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.