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Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:01 am UTC
by M.C.
http://www.theage.com.au/queensland/cou ... 16gyd.html
Spoiler:
A Cairns couple charged over a home abortion chose to terminate a pregnancy because they were not ready for a child, a court has heard.

Tegan Simone Leach, 21, entered a plea of not guilty to one count of procuring her own abortion at the beginning of her trial in Cairns District Court today.

Her partner Sergie Brennan, 22, pleaded not guilty to a charge of supplying a drug to procure an abortion.

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Prosecutor Michael Byrne said the case was based on a simple set of facts - that Brennan illegally provided Leach with the abortion drugs RU486 and Misoprostol and she took them knowingly.

The court heard the matter came to the attention of police when officers were searching the couple’s Cairns home on another matter in February 2009.

Mr Byrne said officers found empty blister packets, which the couple identified as the packaging of abortion drugs.

In police interviews on March 30, Leach said she had decided to have an abortion in late 2008 after learning she was pregnant because she did not feel ready to have a baby.

Brennan, in a separate interview, said the couple ‘‘wanted the best’’ for their child and did not feel they were in a position then to provide the necessary support.

They had decided against surgical termination because they did not like the process involved and preferred to use the abortion drugs.

The court heard Brennan had obtained the drugs from his sister in the Ukraine and had believed the drugs were legal because they had made it through Australian customs.

Mr Byrne said Misoprostol and RU486 were legally available, though the latter drug was heavily restricted, with only a small number of practitioners able to prescribe them.

He said under Queensland law procuring an abortion was illegal unless the pregnancy posed a threat to the woman’s life or her physical or mental health.

‘‘There is no evidence of a necessity that an abortion needed to be carried out to preserve the life or the physical or mental health of Tegan Leach,’’ he said.

The matter is being heard before a panel of 12 jurors, comprised of 8 women and four men.

Two women initially selected as jurors were excused from the trial after telling Judge William Everson they did not believe they could be impartial.

The couple is believed to be the first to be charged with procuring an abortion in Queensland’s history.

Pro-choice advocates have established a vigil outside the Cairns Court to support the couple and call for abortion to be decriminalised in the state.

The trial is expected to last two days.

AAP


Queensland - South of the Southern Land

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:27 am UTC
by meatyochre
I guess instead they should have 1) had her imbibe copious amount of alcohol instead (because hey, it's legal), or 2) raised an unwanted child.

herp derp. Not much to add. Though I hope someone on that jury understands the process of nullification.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:40 am UTC
by Diadem
Wait, abortion is not legal in Australia? Is Australia really that backward? I know Australia is economically quite conservative, but I never thought of Australia as particularly religious.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:53 am UTC
by Gelsamel
It's state based;

In QLD it's "Legal for maternal life, health, and/or mental health" -- From Wikipedia

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:04 am UTC
by JayDee
Diadem wrote:Wait, abortion is not legal in Australia?
Not legal in this particular state, at least.

It pleases me a little to read that "Pro-choice advocates have established a vigil outside the Cairns Court to support the couple and call for abortion to be decriminalised in the state." with no mention of folk calling for punishment, or protesting in support of the law.

Community sentiment and whatnot could have changed since the law was written. We could find this couple acquitted, and the law then promptly changed. It's possible.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:27 am UTC
by Kulantan
Gelsamel wrote:In QLD it's "Legal for maternal life, health, and/or mental health" -- From Wikipedia

You left out a "serious" there, which can restrict availability rather a lot.

JayDee wrote:
Diadem wrote:Wait, abortion is not legal in Australia?

Not legal in this particular state, at least.

And what state would that be? As far as I'm aware abortion is legal in every state with various degrees of restriction and regulation.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:37 am UTC
by JayDee
Kulantan wrote:And what state would that be? As far as I'm aware abortion is legal in every state with various degrees of restriction and regulation.
Queensland. As mentioned four times in the OP. Admittedly, on this I am trusting Wikipedia (as linked to by Gelsamel.) According to said link, QLD's abortion laws are similar to VIC's. Except that Victoria's were changed in 2008, because as the Premier said "our existing laws are out of step with community sentiment." In WA in 1998 (again, according to the wikipedia article, I'm too lazy to look further right now) there was a prosecution for the first time in ages, resulting in a change in the legislation.

