Happy dance: Australian “Global Gag Rule” overturned

Under pressure from the Greens and other pro-choice MPs, the Australian Government finally overturned the AusAID restrictions on foreign aid for services that provide abortion information or services!

SMH: Govt ends foreign aid ban on abortions

The Rudd government could be on a collision course with Family First after it reversed a 13-year ban on foreign aid funding being used for health programs that include abortion.

The decision by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith overturns AusAID guidelines put in place by the Howard government in 1996 to appease Tasmanian independent Brian Harradine. […]

In the end, Mr Smith, a Catholic, said he was swayed by evidence of a substantial decline in funding for child and maternal health care and family planning generally since the ban was introduced in the 1990s.

Since 1996, aid funding for family planning had fallen from $6.9 million to $2.3 million in 2007.

And without proper family planning advice, women were still having abortions – an estimated 42 million around the globe each year, with an estimated half of those being medically unsafe.

“The danger to women of effectively having backyard abortions is … I think a compelling feature,” Mr Smith said.

Oxfam executive director Andrew Hewett said the change of policy would save lives in developing countries.

“The result of the previous policy had not just been an increase in the risk of needless death because of unsafe procedures, the policies themselves had made it increasingly hard for aid and development agencies to carry out any sexual and reproductive health services,” he said.

Forced-birther Prime Minister Rudd is not amused. He can suck it. Yes, I’m so “mature“.

I hope it sticks.



Categories: gender & feminism, Politics

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9 replies

  1. L said “He can suck it”
    Well said.
    Perhaps he should try sucking a coat-hanger to gain some policy insight.
    And I must wonder if other ALP pollies would do the right thing if Bush was still in power pushing this abominable gag.
    Dave Bath’s last blog post..How to avoid the Perils of Pauline

  2. Great news!! Thanks for reporting. Now I can go to bed happier.

  3. Finally.
    Though I think Rudd should stfu about his anti-woman personal objections.

  4. …Excellent!!! ‘Bout bloody time this countries conservative pollies stopped making life or death decisions for women overseas!
    KRudd may be geeky (in kinda a cute schoolboyish way actually, I find it a pleasant relief from the relentless machismo and boys-club attitudes of most male pollies), and he makes fake swearing to improve his image among the segment of the population that think ‘real men’ swear (which is sad that he’s pandering to that moronic stereotype), but I tend to think he’s more pro-women than most of his predecessors… we’ll have to wait and see though, his status as a politician who takes womens rights seriously will be forever decided by the outcome on the paid parental leave issue… which we’ll know about shortly….
    If they don’t give parents PPL, then I’m leaving the country!!!!

  5. I was excited about this when it happened, but I have to say I think the only reason this happened was that Obama overturned America’s rule first.
    Hate to rain on our parade but I think Twisty was right when she asked why we’re all celebrating – because women’s human rights in this area will only last as long as the not-so-conservative parties’ length of time in office. Conservatives come back in – gag rule back on.
    I am also grumpy with Rudd for going on about how he doesn’t approve of abortion, he doesn’t support it. It’s not whether you approve of abortion mate. It’s whether you approve of women dying and being left infertile from dangerous, illegal abortion; whether you approve of women being forced to give birth without any say. Oh? You approve of that? Well glad we got that straight then.

  6. Hendo, you’re not raining on anyone’s naive parade – that’s why I said “I hope it sticks” in the post.

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