The head of the Australian Government’s aid agency, AusAID, has revealed that Australian aid money is used to contribute to the regular budget of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world’s largest abortion provider.

In Senate Estimates Mr Peter Baxter said that “Australia, with other donors, including the UK, Japan, Canada and northern European countries, provides annual core contributions to the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s regular budget. The IPPF is a federation of national family planning associations and operates in 181 countries in accordance with local laws”.

He went on to explain that these annual funds contribute to IPPF’s five core areas of: “ensuring young people have access to reproductive health information; HIV and AIDS prevention and care; reducing the incidence of unsafe abortion; delivering sexual and reproductive health services; and advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights”.

In response to questioning from Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, Mr Baxter claimed that reducing incidences of unsafe abortion did not mean Australia funded ‘safe abortions’, rather “we work with the International Planned Parenthood Federation and other similar organisations to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies”.

Although the head of AusAID said that aid money does not fund any abortions due to the requirement that recipients of family planning funding must adhere to guiding principles issued in August last year, it is perhaps difficult to believe that Australia’s contribution to IPPF, when spread across its programs in 181 countries, is quarantined from its abortion services.

To read the transcript of the exchange between Mr Baxter and Senator Boswell at Senate Estimates hearings, please click here.