Huh. My prior post was made without doing any research (and I admit, wikipedia only counts as doing 0.6 research) and rather just assuming that my natural bias against QLD was completely wrong. Go figure.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:17 pm UTC
by trebor
Abortion can be done in Queensland, it is not outlawed completly, However I think the issue in this case is the couple going about the abortion in an illlegal, potentially unsafe way, when they could have done it legally.
They had decided against surgical termination because they did not like the process involved
now, it doesn't say whether this was referring to an illegal or legal surgical precudure, but I am assuming legal. (If anyone can find out, please do.)

Getting an official Abortion is even covered by our healthcare system, It's apparently common for abortions in South Australia to be deemed on psychiatric grounds therfore allowing them to "pose a risk to the mother" It may be similar in Queensland.

Also laws against abortion are hardly enforcable with the differing decisions various judges have made in the past.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:30 pm UTC
by Kulantan
trebor wrote: However I think the issue in this case is the couple going about the abortion in an illlegal, potentially unsafe way, when they could have done it legally.

Illegal and unsafe in that they didn't have a doctor's approval or consult, not in that the method is illegal or dangerously dangerous. According to the ABC she used RU-486 AKA Mifepristone.

Wikipedia wrote:Mifepristone was banned in Australia in 1996. In late 2005, a Private Member's bill was introduced to the Australian Senate to lift the ban and transfer the power of approval to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The move caused much debate in the Australian media and amongst politicians. The Bill passed the Senate on 10 February 2006, and whilst mifepristone is now legal for use in Australia, as of yet, no drug company has applied to import and distribute it.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:41 pm UTC
by Hawknc
trebor wrote:Abortion can be done in Queensland, it is not outlawed completly, However I think the issue in this case is the couple going about the abortion in an illlegal, potentially unsafe way, when they could have done it legally.
They had decided against surgical termination because they did not like the process involved
now, it doesn't say whether this was referring to an illegal or legal surgical precudure, but I am assuming legal. (If anyone can find out, please do.)

The wording of the relevant Queensland law was changed in 2009 to include both surgical treatment and medical (i.e. RU486), so there shouldn't be a legal difference in whether they chose the surgical route or the pill. It's not hard to understand why they went for the pill - surgical procedures are invasive and make a difficult experience even more traumatic. As far as I can tell, the reason the abortion was illegal was that it didn't happen through a practitioner who was registered to provide them. Given that the defendant lives in far north Queensland, I'm not sure how available these practitioners were to her.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:00 pm UTC
by Роберт
meatyochre wrote:I guess instead they should have 1) had her imbibe copious amount of alcohol instead (because hey, it's legal),
You are aware that alcohol is not a very good abortifacient?

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:29 pm UTC
by BlackSails
This would be illegal pretty much everywhere I think. Not because of the abortion, but because of the practicing medicine without a license.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:06 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
I'm a bit curious why they had the empty drug packaging lying around at least to months after the fact.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:16 pm UTC
by broken_escalator
Did they say what the other charges were that the police was investigating? I didn't see it in there if I missed it.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:38 pm UTC
by meatyochre
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm a bit curious why they had the empty drug packaging lying around at least to months after the fact.

I am guessing they took a couple pills out of a blister pack of several. Like how decongestants or some cough drops will come in a blister pack of 10 or 20. My mom never gets rid of pills, no matter how old they are. This is not uncommon.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:35 pm UTC
by Izawwlgood
Article wrote:Mr Byrne said officers found empty blister packets, which the couple identified as the packaging of abortion drugs.

