For release: February 24, 2010

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today welcomed the Rudd Government’s confirmation that it will retain the essential elements of a pregnancy helpline designed to reduce the number of abortions in Australia.

ACL spokeswoman Michelle Pearse said that while it was regrettable that counsellors would now refer women to abortion clinics, women will continue to be provided with a range of choices other than abortion.

“It is vital that women with unsupported or unintended pregnancies are given a full range of choices including keeping the baby and adoption so they don’t feel that abortion is the only choice,” Mrs Pearse said.

“It is pleasing to see these essential elements retained by the Rudd Government in its response to questions from Senate Estimates hearings regarding the National Pregnancy Helpline.

“It is vital that women be given counselling independent of that offered by abortion clinics and that they are not pressured in any way at a time when their circumstances are very challenging.

“It is appropriate that public funding continues to provide this independent counselling and it is great that this is accepted by both sides of politics,” Mrs Pearse said.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.