05 June, 2008

Aid not Abortion

what's all the fuss about? | the issues in brief
There are renewed efforts behind the political scenes to divert some of Australia’s limited overseas aid money to fund abortions. Yet, Australia has never funded abortion through its aid program, and, at a recent Senate Estimates hearing, officials admitted that there have been no requests from overseas countries for Australia to fund abortion services.

Australia has a longstanding Federal Government policy which prevents our aid money from being used on abortion advice, services and drugs. However, the current policy provides for safe and effective family planning methods, including contraception. This policy is outlined in the Family Planning Guidelines for the AusAID program.

The push for this unrequested and radical alteration to Australia's aid program comes from the cross-party Parliamentary Group on Population & Development (PGPD). This group of politicians seeks to impose their own pro-abortion ideological stance on Australia's aid program - and the Government seems to be giving serious consideration to their request!

Supporters of the change say that, because over 500,000 women in poor countries die in childbirth each year, Australia needs to help fund abortion services in those countries. Surely the solution is to fund maternal health programs to help women experience a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery? Rather than provide abortions, we need to improve developing nations’ health systems so mothers and babies can be offered appropriate medical treatment.

Such an important change should not be made behind the scenes but should be brought before the Parliament.

Australia's aid program should continue its current focus on helping to improve the lives of people in poor countries by improving access to clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, housing and a clean environment. The limited funds available for aid should not be used to destroy unborn children but to provide better care for them and their mothers.

:: so what now? | how to get involved

posted by Danielle

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