Australia’s New Government Pressed to Fund International Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia’s New Government Pressed to Fund International Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 5,

Canberra, Australia ( — Lawmakers are hoping the new federal government in Australia will be more receptive to their demand to fund abortions around the world. While the Howard government turned back efforts to fund groups that promote or perform abortions overseas, the new Rudd government has been pressed to move ahead.

The Howard government refused to go along with a multi-partisan report calling for the abortion funding because it didn’t want to alienate pro-life voters.

Now that the Howard government has been replaced, West Australian Liberal MP Mal Washer wants the new government to move ahead with the taxpayer-funding.

According to a report in The Age newspaper, Washer repeated his views that women are supposedly dying from high numbers of illegal abortions in other nations. Instead of providing them better medical care or abortion alternatives, Washer wants to fund their abortions.

New Foreign Minister Stephen Smith responded to Washer’s call saying the government is looking at the report, but wouldn’t commit yet to funding the abortions.

"The Government is currently considering the report and the recommendations of the all-party parliamentary group on population and development," Smith’s spokesman told the newspaper.

That Washer would lead lawmakers wanting the abortion funding is no surprise as he also led efforts to promote the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug and to allow human cloning for research purposes.

Not all lawmakers are supportive of the idea and Nationals Senate leader Ron Boswell called making taxpayers fund abortions and abortion counseling "provocative and divisive."

Meanwhile, Jim Wallace, of the pro-life Christian group ACL, told the Christian Post that funding abortions would go against the rights of children protected in UN documents. He said the United Nation does not recognize abortion as a human right.

“Australia has a sound policy in this area, which is very much in keeping with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides for the special protection of children both before and after birth. The UN does not recognize abortion as a human right but instead affirms the rights of children and mothers to special care and assistance,” Wallace said.

“To change this policy would go against the rights of children, divert important aid resources, and could lead to situations where Australia would become party to abhorrent population control measures which further devalue human life," he concluded.

Former MP Brian Harradine first put the ban on AusAid funding or promoting abortions in place. It is similar to the executive order President Bush signed keeping the Mexico City Policy in place in the United States.

The present guidelines say that "information that promotes abortion as a method of family planning or provides instructions on abortion procedures is not eligible for Australian aid funding."