Gerry Wood, an independent Northern Territory politician, has cited abortion as a key driver in population decline and therefore a reduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) income in the Northern state. “We lose 600 to 1000 people [annually] through abortion”, said Wood in parliament earlier this week.
Indeed, the Northern Territories GST share would be reduced by around $269 million for the 2017/18 fiscal year, with $77 million of this being due to the reduction in NT population growth. However, this probably has more to do with more than 3600 people moving away from the Territory in 2015 alone, compared to the 600-odd cases of abortion. Still, these pesky statistics didn’t get in the way of moral warrior Gerry proposing “why don’t we help promote people go through with pregnancy? Why don’t we look at adoption?” as a solution for the completely unrelated population problem.
Wood’s statements are ridiculous yes, but they do reflect a much more serious issue with anti-choice sentiment in State Government, says Attorney-General Natasha Fyles. Speaking to ABC News, Fyles cited Wood’s claim as “emotive issues”, worrying about the ability of NT women to “make choices about their bodies”.
“People will laugh at me” said Wood, “if you looked at alternatives to helping people, we may have some of those increases in population growth.” Fortunately for the politician, one of Wood’s statements is correct, as he predicted, people are indeed laughing at him.