Amy McMurtrie Eradicating Difference
Amy McMurtrie Eradicating Difference

Eradicating Difference

Andrew McLellan, 7th November 2019
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Pregnancy often involves pre-natal screening and testing, that can be mystifying and confusing.  

3CR’s Amy McMurtrie explores the potential impact prenatal tests have for our society through the lens of two parents.

Produced by Amy McMurtrie of 3CR, Melbourne.
Supervising Production by Georgia Moodie.
 
Broadcasting this on your station? Email crn@cbaa.org.au for audio and cue sheets.
Amy McMurtrie Eradicating Difference
IMAGE: Dani Kohn with her son (Supplied by Dani).
Some time ago I shared a post on social media of a man with Down Syndrome talking about the value of his life.

He was speaking specifically to his concern about the extensive number of foetus diagnosed with down syndrome that are aborted at birth. I was surprised to witness people on my feed expressing rage and concern in response.

Comments included worry about the video being subject to pro-life material, as well as assertions about the integrity of those choices given how difficult it would be to parent someone with a disability.

None of these people had children with disabilities or had a disability.

I adamantly support the right of everyone to make choices for their bodies and lives. Yet, I was deeply concerned by these responses.

An undercurrent lay beneath these arguments that suggested the lives of people with disability were more expendable because they required more of parents and society at large.

Amy McMurtrie Eradicating Difference
IMAGE: Jax Jacki Brown with her daughter (Supplied by Jax).
The evolution to radio.

The Christian right are consistently mounting campaigns to reduce ones’ choice to terminate a pregnancy. It is concerning that arguments surrounding the lives of people with disabilities are being utilised for conservative policy change surrounding abortion.

This feature is testament to the stories we often don’t hear which should also give cause for concern. I am saddened that people are poorly resourced by the medical profession to make informed decisions about their pregnancies.

I am alarmed about the lack of informed consent surrounding screening and testing.

I am appalled about the messages given to pregnant people about disability.

Conversations about reproductive freedoms and the medical systems’ stigmatising of disability need to happen side by side. There are serious implications that are already occurring. I hope this feature gives pause, teaches something new and helps us have difficult conversations.

- Amy McMurtrie

Links
Special thanks
  • Georgia Moodie from ABC RN for being a fabulous mentor. Not only for your expertise, but your informal support that meant a lot.
  • Giordana Caputo at the CMTO and Andrew McLellan at the CBAA for your guidance and this incredible opportunity.
  • Dani Kohn and Jax Jacki Brown for inviting me into your homes and sharing your lives with me.
  • Polly, Sheridon and Tish - your encouragement and support meant more than you might have known.

This piece was made for the 2019 CBAA National Features & Documentary Series, a showcase of work by new and emerging Australian community radio producers, with training and mentoring provided by the Community and Media Training Organisation. The opinions expressed in National Features & Documentary Series content are those of the individual producers or their interviewees, and not necessarily shared by the CBAA or CMTO.

Produced with the assistance of the Department of Communications and the Arts via the Community Broadcasting Foundation.

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