Ah, yeah, I assumed it came in single foil packaging, which I realize is an assumption based on nothing really. Makes sense.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:12 pm UTC
by big boss
Its weird that abortions can be illegal, yet things such as consuming alcohol and other substances which are known to retard the development of a fetus aren't illegal for pregnant women to consume. I mean if the law is to protect a life then drinking alcohol should be illegal while pregnant.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:23 pm UTC
by Dauric
big boss wrote:Its weird that abortions can be illegal, yet things such as consuming alcohol and other substances which are known to retard the development of a fetus aren't illegal for pregnant women to consume. I mean if the law is to protect a life then drinking alcohol should be illegal while pregnant.


And try to imagine, say, enforcing that law. If you can come up with a method for actually enforcing the law (dubious unless you're hiring a dedicated force with the rights to poke in to every pregnant woman's homes to check for liquor bottles) then it'll probably look a lot like Prohibition (IE: a mess of opportunities for corruption, black-marketeers and organized crime)

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:18 pm UTC
by pollywog
How about if, when the baby is born, or soon after, an obstetrician checks for any sign of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and if it is found, alerts the police or some other agency. The mother can be charged from there. Because really, drinking while pregnant is a terrible, terrible thing, same as any other drug. One glass of wine at the right time can cause all sorts of developmental trouble for the baby. The evidence that the woman has consumed alcohol is present (and lifelong) in the child, and if it's not, hey, no harm done.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:21 pm UTC
by Dauric
pollywog wrote:How about if, when the baby is born, or soon after, an obstetrician checks for any sign of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and if it is found, alerts the police or some other agency. The mother can be charged from there. Because really, drinking while pregnant is a terrible, terrible thing, same as any other drug. One glass of wine at the right time can cause all sorts of developmental trouble for the baby. The evidence that the woman has consumed alcohol is present (and lifelong) in the child, and if it's not, hey, no harm done.


A British study suggests that children who's mothers were light drinkers actually fare better than those of nondrinkers in cognitive tests.

Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:52 pm UTC
by Роберт
Dauric wrote:
pollywog wrote:How about if, when the baby is born, or soon after, an obstetrician checks for any sign of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and if it is found, alerts the police or some other agency. The mother can be charged from there. Because really, drinking while pregnant is a terrible, terrible thing, same as any other drug. One glass of wine at the right time can cause all sorts of developmental trouble for the baby. The evidence that the woman has consumed alcohol is present (and lifelong) in the child, and if it's not, hey, no harm done.


A British study suggests that children who's mothers were light drinkers actually fare better than those of nondrinkers in cognitive tests.

Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.

Not to mention my wife was prescribed alcohol due to problems with an irritable uterus. (I was aware of that study before they suggested she drink wine or a cocktail when necessary, so I wasn't too weirded out.) So, abusing alcohol while pregnant is terrible, but drinking less than a serving no more than a couple times a week is not, in fact, terrible.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:55 pm UTC
by meatyochre
Dauric wrote:
pollywog wrote:How about if, when the baby is born, or soon after, an obstetrician checks for any sign of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and if it is found, alerts the police or some other agency. The mother can be charged from there. Because really, drinking while pregnant is a terrible, terrible thing, same as any other drug. One glass of wine at the right time can cause all sorts of developmental trouble for the baby. The evidence that the woman has consumed alcohol is present (and lifelong) in the child, and if it's not, hey, no harm done.


A British study suggests that children who's mothers were light drinkers actually fare better than those of nondrinkers in cognitive tests.

Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.

I hope you don't mind me sigging this. Great quote.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:56 pm UTC
by big boss
Роберт wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.

Not to mention my wife was prescribed alcohol due to problems with an irritable uterus. (I was aware of that study before they suggested she drink wine or a cocktail when necessary, so I wasn't too weirded out.) So, abusing alcohol while pregnant is terrible, but drinking less than a serving no more than a couple times a week is not, in fact, terrible.


I just don't get the logic behind antiabortion laws, if one thing that kills a fetus is banned, then other things should also be illegal, I'm sure there are other chemicals that can kill a fetus, i originally stated alcohol because it was the only one that I could think of that can retarded development.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:59 pm UTC
by Dauric
big boss wrote:
Роберт wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.

Not to mention my wife was prescribed alcohol due to problems with an irritable uterus. (I was aware of that study before they suggested she drink wine or a cocktail when necessary, so I wasn't too weirded out.) So, abusing alcohol while pregnant is terrible, but drinking less than a serving no more than a couple times a week is not, in fact, terrible.


I just don't get the logic behind antiabortion laws, if one thing that kills a fetus is banned, then other things should also be illegal, I'm sure there are other chemicals that can kill a fetus, i originally stated alcohol because it was the only one that I could think of that can retarded development.


Intent.

If a woman drinks during her pregnancy, or smokes crack cocaine, or injects heroin, etc. etc. etc. the -intent- is not that she is trying to abort the fetus, the intent is that she's addicted to a substance ad is taking it to feel good / not feel withdrawl. Abortion is -by it's intent- an attempt to kill the fetus.

That's the difference.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
by pollywog
I learnt it in class. It may have been exaggerated, maybe even massively, but consuming a poison when your blood is mixing with the blood of a small bunch of cells is really not a good idea.

It may have been getting drunk once, come to think of it. We kind of rushed over teratogens. Just mucking around on Wikipedia, it seems like high risk is 6-8 beers once a week during early pregnancy, so first trimester, probably.
Dauric wrote:Edit: I'm not saying it's a "Good Idea", but the hyperbole suggesting that one glass of wine will result in a brain-dead mutant-baby grates after hearing it the first few billion times.
It's not the brain dead mutant baby thing, it's the 1 in 100 live births with developmental disorders ranging from losing a few IQ points to serious, lifelong disability. Unless it's prescribed by your doctor, as above, it's not worth the risk.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:26 am UTC
by big boss
Dauric wrote:
Intent.

If a woman drinks during her pregnancy, or smokes crack cocaine, or injects heroin, etc. etc. etc. the -intent- is not that she is trying to abort the fetus, the intent is that she's addicted to a substance ad is taking it to feel good / not feel withdrawl. Abortion is -by it's intent- an attempt to kill the fetus.

That's the difference.


Robbery is robbery and a murder is a murderer no matter what the intent behind the action is, at least in the eyes of the law.

What if a women tried to kill a fetus, by using a coathanger or by using heroin or alcohol etc. etc. etc. Her intent was then to try and kill the baby and/or retard its development?

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:35 am UTC
by Amarantha
Hawknc wrote:It's not hard to understand why they went for the pill - surgical procedures are invasive and make a difficult experience even more traumatic. As far as I can tell, the reason the abortion was illegal was that it didn't happen through a practitioner who was registered to provide them. Given that the defendant lives in far north Queensland, I'm not sure how available these practitioners were to her.
There are only four in all of Queensland. Premier Bligh keeps saying the problem is not the abortion but the illegal importation of the drug, except that's bollocks, because they're clearly being charged under abortion law, and because the importation, while illegal, is not actually a criminal offence.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:13 am UTC
by meatyochre
big boss wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Intent.

If a woman drinks during her pregnancy, or smokes crack cocaine, or injects heroin, etc. etc. etc. the -intent- is not that she is trying to abort the fetus, the intent is that she's addicted to a substance ad is taking it to feel good / not feel withdrawl. Abortion is -by it's intent- an attempt to kill the fetus.

That's the difference.


Robbery is robbery and a murder is a murderer no matter what the intent behind the action is, at least in the eyes of the law.

What if a women tried to kill a fetus, by using a coathanger or by using heroin or alcohol etc. etc. etc. Her intent was then to try and kill the baby and/or retard its development?

Well it's a little more complex than "a murderer is a murderer regardless of intent." That's why there exist classifications for everything from premeditated murder (first degree) to involuntary manslaughter, with varying sentences for each degree.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:24 am UTC
by Cynical Idealist
big boss wrote:Robbery is robbery and a murder is a murderer no matter what the intent behind the action is, at least in the eyes of the law.

...
Nooooooooooo.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:29 am UTC
by meatyochre
Cynical Idealist wrote:
big boss wrote:Robbery is robbery and a murder is a murderer no matter what the intent behind the action is, at least in the eyes of the law.

...
Nooooooooooo.

That's what <- she <- said! (however you said it much more humorously, and I laughed :) )

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:53 pm UTC
by engr
Does anyone know if in any US state (or any country) a woman who performs an illegal abortion on herself can be charged specifically with murder? IIRC, in some states a criminal can be charged with two counts of murders if he kills a pregnant woman.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:52 pm UTC
by s200530
There may only be 4 practitioner in QLD able to prescribe the drug RU488 - but one of them is in Cairns!

You can get the morning after pill without a drs consult - you just need to go into a pharmacy ask for it and pay for it. If your not using contraceptives and you don't want a kid you're a bit stupid. To ask your sister from the Ukraine to send it to you've got to know you're doing something wrong. To know she didn't want a surgical abortion she had to have looked into it, she was just being lazy.

One of the major reasion RU488 is hard to get in QLD/Aust is because there are risks associated with using the drug and they want to make sure the person taking it is 1) aware of what they are doing, 2) don't suffer any serious consequences as a result (massive internal bleeding, problems with the expusion of the featus etc).

This couple were just being stupid and would have been the first to complain and blame doctors if something went wrong after she took the drugs. I think it is a reasonable case on the basis that they were being stupid - I don't think people should import prescription drugs and if the only way they get a consequence of that is if they are prosecuted under this law I say do it.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:38 pm UTC
by meatyochre
s200530 wrote:There may only be 4 practitioner in QLD able to prescribe the drug RU488 - but one of them is in Cairns!

You can get the morning after pill without a drs consult - you just need to go into a pharmacy ask for it and pay for it. If your not using contraceptives and you don't want a kid you're a bit stupid. To ask your sister from the Ukraine to send it to you've got to know you're doing something wrong. To know she didn't want a surgical abortion she had to have looked into it, she was just being lazy.

One of the major reasion RU488 is hard to get in QLD/Aust is because there are risks associated with using the drug and they want to make sure the person taking it is 1) aware of what they are doing, 2) don't suffer any serious consequences as a result (massive internal bleeding, problems with the expusion of the featus etc).

This couple were just being stupid and would have been the first to complain and blame doctors if something went wrong after she took the drugs. I think it is a reasonable case on the basis that they were being stupid - I don't think people should import prescription drugs and if the only way they get a consequence of that is if they are prosecuted under this law I say do it.

Since when is it illegal to be, in your words, stupid? You think it's ok to prosecute her for doing what you deem as stupid, because you don't think she should have done something totally legal (importing rx drugs).

You realize that what you think should not be allowed is no basis for a legal case, yes?

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:24 am UTC
by Kulantan
Update: not guilty.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:58 am UTC
by crowey
Good...I think. I'm all for lenient abortion laws, and I think there should have been facilities to allow this couple to have a safe and legal abortion if that's what they wanted. Hopefully this will pave the way to better facilities available to the people of Queensland.

Things I am surprised/unsure about: that it's legal to import prescription only drugs (presumably without a prescription from an Australian registered doctor, because if you had a prescription you could just go to the pharmacy). Does it being OK to import restricted drugs not defeat the point of them being restricted?
second, there are reasons why only doctors are allowed to do certain things. facilities and training to deal with bad side effects, knowing what drugs are safe to give to a patient etc etc. Does this not count as some sort of practising medicine without a licence type offence? or reckless endangerment or somesuch?
Are people in Australia really allowed to import drugs and give them to whomever they please, because that seems wrong to me... Maybe they decided not to prosecute on these charges because of the politics of the case?

This is quite a good illustration of the argument for legal abortion though, that if you ban it people will just take matters into their own hands. Fortunately this time the woman didn't suffer any complications, but that won't always be the case. Especially if people are importing their own drugs they don't know if what they've bought is really what they think it is. The classic scam of saying it's [drug] when really it's talc, or rat poison or whatever is a classic for a reason.

/ramble

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:18 am UTC
by Kulantan
s200530 wrote:You can get the morning after pill without a drs consult - you just need to go into a pharmacy ask for it and pay for it. If your not using contraceptives and you don't want a kid you're a bit stupid. To ask your sister from the Ukraine to send it to you've got to know you're doing something wrong. To know she didn't want a surgical abortion she had to have looked into it, she was just being lazy.

That would be a good response if EC worked after implantation of the blastocyst uterine lining. Really, if they waited a few days/weeks it would be too late for EC (hence why it is the morning after pill). Given that you're saying that they were "stupid", they could well have been using "contraception" like the the rhythm method or coitus interruptus and thus not realised she was pregnant (or even that she could be) till it was too late for EC. Hells, their condom could have failed (typical use pregnancy rate of 10–18% per year, perfect use pregnancy rate of 2% per year1) or the pill could have been ineffective (typical use pregnancy rate of 2-8% per year, perfect use pregnancy rate of 0.3% per year2).

s200530 wrote:One of the major reasion RU488 RU486 is hard to get in QLD/Aust is because there are risks associated with using the drug and they want to make sure the person taking it is 1) aware of what they are doing, 2) don't suffer any serious consequences as a result (massive internal bleeding, problems with the expusion of the featus etc).

Well RU488 doesn't seem to exist (I have seem some references to a fertilizer called RU488, but have been unable to track it down) so I understand why people would be reluctant to prescribe it. I assume you mean RU486, Mifepristone. It is an abortion drug and is therefore quite nasty. I agree that there are risks associated are high enough that it should be a prescription drug (through it should be mentioned that, for an abortion drug, it is reasonably safe). However, if it is the taking of the specific drug without a prescription that legal system has a problem with charge them under the illegal importation of drugs or some other related charge. The fact that they were charged with having an unjustified abortion because they didn't go through medical practitioners is ridiculous (not to mention there being a law like that in the first place being ridiculous).

s200530 wrote:This couple were just being stupid and would have been the first to complain and blame doctors if something went wrong after she took the drugs. I think it is a reasonable case on the basis that they were being stupid - I don't think people should import prescription drugs and if the only way they get a consequence of that is if they are prosecuted under this law I say do it.

I do so love when people engage in an ad hominem strawman, its two fallacies for the price of one. Why the hell do you think that they would try and blame their doctors? I think the sister in the Ukraine might possibly get some blame form them if things had gone wrong (however even that is pure speculation), but the doctors that they didn't tell about their want for an abortion or the fact they were going to take Mifepristone, I really don't think so. More over, how would that pure suposition bullshit make the charges of either unjustified abortion or illegal importation more valid.

Once again, I agree that this should have gone through legal means of importation and prescription. Therefore, if the legal system felt an overwhelming need to charge someone, they should have been charged with that, not with the fucking abortion laws.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom#Effectiveness
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_o ... ectiveness

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:19 am UTC
by Kimmo
Diadem wrote:Wait, abortion is not legal in Australia? Is Australia really that backward? I know Australia is economically quite conservative, but I never thought of Australia as particularly religious.

I was listening to a story on the radio about this just now; a pro-choice activist said 80% of Australians agree that it's a woman's prerogative to decide whether to go ahead with a pregnancy... this actually sounds conservative to me, but then I'm from Melbourne, not Brisbane.

Queensland is almost another country; it's kinda like being south of the Mason–Dixon line in the US...

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:34 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Racial tensions, parts of society that haven't changed since 1827, and grits on every breakfast plate?

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:44 pm UTC
by Saurus33
To be fair, non-Queenslanders generally have a weird perception of Queensland; in reality, the only major differences are that it's warmer and there's more farmland. Of course, more farmland means more people who fit the hayseed moron stereotype, but Welsh-nouveau and Victorian variations exist as well.

I don't know what grits are. They sound vaguely appetizing.

Re: Couple on trial for abortion in Australia

Posted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:36 pm UTC
by Levi
I've never eaten them because they sound vaguely unappetizing to me. I think they're a sort of starchy mush or something.