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Australian politician Gerry Wood, who represents the Northern Territory, has an explanation for why the Commonwealth Grants Commission (which distributes funding to different parts of the country) is giving his Territory $269 million less this coming year than the previous year. And it’s not a good explanation.


$77 million of that money is linked to the fact that the NT’s population share is less now than it used to be. (Other territories just need the money more.) But why is the NT’s population share going down?

“We lose 600 to 1,000 people (each year) through abortion,” the Member for Nelson said.

For a territory with a population of 245,700, it’s unclear how (even upwards of) 1,000 abortions a year would make a huge difference, just based on numbers alone. And even if the Territory received more money for those additional people, does Wood understand that the government would have to spend money taking care of them? Parents in the U.S. get a tax credit for their babies — but those kids cost money. It’s not like parents take that credit and treat it like a lottery win.

(Who are we kidding? This is just anti-abortion math. It doesn’t have to make sense, as long as women don’t have complete autonomy over their bodies.)

The good news in all this is that, unlike in the U.S., other people summarily dismissed what Wood was saying:

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles, who oversaw the decriminalisation of abortion in the Territory in March, cautioned against linking the two issues.

“I think it would be very important as parliamentarians that we don’t allow emotive issues like this to come into play when talking about issues such as GST cuts,” she said.

“We need to clearly separate, we need to make sure in the Northern Territory as a Government, and we have done so in delivering contemporary termination of pregnancy legislation for women, for Territorians, if they are to make choices about their bodies.”

There is another way to get more of that population-linked money from the government: Make your Territory the sort of place people want to live so that they consider moving there.

Having an elected representative who treats women with this sort of contempt isn’t helping.

(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Cindy for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.