Former Labor minister Gary Johns appeared last night on A Current Affair to rehash arguments from his controversial opinion piece entitled ‘No Contraception, No Dole‘ first published in The Australian in 2014.
Once again he was peddling the line that only people who use contraception should be entitled to welfare payments.
Of course, Johns wasn’t encouraging reversible vasectomies for men who wish to spread their seed far and wide or for bowls of condoms to be available at Centrelink counters across the country.
No, he wanted women to use contraception inserted under their skin in order to receive their welfare benefits.
It’s all part of the new author’s grand plan to end the cycle of intergenerational welfare, as though all children born to welfare recipients are destined for the same future.
The thing that makes Johns’ opinion so dangerous is not just that he is advocating the control of women’s fertility choices, but that he looks past far more obvious solutions to the issue.
Rather than dictate to women when and how they can get pregnant, why not invest in sex education and look more closely at the reasons these women are on welfare. Let’s not make them choose between putting food in their mouths or having a family. After all, if you go by Johns’ word, women and children are being used as “cash cows” to receive welfare payments.
The former Keating minister claimed in 2014 that his proposal wasn’t an affront to struggling parents but he simply did’t believe that anyone should be allowed to become a parent while living on benefits.
“Such a measure will undoubtedly affect strugglers, it undoubtedly will affect Aboriginal and Islander people in great proportions, but the idea that someone can have the taxpayer, as of right, fund the choice to have a child is repugnant,” he wrote at the time.
Johns – who has now authored a book also titled No Contraception, No Dole – appeared on A Current Affair last night to discuss the topic in greater detail.
“If someone is on an unemployment benefit, they should be looking for work not starting a family. If someone’s on a parenting payment, perhaps because they are a single mum, they should be looking after existing children not having more children. And if someone’s on Youth Allowance, they’re a very young woman, they should be studying not starting a family,” Johns told A Current Affair’s Steve Marshall.
Watch part of last night’s ACA segment here. Post continues below.