Media Release: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today welcomed the Federal Government’s statement that the baby bonus is not meant to be used for aborted pregnancies and urged the Government to move quickly to close the loophole in this area.

“The baby bonus was obviously never intended to be used in this way and there are all sorts of concerning implications if this disturbing anomaly remains,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.

“The community wants to see less late-term abortions and would be rightly concerned to see money intended to assist people having babies also going to those having abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.

“We welcome Families Minister Jenny Macklin’s reported commitment to follow up this issue and urge her to act swiftly to ensure any loophole is closed.”

Mr Wallace said that, just as the public are troubled about the baby bonus being used in this way, many are also concerned that their Medicare dollars are used to fund second trimester and late-term abortions (14-26 weeks).

“Whether they are willing or not, taxpayers are effectively paying to terminate the lives of unborn children who are often old enough to survive outside the womb. This includes paying for the brutal method of partial birth abortion,” Mr Wallace said.

“This is another distressing anomaly that needs to be put right. On September 17 Senators will have the opportunity to do exactly that by voting in favour of Senator Guy Barnett’s disallowance motion to stop the Medicare funding of abortions in the second trimester.

“We urge them to support this important motion, and to help address community concern on this issue.”

Mr Wallace said that research has shown that the motion is in keeping with majority opinion in the community, with a 2005 national opinion poll by Market Facts revealing that 67 per cent of people are specifically opposed to the Medicare funding of abortions in the second trimester.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan