It is not surprising to the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) that the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is yet again attempting to force its narrow views on all women, this time in relation to subsidising the cost of the chemical abortion drug RU486, despite support for this from a democratically-elected government and the majority of Australians.

Their offensive claims that women need to be protected are based on patriarchal assumptions that women of all ages are unable to process information and come to their own decisions about what will and will not be harmful to them. And they obviously think that poorer women have even less ability to make informed choices, since this subsidy will allow them to now have access to a drug that previously only more affluent women could obtain.

The ACL’s statement that taxpayers opposed to abortions will be helping fund them again highlights their deliberate ignorance of how democratic systems work. Atheists’ taxes fund religious schools that still promote ownership of women’s bodies, and the resulting anguish, illness, and sometimes suicides from too many children or unwanted pregnancies. Our taxes fund private hospitals across Australia that refuse to perform abortions for women in need, and our taxes fund World Youth Day and other religious events. Millions of our taxes have been squandered over decades to incarcerate people for crimes, not against humanity, but against religion, homosexuality being one example.

Our taxes subsidise politicians in this country who want to use their religious beliefs as a weapon against women to force a ban on family planning and abortion in developing countries, where women die in the thousands from child-bearing and from the poverty associated with trying to provide for large families. The precedent for linking foreign aid to control of women’s bodies began with Senator Harradine and, though overturned by Rudd, is still currently promoted by some current Christian members of Parliament.

The ACL is not the official conscience of women across Australia, or anywhere else.

President of the AFA, David Nicholls said, “No one is being forced to use RU486, and no doctor is being forced to prescribe it.”

“It is time fundamental religious groups got over their obsession with using women’s reproductive function as a means of control and coercion, and focused instead on overcoming poverty, inequality and injustice for all,” he said.


David Nicholls
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
Private Mail Bag 6

Phone: (08) 8835 2269
Email: [email protected]

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