May 21st 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: CANBERRA OBSERVED: Costello's latest budget - do the figures add up?

EDITORIAL: Australia's economy after the Budget

SCHOOLS: Our failure to provide good books for boys

DRUGS: How to crack down on illicit drugs

ABORTION: Public turning against late-term abortions

IN VITRO FERTILISATION: Why Abbott is right about IVF funding

TRADE: New Trade Theory challenges free trade

SUPERMARKETS: Big retailers set to hit farmers even harder

COMMUNISM: Remembering the Vietnamese exodus

ENVIRONMENT: Kyoto Protocol unleashes the friendly atom

Support, don't abort (letter)

Cheaper insurance for pro-lifers? (letter)

Australia's trade woes (letter)

Public inaction over illicit drugs (letter)

OBITUARY: Vale Hugh Slattery: tireless fighter

OBITUARY: Tribute to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen

THE SUPREMACISTS: The Tyranny of Judges and How To Stop It, by Phyllis Schlafly

THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR: Athens, Sparta and the Struggle for Greece, by Nigel Bagnall

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Support, don't abort (letter)

by Dr David van Gend

News 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,
Toowoomba, Qld

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