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It takes two to tango – vasectomies all the way

A Current Affair is seeking community feedback on a proposal to force women on welfare to be on contraceptives. This ludicrous idea is apparently the brainchild of former Labor MP Gary Johns as a way to end intergenerational welfare. This isn’t a new policy of Johns. He has raised it before, saying in 2014 that ‘it is better to avoid having children until such time as parents can afford them’. According to Johns, rather than providing better education for young people, access to free (voluntary) contraceptives and family planning facilities, ‘women on welfare’ should be ‘inserted with long-acting reversible contraception – a tiny rod inserted under the woman’s bicep.’

Apart from the obvious reasons why the policy is absurd, it is a clear violation of a woman’s right to personal autonomy and to control her own body. The very suggestion that a woman on welfare should be forced to undergo a medical procedure or be left (along with her children) to starve or fend for herself is so abhorrent, it should not be necessary to provide a genuine argument against it.

Any government who took this idea seriously would guarantee a fierce backlash from the voting public (unless they are ACA audience members who, judging by the ‘feedback comments’ are wholly supportive of vulnerable and disadvantaged women being forcibly interfered with by medical professionals), and international condemnation.

Johns proposal, while obviously insane, is also unworkable. If his intent is to stop ‘intergenerational welfare’ and prevent women from having babies while receiving tax dollars, he does not go nearly far enough to ensure that no child is born without the full protection of parental financial support.

If anything, Johns proposal only goes halfway to ‘solving the problem’.

Why? Because it only applies to half of the population.

Johns is either not serious about ending intergenerational welfare (as laughable as his policy suggestion is) or he has a weird obsession about women and their reproductive capability.

It takes two to tango. A man and woman, or more accurately, a sperm and an ovum.

If Johns’ policy is to be effective, it must be applied in every situation which might result in a woman having a child while receiving welfare benefits. There must be a contingency in place for ‘accidents’; something forced contraceptives are obviously intended to address. There must be consequences for every person involved in causing the pregnancy of a woman dependent on the State.

It must apply to the whole population.

It must account for women who fall pregnant, only to lose their jobs through redundancy or discrimination. It must account for those who separate after having children, only to reproduce again – especially men who may impregnate multiple women, leaving them to fend for themselves.

It is only once every conceivable contingency is considered and every risk mitigated that babies will be born in Johns’ idea of appropriate circumstances, to parents who can afford them.

A simple, equitable policy might look like this:

1 Compulsory Contraception

1.1. Once a male or female becomes of an age that he or she is capable of causing a pregnancy or becoming pregnant, he or she shall have medically implanted a reversible contraceptive.

1.2. For the purposes of clause 1.1., a medical practitioner is required to confirm a male or female’s reproductive capability and at that time, clause 1.1. applies.

1.3. Where a male or female first satisfies clause 2.1. but subsequently does not, he or she shall have medically implanted a reversible contraceptive.

2 Termination of Contraception

2.1. The contraceptive shall remain in place until such time as the following conditions apply:

2.1.1. The male or female has demonstrated responsibility in line with community expectations, including but not limited to:

a. is employed and has held that employment position for a minimum of 24 months.

b. Has an individual annual salary of not less than $60,000.00 per annum, to be indexed in line with CPI.

c. Has been in a committed relationship with their partner for a minimum of five years as evidenced by meeting strict criteria for financial, social, domestic and interdependent factors.

2.1.2. The male or female meets strict character requirements as determined by the responsible Minister from time to time and at the Minister’s discretion.

But what happens if a person does not yet meet all the criteria and the contraceptive fails?

3 Failure of Contraceptive

3.1. If a person to which cause 1.1. applies causes to become pregnant or becomes pregnant where clause 2.1. is not satisfied, the following applies:

3.1.1. Where the pregnancy is confirmed by a medical practitioner, the pregnancy will be terminated.

3.1.2. Where the pregnancy is not confirmed by a medical practitioner, the male and female responsible for the pregnancy will become ineligible for any welfare payments upon the birth of the child and both male and female will undergo irreversible sterilization.

3.1.3. For the purposes of clause 3.1., where clause 2.1. is satisfied at the time the pregnancy is confirmed by a medical practitioner, but then ceases to be satisfied, the pregnancy will be terminated.

3.1.4. Specifically, clause 3.1.3. applies where a male or female becomes unemployed during the time of pregnancy, or where the relationship ends. Clause 3.1.3. does not apply where the male or female’s salary is below the annual salary prescribed in clause 2.1.1.b. due to unpaid parental leave, provided that leave does not exceed 12 weeks.

