Putting Politics in Perspective

Election campaigns tend to heighten sensitivities. Every perceived slight is magnified under the intensity of media scrutiny and it is often hard to stand your ground under such relentless pressure.

This was brought home to me recently when I noticed an independent upper house candidate standing on an anti-abortion platform. His campaign posters, featuring a healthy baby, were dotted on power poles along Adelaide’s major thoroughfares.

It was the first time I can recall seeing a single issue anti-abortion platform used in a political campaign and instinctively I wondered how long before the hate campaign against him would begin.

It was a brief wait. By Monday morning Adelaide’s talkback radio stations had irate pro-choice advocates decrying the posters as ‘humiliating to women’. The Democrats (yes, they still exist) candidate said the posters were ‘offensive’ and needed to be taken down.

It strikes me as ironic that those who preach the most about tolerance, or demand the right to free speech, are often so intolerant of others having a differing view.

The hypocrisy of the left-of-centre political advocates in acceptable campaign techniques is simply breathtaking. By some twisted logic, the left can campaign against seal clubbing and whale harvesting by showing bloodied and distressed animals on television, yet an anti-abortion campaigner can’t run for office showing a picture of a healthy baby.

A peaceful political campaign by a committed individual defending the unborn is considered offensive, yet acts of piracy on the high seas in defence of whales is worthy of hero status.

How did we get to this circumstance and just what has happened to credible and critical perspective in assessing the matters of life and death?

When abortion first became legal in South Australia in 1969, it was designed to protect the health of the mother. At the time, no one could have anticipated that just 40 years later there would be over 100,000 terminations nationally each and every year.

The pro-choice campaigners defend the rights of all women to have an abortion but they don’t like the public knowing of the process or the consequences of such procedures.

In fact, the horrors of abortion are often shielded from the general public by government departments. Websites that show the graphic nature of abortion are often filtered due to complaints from pro-choice campaigners. Given that these same people often consider an unborn child as simply a ‘collection of cells’ rather than a human life, the level of disingenuousness in their arguments is astounding.

In this state election, one man wants to campaign against a practice that he finds barbaric and is strongly opposed to. Whether you agree with him or not, he is using his democratic right to run for political office.

It is disappointing that there are those who think he has no business doing so.

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