LET’S get this straight.
After last week’s New South Wales Budget, a woman working for the public service who suffers a miscarriage is entitled to five days paid grievance leave.
Now that’s progressive politics.
But a woman whose baby is killed by abortion is not.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet introduced miscarriage grievance leave because “having a miscarriage is not an illness - it's a loss that should be recognised,” he told Parliament.
And he of course is right.
But what is killing one’s unborn baby?
Is the death of a certain category of baby fine but that of another not?
And why does the government assume there’s no grief associated with abortion?
Women’s grief after abortion is well-documented, as Melinda Tankard Reist’s year 2000 book Giving Sorrow Words so poignantly shows.
Has the NSW government not heard of Jaya Taki? She aborted her baby after NRL “star” Tim Simona coerced her.
I’ve heard her tell her story through tears. Should she not be entitled to some paid grievance leave?
If not, why not?
What about “Miss X”? Then Penrith player Bryce Cartwright paid her $50,000 to kill her unborn baby and the club backed him all the way.
She was against abortion. Should women in her circumstance be entitled to “grievance leave”?
Further evidence of our society’s cognitive dissonance (believing opposite things to be true at the same time) is found in the media reporting of Perrottet’s budget initiative.
The Australian Associated Press referred to it as leave after “the miscarriage of a child”.
That’s the right way to describe what is a sad and tragic event for women and men.
But you’ll never hear the media refer to abortion as the killing of a child.
They prefer the euphemism “termination of a pregnancy”.
Words matter because they allow truth to be either elucidated or obscured.
Grievance leave for miscarriage is, nonetheless, a good step forward.
A better budget initiative would be to ensure women with unsupported pregnancies are supported at least until the child turns 18.
Better still, while we are talking coercion, a man who makes a woman pregnant should bear the financial responsibility of his actions, not the taxpayer.
That would afford women real choice.
Progressive politics indeed.
Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party. The Reverend Honourable Fred Nile MLC has nominated Lyle to succeed him in the NSW Parliament when he retires in November. To keep in touch with Lyle and the CDP, sign up here.