But what if a relationship ends or a person becomes unemployed after they already have children? Another provision is required.

4 Future Dependency on Welfare.

4.1. Where a male or female has satisfied clause 2.1. and goes on to reproduce but subsequently does not satisfy clause 2.1., clause 1.3 applies.

4.2. Where a male or female becomes dependent on welfare for any reason and already has a maximum number of two children, he or she will be undergo irreversible sterilization.

No doubt Johns and the ACA audience will warmly applaud these policy suggestions; they are not the slightest bit ridiculous or in violation of any personal rights or civil liberties. And surely, if applied consistently across the population will ensure that no vulnerable or disadvantaged person ever becomes a parent while on welfare.

But is the policy workable? Does it account for human nature? Does it go far enough to protect the State from having to support young families?

Perhaps a better policy would be this:

1 Compulsory sterilization.

1.1. All males are to medically undergo a vasectomy procedure on maturity of their reproductive organs.

1.2. Once a male demonstrates he can financially support a child and is capable of being a good parent as defined by the Minister at his sole discretion, the male may seek approval to reverse the procedure.

While possibly harsh, and a little unfair, given it only applies to half the population, this probably will provide the most surety that unwanted pregnancies will not occur and single mothers won’t become a burden on society. It certainly provides more surety than a contraceptive implant for women. It also has the added advantage of ensuring men cannot unwittingly impregnate multiple women while merrily fornicating and sowing their wild oats, thus causing immeasurable cost to the State.

What say the public?


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  1. Clean livin

    Treat the idea with contempt. It simply does not rate!

  2. Matters Not

    Gary Johns? Say no more.

    He’s an ex ALP, IPA and the like Nutter.

    He’s now reduced to writing for The Australian. His credibility evaporated some time ago.

  3. brickbob

    This Johns bloke sounds like a real bloody idiot,i only thought those insane Republicans in the US came out with shit like this,he should do the right thing and join the LNP.

  4. Carol Taylor

    Eva, I believe that this quite repulsive idea was floated during the Not Even One Term Tony era and seems to fit in perfectly with the “everything was her fault” mentality currently pervading the LNP on the Briggs trying-to-have-an-affair issue. Clearly all single women with children are single because 1. they are sl*ts 2. they don’t know how to keep a man 3. they are sl*ts 4. women pop out babies because they’re in it for the money and 5. they are sl*ts. The male of course is as free as bird because after all, it’s all her fault anyway.

  5. michelebottroffmichele

    Insert said contraceptive rod in Johns’ bicep. ….. or better still vasectomise uncommitted fathers who don’t pay/do their fair share and spread their seed around “willy nilly” ?…….bloody misogynists alway blame the women

  6. stephengb2014

    This bloke Gary Johns obviously has a few problems.

    And as for ACA ? Well what do you expect from that program clearly run by people with interest in appealing to those with a quarter of a brain functioning!

  7. Roswell

    Trust A Current Affair to throw it open to public debate. The producer should have thrown it out the window instead.

    Gutter politics and gutter media. This country is full of it.

  8. Kaye Lee

    People may not be aware that Australia has previously passed eugenics laws aimed to institutionalise and potentially sterilise a significant proportion of the population – those seen as inefficient. Included in the group were slum dwellers, homosexuals, prostitutes, alcoholics, as well as those with small heads and with low IQs. The Aboriginal population was also seen to fall within this group.

    Important national Royal Commissions in the 1920s recommended a range of eugenic reforms including measures relating to child endowment, marriage laws and pensions.

    A national survey of mental deficiency was commissioned by the Federal Minister for health, Sir Neville Howse, in 1928. It claimed that the statistics collected showed the incidence of mental deficiency was rising, mainly due to genetics, and was more often found in the working class. He concluded that it required urgent government action.

    The Great Depression hit and the Director of the Department of Health, John Cumpston, claimed that the dire financial situation destroyed any chance of such a reform.

    The first Director of the Carnegie funded Australian Council for Educational Research, Kenneth Cunningham, as well as one of the most significant early psychologists, Chris McRae, published research claiming to show that working class children were unfit for academic secondary education and the university study that it led to.

    McRae reported in the Victorian Education Gazette (sent out to every state school primary teacher) that those in schools in poorer suburbs “will never go to university and should not follow the same curriculum … people live in slums because they are mentally deficient and not vice-versa”.

    Richard Berry, the Professor of Anatomy at Melbourne University from 1903 to 1929, preached his uncompromising theory of “rotten heredity”. In 1934 he would argue that to eliminate mental deficiency would require the sterilisation of twenty-five per cent of the population. At the same time he also advocated the “kindly euthanasia” of the unfit.

    The Eugenics Society of Victoria’s membership read like a who’s who of Melbourne’s elite including the Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research — the precursor to the CSIRO, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, the President of the Royal College of Physicians and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

    Although the aims of the society included supporting the sterilisation of mental defectives, more and more they were involved in environmental reforms (such as slum clearance) and the birth control movement.

    This society operated until 1961.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Lang Hancock had the right idea

  10. evacripps

    Wow. I wasn’t aware of that, Kaye. Incredible. No doubt many of today’s loonie politicians are still influenced by that thought.

  11. mars08

    Sounds like the sort of brainfart you’d expect from our former Minister for Women!

    Anyway, while we’re at it… shall we staple the stomachs of overweight people on welfare so the don’t need as much food? What about confiscating wheelchairs, so government offices don’t have to build ramps? Remove translation services, so only English speaking people can use government services? Banning weak swimmers from our beaches would save the cost of employing lifesavers.

  12. totaram

    Watched the video. Simply disgusting. Hard to believe! Are you sure this video is not a “fabrication” of some sort?

  13. Kaye Lee


    Sadly it’s real. And it is from 1984.

  14. mark delmege

    Reminds me of what someone said to me today – that rapists should be castrated.
    Simple idea and it doesn’t work.

  15. Matters Not

    The ‘eugenics’ movement in Australia has a long history.

    The eugenics program of constructive miscegenation, of breeding out the colour of the half-castes, might have represented a mere footnote in the history of Australian ideas were it not for the fact that in the late 1920s and early 1930s two of the three most important administrators in Abo­riginal affairs, the Protectors in the Northern Territory and Western Aus­tralia, Dr Cecil Cook and A. O. Neville, were enthusiastic converts to this cause, and that both devoted part of their energies to the creation of a blueprint for the implementation of a policy for the breeding out of the mixed descent population under their control.

    While Queensland doesn’t get a mention in that quote from Robert Manne, ‘The Stolen Generations’, it formed the basis for policy in Queensland as well.

    Perhaps Johns would like to reintroduce ‘Phrenology’ as an evaluation tool well as well?

    it was believed that by examining the shape and unevenness of a head or skull, one could discover the development of the particular cerebral “organs” responsible for different intellectual aptitudes and character traits. For example, a prominent protuberance in the forehead at the position attributed to the organ of Benevolence was meant to indicate that the individual had a “well developed” organ of Benevolence and would therefore be expected to exhibit benevolent behaviour.

    Johns is seeking a ‘place’ in history. What he fails to realize is that he’s already been ‘placed’.

  16. Rossleigh

    What about compulsory sterilisation for any company director whose company doesn’t pay tax?

  17. Michael Taylor

    Matters Not, by coincidence that was the subject of my honour’s thesis. 🙂

  18. Rossleigh

    Of course, shit like this just enables Turnbull and co to look reasonable when they so no to it.
    Sort of like when he announced that he thought the publication of the photo of the woman was a terrible thing…
    But hey, we don’t need an investigation to find out who leaked it!

  19. Pudden'head

    Present company would surely have appreciated had John’s recommendations been law when his progenitors smiled so willingly at each other. Welfare takes many forms and the pay granted to upstart pollies could well fit that criteria.

  20. mark delmege

    I’m a bit over all the finger pointing… anyone for drinks?

  21. Sen Nearly Ile

    whilst the topic is here why not extrapolate so that the poofta bashing pornos who watch anal sex. we should be empowering women to buy a dildo and when the man wants anal sex say after you my darling or hire myra breckinridge(pretty dated but the message is there.)

  22. mark delmege

    ‘publication of the photo of the woman’ so remind me again who published the photo?

  23. Wednesday

    ACA is constantly attacking welfare recipients. I think it’s their underlying directive from Murdoch, The IPA and Big business in general and Conservatives. Gary Johns is a hick. And he just comes out from under his rock 2 or 3 times a year to spew his guts. Then he get back to his butterfly collection.

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    Hancock has a Indigenous daughter.

  25. Terry2

    On the Briggs photo text : surely we can see from Briggs’ phone who he sent the text to and then check their phones ?

    Not a big deal !

  26. oldfart

    1 Compulsory sterilization.(amended)

    1.1. All males are to medically undergo a vasectomy procedure on maturity of their reproductive organs.

    1.2. Once a male demonstrates he can financially support a child and is capable of being a good parent as defined by the Minister at his
    sole discretion, the male may seek approval to reverse the procedure.

    1.3. where a pairing male or female regardless of income or employment status, show any interest in politics (formally or informally) they will
    both undergo a procedure as to render them sterile. this is to be made permanent, so as to remove any risk of the said pairing couple
    giving birth to a member of the sub species “politician” known for it’s fondness of long term welfare payments and otherwise gorging
    itself on the public purse

  27. Florence nee Fedup

    PM has no interest in discovering who release photo to media. From his word, I suspect he already knows. Can’t chance having another minister in the frame.

  28. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe it is time for women to insist any sexual partner sign a contract agreeing to be responsible for any child resulting from their romp.

  29. Roscoe

    too bad it hasn’t been applied well before this to the parents of most of our politicians

  30. Matthew Oborne

    according to widely held views there is a large group of women looking to get pregnant to get welfare or continue on welfare.
    That is the underlying message and most of us have heard that before.

    Reality when the youngest turns 6 a woman has to start loking for work and is shifted onto newstart when the child turns 8.

    Her payment is reduced and it is not a high payment to begin with.
    Would a person make a financial decision to have another child to avoid the ridiculous drop in payment?

    The fact that it is possible shows how irresponsible it was to drop a family payment when the youngest turns eight.
    Would you not love your own child as much because you had to have one so you could afford to feed the children you already had?

    It is stupidity but fair enough they should look to see that putting a single mum on newstart because her child turned 8 is the worst decision the Gillard government made.

    My neice went to uni and became a registered nurse when she was a single mother, she did not get the kind of support you would think is needed to increase her chances of fully completing it but she did complete it no thanks to a government who talk about intergenerational poverty but deal with it partly by punishment.

    We are all proud of her because she struggled so much to get somewhere, Had she felt she cant do it we would have been just as proud that she tried but most likely angry that the government does not help single mothers in a real way to do things like uni.

    Driving from one side of town to attend uni at the other side of town was her biggest expense.
    Taking public transport would have added over two and a half hours to her day away from her son.

  31. townsvilleblog

    Gary Johns is yet another example as to how we could easity do without a right wing in the Labor Party.

  32. Kaye Lee

    When I was at uni there was some classic graffiti. One of my favourites was a sign that said “Free vasectomies now” under which someone had scrawled “I didn’t know he was in jail”. (Sorry for off-topic flippancy)

  33. Sue Lofthouse

    Eugenics?! Could we stoop any lower? Apparently, yes. We could place the burden of enforced sterilisation upon women alone. The clever title of this piece says it all.

  34. Narelle Gant

    No, no, and no!!

  35. Bronte ALLAN

    Why bother with any form of contraception? Just sterilise them all, problem solvered! WTF is this guy on, now we hear he has already canvassed this “idea” (?) some time ago! Sadly just another of the inept, lying, flat earth, right wing, tea party so-called politicians we are saddled with! And they ALL just got “given” obscene pay rises, WTF?

  36. Wayne Turner

    How about for racists,idiots,right wing stooges,anyone in contact with Gary Johns? etc,etc..

    A dumb fascist nanny state and controlling idea.

  37. bossa

    The ideas immoral, and the videos just jaw dropping.

    If these people could have only seen themselves from a more enlightened perspective… Absolutely disgusting.

  38. Billy Briggs

    Can’t feed ’em; don’t breed ’em. I’ve got no problem with this proposal.

  39. Kaye Lee

    How about making all men wear condoms at all times Billy? Before any sexual contact they must first sign a contract that, should the union bring forth issue, he accepts the attendant responsibilities to financially support the mother for 12 months and child for 18 years

  40. Backyard Bob

    How about making all men wear condoms at all times Billy?

    That’s going to make it really hard to take a piss.

  41. Anarchist

    “Apart from the obvious reasons why the policy is absurd, it is a clear violation of a woman’s right to personal autonomy and to control her own body. The very suggestion that a woman on welfare should be forced to undergo a medical procedure or be left (along with her children) to starve or fend for herself is so abhorrent, it should not be necessary to provide a genuine argument against it.”

    exactly what is so abhorrent about the no jab no pay laws too.

    notwithstanding the benefits of some vaccines, there are many, many, many examples showing that vaccines, can, and do cause harm.

    im not unemployed, im vaccinated, and had a vasectomy.

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