Thursday, February 09, 2006

Enter TGA for RU486 in Australia

Abortifacient, Mifepristone (RU486) Congratulations to the 45 senators who, today, voted to repeal the bill which was blocking the Therapeutic Goods Administration from considering the abortifacient RU486 for use in Australia. So it's not approved for use in Australia yet, and this as it should be... Because I, like every sane Australian, want the TGA to thoroughly investigate how safe it is and how it could be or should be accessed by Australian women before it's made available.

This post follows on from today's earlier post on the RU486 debate in the Australian senate and the bill to repeal the blocking of the TGA to approve the drug.

Andrew Bartlett has posted a breakdown of the way senators voted for this bill today. Nothing is more telling to me than the vastly different percentages of male and females supporting the bill.
Male senators 46% for, 54% against
Female senators: 89% for, 11% against
All sentators: 62% for, 38% against
What is the conclusion to make from this? Men are less likely to be able to empathise with women facing abortion then women. Possibly I should use the term "think about women's rights before religious values" in place of empathise, but that is possibly going too far. Regardless, if it had have been up to an all-male senate to pass or reject this bill today, clearly it would have failed.

If there was ever a case for setting aside a minimum percentage of senate places for each gender then this would be it, even though I strongly disagree with that concept.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Anthony said...

I was pleasantly surprised by the result. We now know that there are 45 senators who have at least half a brain.

February 09, 2006 9:48 pm  
Anonymous jair said...

Well, half a brain in politics is probably not a good thing for your career, but at least we have -some- pro-Australian population thinking going on in there. Makes a nice change.

In regards to the original post, I did wonder who was making swastika versions of the mitsubishi pills... interesting, no?

But seriously. I have a hard time understanding why this is an issue (apart from the fact that there are far too many religious cretins in politics who think it's alright to enforce their beliefs on others), and why it was an issue when the drug was released... when was that? I'm sure I was still at school when that hit the headlines.

And don't worry, the TGA is incredibly thorough when it comes to drugs. Check out the MIMS Annual one day, if you get a chance, and look up any drug you can think of. The amount of testing involved is ridiculous. And approval in any country will cost you around $100 million, and you have to do that for each region you want to sell it in (i.e. separate for US, AU, EU - a very expensive business).

Anyway, much agreed with you on this issue. And glad you posted, saved me from having to look it up this morning. Tried to get the gist of it from The Australian while shopping this morning, but it didn't actually make it all that clear which way the vote went (which was more than slightly distressing).

Apologies for the rantish-ness.

February 10, 2006 11:27 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Funnily enough, Tony Abbott said "One of the problems with the vote in the Senate today is that the senators have effectively voted no confidence in ministers and parliaments, at least on this issue".

Are you really surprised, Tony!?

I agree it's bizarre we're even arguing about this, Jair, but with the Health minister say this kind of stuff, bizarre as it is it's an issue that needs to be pushed!

February 10, 2006 11:51 am  
Blogger Sarah said...

I thought the breakdown of votes according to sex was extremely telling indeed. Did Senator Bartlett happen to publish the names of all those who voted against the bill? They ought to be named and shamed.

February 12, 2006 1:30 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

He did publish the names, Sarah. Check out the link I gave to Bartlett's blog post.

February 12, 2006 8:51 pm  
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October 18, 2011 8:34 pm  

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