her concerns about abortion on ‘economic grounds’.
‘A certain imam from the Lakemba mosque actually says Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years time,’ Mrs Vale said.
‘I didn’t believe him at the time. But when you look at the birth rates … we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence by 100,000 abortions every year. You multiply that by 50 years – that’s 5 million potential Australians we won’t have here.’
Naturally this lead to condemnation. Australian Democrats leader Lyn Allison said:
‘I think they’re outrageous and she should retract them,’
‘They’re very unfortunate from almost every point of view.’
‘I’ve heard those very silly remarks made about immigrants to this country since I was a child.
‘If it wasn’t the Greeks, it was the Italians … or it was the Vietnamese who were going to outbreed us – it’s a nonsense.’
Immigration Minister Senator Vanstone said that a Muslim nation is not possible in Australia, and Mrs. Vale’s comments has also been deemed racist by the president of Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Dr Amir Ali.
Perhaps the funniest reply about all this comes from a comment on the Metafilter post about this hoohaa:
Guys, we need to be serious here. There’s a culture war going on, and we need more soldiers for our side.
The only possible solution to this crisis is that you all immediately start having sex.
Ready? On three.