Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goodbye, Australian gag rule?

by Chloe Angyal

Rock on, Prime Minister Rudd! RH Reality Check reports today that the PM is reconsidering AusAid's gag rule, which prevents Australian aid funds from being used for "activities that involve abortion training or services, or research trials or activities, which directly involve abortion drugs." The rule was invoked twelve years ago, much to the detriment of women in the countries to which Australia sends aid. Ramona at RH Reality Check writes,

"This change could not possibly be needed more urgently given the grave harm to women's health and rights that result from the narrow-minded restrictions. Australia's aid program focuses on Asia and the Pacific, with selective assistance also provided to Africa and the Middle East. Approximately, 50 percent of unsafe abortions globally occur in the Asia-Pacific region and about one-third of these results in maternal death."

Next on the agenda: lifting the States' global gag rule. Yes we can!

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