by Steven Ertelt
November 4, 2005
Canberra, Australia (LifeNews.com) — Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott, who is pro-life, yesterday announced that the Australian government would provide $300,000 in grants to three pregnancy centers that provide pregnancy help and resources and encourage alternatives to abortion.
Abbott has described Australia’s high abortion rates as a "tragedy" and said the programs given financial support would provide women in Australia with tangible resources and "practical support" they need such as housing.
The Moonee Ponds-based Caroline Chisholm Society, the Australian Federation of Pregnancy Support Services and Sydney’s Foundation for Human Development will all receive $100,000 each.
"Women with an unintended pregnancy will have increased access to practical support" Abbott said in a statement.
Caroline Chisholm Society chief executive officer Mary D’elia told The Age newspaper that her group "was interested in supporting women who want to continue their pregnancies."
The funding came after Conservative Family First senator Steve Fielding pressed for it.
But Labor health spokeswoman Julia Gillard told The Age she had a problem with the grants.
"I would be concerned if the Minister for Health was personally selecting organizations with his particular views on abortion rather than organizations that could provide expert, objective counseling and advice," she said.
Both the Foundation for Human Development and the Australian Federation of Pregnancy Support Services have links to the Australia Right to Life Association, the newspaper reported.