Anyway, that's just a preamble. It is this news item that is bothering me:
"Abortion pill RU486 will not be freely available to Australian women, despite this month's emotional Federal Parliament debate. Major pharmaceutical companies have informally advised their peak industry group, Medicines Australia, they have no intention of importing the drug. They have decided the move would be too costly and controversial.... Well-placed sources said the decision not to import RU486 was based on two factors. The first is that the market is limited and the elaborate approval process would not make commercial sense. But the second reason is more important. Pharmaceutical companies understand that their industry is not particularly well regarded by the community and they believe it is not worth stirring up a high-profile campaign against them by the pro-life movement".
So although this issue has got nothing to do with free speech, the same principles as those affecting the Mohammed cartoons apply. People are refusing to do what they have a perfect legal right to do basically because they have been terrorized over it. As noted here, the main reason why hardly any of the U.S. print media reproduced the Mohammed cartoons was out of fear of Muslim attacks on them.
It is fairly unlikely that attacks on the drug companies would take physical form but it cannot be ruled out. Anti-abortionists have killed American abortion practitioners in the past. So, like the good libertarian I am, I deplore ALL attempts at coercion and am sad that we live in an era when it seems that small minorities can impose their will on the majority by terrorism.
(For more postings from me, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. Email me (John Ray) here.)