Media Release: Thursday, 5 February, 2009

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith should not be emotionally bullied into thinking abortion is the answer to the tragic rate of maternal deaths in developing countries, according to the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).

Media reports quote Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young saying Australia’s ban on aid money for abortion costs 34,000 mothers’ lives in the Pacific region each year.*

“Senator Hanson-Young should immediately clarify whether or not she has been misquoted by AAP,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.

“The Senator’s media releases say 34,000 mothers die from maternal health issues but this is a far cry from saying they die because abortion is not available and we note that her official releases stop short of this claim.

“Trained midwives, blood supplies and clean birthing environments will save far more lives than abortion clinics in the third world could,” Mr Wallace said.

“If pro-abortion politicians really wanted to help the poor, there are more urgent priorities than exporting abortion.”

Senate Estimates was told last year there has not been one request from a recipient country of Australia’s aid to have our aid re-directed to abortion.

“These countries want our help to save mothers’ lives through better maternal heath, not killing their babies. Mothers and babies can be saved through aid targeted at improving birthing facilities, not providing abortion clinics,” Mr Wallace said.

“The same pro-abortion politicians who told a Senate Inquiry last year that taxpayers’ money is needed to abort the disabled to save money looking after them in the future are the ones behind lifting the ban on abortion aid.

“Greater scrutiny of the Parliamentary Group on Population & Development is needed. We know that not all of its 40 Federal parliamentary members agree with all of its disturbing eugenic views.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan