Irony, to George Pell, means "a bit like an iron"

The celibate Australian head of an international mysogynist patriarchal cult has deemed that the contraceptive pill, far from being a tool which empowers women to take control of their own reproductive future, actually worsens gender inequality. [original article]

Ouch. My brain.

I can't reconcile this with the reality of how the catholic church actually behaves. Historically, the church's position has been "women should be baby-making cooking and cleaning machines and should shut the fuck up about it while we men, who are special and can talk to the magic man in the sky, get on with the business of running the world".

Maybe that's what Pell thinks "equality" means?

Pell also uses some very hokey maths to conclude that the predicted fall in abortions has not in fact occurred. Well, here's a thing. Fifty years ago when the pill appeared, a few other factors were in play

1. Abortion was illegal in Australia in 1960. Different states legalised at different times
2. Australia's population in 1960 was 10 million, roughly half today's figure.
3. Medical care and provision in Australia was more sectarian than it is now, with religiously-held hospitals allowed to discriminate far more freely than today's nominally secular landscape.

So looking at abortions then and abortions now is just not going to work. In the 1960s, abortions were mainly underground due to their illegal status - the old "if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns" factor. This alone would mean the figures for 1960 would be wildly inaccurate compared to today, never mind the vast population and demographic changes since then.

Look, Pell is already an absurd enough figure for me to go labouring this point, unnecessarily, but can we in Australia please stop giving him airtime now? Just put him back in his box and let him rant at the walls? Please?
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