In the version Babette Francis sent to the ABC, she did not refer to "the fetus", but to the unborn child. The ABC declined to publish unless the term fetus was used. Moreover the ABC refused to publish a direct quote from Wainer, on the grounds of lack of corroborating evidence. Wainer had stated "Yes, I know it is murder, but, if I don't do [abortions], some of these women will die because they will go to incompetent [practitioners]"
Dangerous fallacies are being promoted by Leslie Cannold and other elite advocates for abortion rights, writes pro-life campaigner Babette Francis.
The ABC's Dangerous Remedy provoked very different emotions in me than those felt by Leslie Cannold. At the centre of the telemovie was Dr Betram Wainer, a man who I believe was sincere, albeit grossly mistaken.
In the 1970's my late husband, Charles Francis AM, QC, was embroiled in political turmoil when he criticised his own Liberal government for allegedly covering up land deals. During this challenging time, Dr Wainer called us - he knew we were pro-life, but he respected Charles's integrity and offered him financial help with his campaign to contest Caulfield as an independent.
Charles politely declined, explaining he could not accept money earned from abortions.
Recognising some idealism in Wainer I tried to persuade him to help women in ways other than by killing foetuses.
He told me he knew it was destroying the foetus, but that if he didn’t do it some women would die by going to an incompetent abortionist.
Wainer's response may reflect a failure - at that time - of the pro-life movement that we did not have enough resources to offer women attractive pregnancy support.
The situation is different now - no woman or girl need fear a lack of help with her pregnancy and care of her baby. There is government help, private services and many prospective adoptive parents if the mother does not want to keep her baby.
Cannold promotes the fallacy that abortion is in the interests of women. Abortion is a very short-sighted 'solution' that may solve temporary career dilemmas, but 18 years down the track, that mother has lost a daughter or son she would have loved and who would have loved her and been a friend and companion.
Do elite advocates for abortion rights ever mourn their lost children or are the plaudits of their feminist colleagues enough to sustain them in their retired years?
Do they regret the absence of grandchildren and that physical link with the future? And during the festive season do they seek comfort in reading old articles about themselves in the newspaper? Is it enough to warm their aging hearts?
It is a fallacy that heaps of women do not bitterly regret their abortions. Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v Wade is now a staunch pro-lifer. Denise Mountenay, founder and president of non-profit society Canada Silent No More, regrets her abortion, has written books about her grief and lobbies energetically at the UN and in Europe and Asia in the hope of persuading other women not to make the same mistake. As does Molly White, from Women for Life International.
Another Cannold fallacy is that the pro-life movement is a patriarchal or paternalistic enterprise. The leading opponents of abortion are women - Margaret Tighe, Denise Cameron, Anne Lastman and many more speak out about personal heartbreak, and groups such Victims of Abortion and Rachel's Vineyard offer counselling for post-abortive women.
The ABC showed excellent documentaries on the cruelties involved in the live cattle trade and the sheep slaughter in Pakistan. Come on Aunty, have the courage to show what happens to the foetus in an abortion, we have lots of pictures you can screen.
Babette Francis is the National & Overseas co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., a Christian, pro-family, pro-life NGO.