Support, don't abort (letter)by Dr David van GendNews Weekly
, May 21, 2005
Mothers' Day caps a week when mothers' power over life and death has made headlines. Proposed limits to IVF have been decried as limiting the right to give life. Proposed limits to abortion have been decried as limiting the right to give death.
Yet in both cases the mother-friendly voices are prevailing. In particular, two large polls last week have shown a way forward through the abortion quagmire - a way that bypasses questions of law, and instead builds structures of support for mothers.
The polls (April 30 and May 2) confirm that most Australians want to leave abortion legal, but three-quarters would prefer any other outcome - i.e., supporting the mother to keep the baby, and offering adoption if she cannot.
The same three-quarters want further public debate, independent counselling for women, and an end to public funding of late-term abortion. Only 15 per cent approve abortions of a healthy baby of a healthy mother - accounting for nearly all abortions.
So the Mothers' Day message for our policy-makers is clear: the public wants mothers who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant to find themselves unexpectedly and systematically supported, not aborted.Dr David van Gend,