COVER STORY: NCC denounces Labor's decision to fund abortions
News Weekly, March 21, 2009
The Rudd Labor Government has chosen to follow US President Obama's lead in using overseas aid funds to support abortion.
The Rudd Labor Government's decision to bankroll abortions in developing countries has been strongly criticised by the National Civic Council.
The decision, coinciding as it did with International Women's Day, reversed a decision of the Howard Government 13 years ago, and follows US President Barack Obama's recent moves to use US overseas aid funds to support abortion.
NCC President Peter Westmore described the Rudd Government decision as "a slap in the face to the millions of Australians who will be forced to bankroll abortions, and a betrayal of women in developing countries who want access to better health, improved food and clean water for themselves and their families, but instead will be offered abortion services".
He said: "If the Federal Government were serious about better maternal and child health outcomes, as it claims, it would be providing medical and surgical teams for mothers, to prevent the large number of preventable deaths in childbirth, which deprive many children of their mothers every year.
"Yet even in our immediate neighbourhood, in Papua New Guinea and East Timor, for example, Australia's contribution to pre-natal and post-natal maternal care is almost vanishingly small."
Mr Westmore described Foreign Minister Stephen Smith's claim that avoiding abortion would continue to be the focus of Australian-funded activities as "sanctimonious humbug".
"There is no evidence that any abortion-providers, in Australia or overseas, focus on avoiding terminations. Instead, they offer abortions as a form of family-planning," he said.
"The Rudd Government's decision to bankroll abortions ignores the context in which the 1996 decision was made. In many parts of the world, women are forced into abortion through government action (e.g., in China), or as a result of threats or intimidation by men.
"It is absurd that at a time when Mr Smith has given $17 million to the United Nations Development Fund for Women to end violence against women, it has allocated money to a program which is based on coercion and destroys life," he added.
Damian Wyld, South Australian state president of the NCC, said, "Mr Rudd has rubber-stamped a betrayal of our poorest neighbours.
"Australia should be building a relationship of trust with developing countries, assisting them in nation-building projects. Instead, the Government is happy for abortion to be exported.
"Coming straight after International Women's Day (8 March), it is also a great betrayal of women. Australia could increase funding to support their pregnancies, but instead we are telling them their children are worthless.
"Lastly, this decision is a betrayal of the many faith-based voters Mr Rudd sought to court prior to his election. I have no doubt that these people will feel cheated, regardless of Mr Rudd's personal views on abortion.
"Mr Rudd can quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer all he likes, but until he starts walking the walk, his words are meaningless."
The Australian decision to bankroll abortion in developing countries followed just days after it was requested by Marie Stopes International, an organisation which provides abortion services in the Third World.
On March 6, just three days before Mr Smith announced the Government's decision on abortion, Marie Stopes International issued a media release calling on the Foreign Minister to "save women's lives" by amending the AusAID Family Planning Guidelines to permit abortion.
It stated that since President Obama had lifted the US ban on abortion funding a month ago, it left "Australia as the only secular country in the world to restrict its aid funding in regard to abortion".
Marie Stopes, after whom the international family-planning organisation is named, was a particularly obnoxious supporter of abortion, eugenics and the mandatory sterilisation of individuals she deemed "unfit" to reproduce. She was an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler to boot.
A month before the outbreak of World War II, she sent a collection of her poems to the Nazi Fuehrer, who at the time had seized the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia, and was threatening Poland.
She sent Hitler the following request, "Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?" (See Bill Muehlenberg's article in this issue, Melbourne scientist praises China's one-child policy).
On her death she bequeathed her birth-control clinic and a considerable fortune to the Eugenics Society.
Today, the organisation she founded, Marie Stopes International, has established nearly 500 centres in 38 countries (nine of them in Australia). It performs more than half a million sterilisations a year, and is a major abortion provider.
- News Weekly staff writer.