A Facebook post by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in response to concerns about taxpayers’ money paying for abortions overseas has raised further concerns about our foreign aid priorities.
The Australian Christian Lobby today renewed calls for the Australian Government to defund programs run by global abortion advocate, Planned Parenthood International, after its US affiliate was caught selling unborn baby body parts in 2015.
Ms Bishop sought to allay concerns about the Turnbull Government’s $9.5 million gift to Planned Parenthood International this week with a post on her Facebook page last night.
In her Facebook statement, Ms Bishop said the money would not be used for sex-selective abortions or funneled to Planned Parenthood’s US arm, which is about to be defunded by the US Congress.
While welcoming these assurances, ACL spokesperson for women’s issues, Wendy Francis, said Australian taxpayers’ money should not be spent on aborting the babies of women in poor countries, full stop.
“Our aid money should not be used for abortions at all and certainly should not be used to fund sex-selection abortions, something practiced in many cultures where this money is going,” Ms Francis said.
“What are the conditions of this funding and what accountability measures have been put in place? We don’t even regulate sex selection abortions in our own country, let alone have the ability to influence this practice in developing countries.
“The ACL calls on the Federal Government to reallocate the money to programs that are abortion-free and are run by reputable organisations not affiliated with abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood,” Ms Francis said.
“The greatest risk to women’s maternal health in the developing world is lack of access to clean birthing facilities, not lack of access to abortion.”
Ms Francis said funding abortion eroded confidence in Australia’s overseas aid program, a program supported by most Christians because of their desire for our nation to be generous to the poor.
Ms Bishop’s announcement of funding for Planned Parenthood this week appeared to be a rushed response to urgings from Labor Senator Lisa Singh who was concerned that the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of aid money from abortion advocacy should be filled by Australia and other nations.