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!
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.