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Factual information for women considering abortion - 09 February 2005

Independent factual information should be the focus of the public debate on abortion, spokesperson for the Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations, Kath Woolf, said today.

"Abortions are provided by an industry that makes money for every abortion sold. Women considering an abortion need access to accurate independent information, away from the sales pitch of the abortion clinic," Ms Woolf said.

"Reform of Medicare funding of abortion could include a requirement that this information is provided to women before Medicare dollars are provided.

"Women need to have factual information on:

  • The nature and risks of the abortion procedure;
  • The alternatives available to women pregnant under difficult circumstances;
  • Contact details for agencies that will assist women who are pregnant and facing difficult circumstances; and,
  • A cooling off period to help women consider the information away from other pressures.

"I cannot imagine that anyone would object to reforms to ensure that women have the opportunity of independent information or that anyone would object to a cooling-off period so that women don't make a decision they may regret. Providing women with information can only empower them.

"Reforms to give women more information go beyond the usual polemics of the abortion debate. These are the minimum standards anyone would expect to be applied to the abortion industry.

"Regardless of positions on abortion, we should all acknowledge women do not have the opportunity to give their informed consent to an abortion unless they have accurate information provided by sources independent of the sales-dependent abortion clinics."

Contact:    Kath Woolf, spokesperson for the Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations, telephone 02 6253 3100