Gina Rushton for Buzz Feed writes:
White Ribbon Australia no longer advocates for safe and legal abortion and has withdrawn a statement that said “all women should have complete control over their reproductive and sexual health”.
“We have withdrawn it because we are agnostic until our stakeholders tell us it is important to most of them,” the anti-domestic violence charity’s new chief executive Tracy McLeod Howe told BuzzFeed News.
“My job is to represent a movement of diverse members of a community who range in age and gender and religion and viewpoints.”
White Ribbon Australia did not announce the retraction, but BuzzFeed News understands members of the organisation contacted a number of pregnancy option counselling and sexual health providers to notify them of the shift on Thursday, the morning after politicians voted to decriminalise abortion in Queensland.
McLeod Howe told BuzzFeed News the decision had been coming for at least two weeks when “senior management” were “fielding calls from so many places”.
“I’ve been in my job for probably eight weeks and [White Ribbon
Australia’s reproductive rights statement has] come up again and again around Australia,” she said.
Multiple Christian parishes condemned the statement late last year, but McLeod Howe insisted the organisation hadn’t “buckled to Catholics” and that there were people from all facets of the community who didn’t agree with the statement.