Prime Minister Julia Gillard has delivered a national apology to victims of forced adoption practices that were in place in Australia from the late 1950s to the 1970s.
I can imagine that one day humanity will say these words about abortion:
“Today, this Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, takes responsibility and apologises for the policies and practices that forced the separation of mothers from their babies which created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering,” she said.
“We deplore the shameful practices that denied you, the mothers, your fundamental rights and responsibilities to love and care for your children.”
“We say sorry to you, the mothers, who were denied knowledge of your rights, which meant you could not provide informed consent. You were given false assurances. You were forced to endure the coercion and brutality of practices that were unethical, dishonest and in many cases illegal.”
You won’t hear this today:
The crowd erupted with applause and many broke down in tears at several points throughout the speech.
But we might hear this in the future. 100 years. Maybe 200. Maybe 300.
“Friends, as the time for birth came, these babies would be snatched away before they had even held them in their arms,” she said.
“Sometimes, consent was achieved by forgery or fraud. Sometimes women signed adoption papers whilst under the influence of medication.
“Most common of all was the bullying arrogance of a society that presumed to know what was best.
“The hurt did not simply last for a few days or weeks. This was a wound that would not heal.”