A recent opinion piece on news.com.au has argued that women should be outraged at the recent vote to decriminalise abortion by the Queensland Parliament, because of the strong gender divide between the yes and no votes.
You see, we should be outraged that most female MPs voted yes and that male MP’s dominated the no vote. The picture presented here is that the vast majority of women are in favour of killing babies and it’s that evil patriarchy who are holding them back – men who don’t deserve to contribute to this debate because they don’t have a uterus.
While that may seem like a good story, the facts prove otherwise. After I analysed the breakdown of the vote by gender and political leaning (left = ALP, GRN, IND / right = LNP, KAP, ONP) – I noted the following:
The author is partly right – 80% of female MPs did vote yes compared with only 43% of male MPs. However, that is misleading – as it doesn’t take into account political leaning – which is very significant. 98% of the political left voted for abortion compared with only 7% of the political right – which is a much stronger differential. In a blow to identity politics, it shows that political ideas and philosophy matter much more than gender. If you want diversity – diversity of thought counts for much more than gender!
While 80% of women voted yes, only 17% of women on the political right voted yes. Conservative women tend to be strongly against abortion – which goes against the narrative that women are overwhelmingly supportive of abortion.
Almost all women on the political left (96%) supported abortion – and since they make up 80% of all female MPs – then that is why female MPs so overwhelmingly supported abortion. It merely reflects the demography of the QLD parliament – which is quite different from the general population. There is a much higher proportion of conservative women who are against abortion in the community (compared to the proportion in QLD parliament). Many of them are spending huge amounts of time raising their children.
While a majority of male MPs voted against abortion (57%), all of the male MPs of the political left (100%!) voted for abortion. So much for the patriarchy holding back women’s right to kill their babies – in fact, the patriarchy is aiding and abetting them! Furthermore, these male MPs on the political left were more supportive of abortion that the female MPs on the political left where only 96% voted for abortion!
The reason that the majority of male MPs voted against abortion is due to the fact that only 5% of the male MPs on the political right voted for it – who make up 61% of all male MPs. They, like their fellow female MPs on the political right, were strongly against the killing of unborn babies – and good on them (both male and female).
Elections matter. Given the political left has a majority in the unicameral QLD Parliament (53%) – the bill to decriminalise abortion succeeded in passing. If you value human life – you should penalise parties that take a stand against it. What issue could be more important to base your vote on? While 95% of the MPs on the political right opposed abortion, they unfortunately didn’t have a majority in the parliament.
So at the end of the day, it’s more likely that your political leaning (left or right) will have a much larger impact on whether you support abortion than your gender. Worldview and philosophical ideas matter much more than gender.
If you believe that every man and woman is made in God’s image, equal in dignity and all deserving of the right to life, you can’t be in support of murder – especially of the smallest and most vulnerable in our society. If only the men and women on the political left in Australia believed that and acted consistently with it. And hopefully, the men and women of the political right will stay true to that ideal – despite the heavy pressures on them to compromise.
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