Media Release: Tuesday, 3 June, 2008



Revelations from today’s Senate Estimates have highlighted the fact that a push to divert Australian aid dollars to fund abortion services is part of a ‘home-grown’ ideological agenda rather than a response to any requests from overseas countries, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said.



ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said answers given in Senate Estimates show that a parliamentary group is working behind the scenes to try and overturn Australia’s sound policy in this area despite the lack of demand from the countries Australia assists.



“We urge the Government to reject any moves to allow a pro-abortion agenda to be incorporated into Australia’s aid program,” Mr Wallace said.



“This would not only risk seeing Australia become a party to abhorrent population control measures which devalue human life, but also could divert crucial aid dollars from such things as maternal health, food, clean water, sanitation, and community development.



“Last year, for the first time in Australia’s history, foreign aid funding became an election issue. This was largely as a result of a push for increased aid funding from churches and Christian organisations,” he said.



“Christians pushing for this increased aid would be appalled to think that some of those aid dollars might now be re-directed towards ending the life of unborn children in poor countries.”



Australia has a longstanding Federal Government policy which prevents Australian aid money from being used on abortion advice, services and drugs. However, the current policy provides for safe and effective family planning methods, including contraception.



ACL has recently launched a campaign “Aid Not Abortion” for people concerned about the possibility of aid money being diverted to abortion services. It can be found at www.makeastand.org.au



Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan