Australia MP Warns Govt of Backlash if International Abortion Funding Backed

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia MP Warns Govt of Backlash if International Abortion Funding Backed

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 3
, 2008

Canberra, Australia ( — A leading pro-life member of the Australian Parliament is warning Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and members of his government of a backlash if he approves taxpayer funding of international abortions. Nationals Senator Ron Boswell says Rudd will lose support in the next election if he proceeds.

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.

West Australian Liberal MP Mal Washer has been calling for Parliament to fund international abortions because he claims women are dying from illegal ones in third-world nations.

Boswell says there has been no request from nations around the world to fund abortions in their countries.
"I don’t want this to happen and there has been no country that has come to us and specifically said we want aid to fund abortions," Senator Boswell told ABC radio.

"As far as Mr Rudd is concerned, he cuddled up to the churches for the last election if he does this to them then they’ll turn upon him," Boswell added.

But Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance told the radio station that Boswell’s view that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund abortions is "extreme."

"There are people who share Senator Boswell’s reasonably extreme view of this … but there are a large bulk of people who don’t feel so passionately and there are people who feel the other way. You cannot base this decision based on your judgment about votes," he said.

"We’ll have a discussion, we will make a decision, and then we’ll get on with it," he said.

Boswell previously 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."