Australia MPs Want to Cut Off Taxpayer Funding for Late-Term Abortions

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia MPs Want to Cut Off Taxpayer Funding for Late-Term Abortions

RSS Newsfeed Email article
Add to My Yahoo! Printer friendly

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 16
, 2008

Canberra, Australia ( — While members of the Australia Parliament debate whether or not to overturn a current policy prohibiting taxpayer funding of groups that perform or promote abortions overseas, another debate is brewing. Some MPs hope to cut off taxpayer funding for late-term abortions done in Australia.

Conservative coalition MPs have launched an effort to strip Medicare funding for abortions done after the 14th week of pregnancy.

Tasmanian Liberal senator Guy Barnett introduced the plan on Monday, according to a report in The Age newspaper. He wants to cut off funding for any second or third trimester abortions.

However, the newspaper indicated Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson told his colleagues he doesn’t support the effort but is willing to talk about the issue.

Other MPs such as Bronwyn Bishop and Bruce Billson are opposed to limiting taxpayer-funding of abortions and they say Barnett’s effort will wind up cutting all government abortion funding.

The Age also indicated MP Sharman Stone, who promoted the effort to allow the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug, warned the coalition government could be fractured by the move to cut tax-funded abortions.

The debate on government funding comes after Nationals Senator Ron Boswell said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and members of his government could face a backlash if he approves taxpayer funding of international abortions.

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.

Meanwhile, a new study shows two-thirds of the women seeking abortions did so because their contraception failed.

Conducted by Flinders University professors Wendy Abigail, Charmaine Power and Ingrid Belan, it found 70 percent of the women seeking abortions used birth control.

About 36 percent of the women and their partners used condoms to prevent pregnancy, another 28 percent used hormonal methods such as the birth control pill and three percent were relying on natural family planning.

The study makes it appear women still become pregnant and rely on abortions when contraception fails.