Subject: Aust abortion plan for East Timor

Courier Mail

Aust abortion plan for East Timor

By Michael Madigan

June 04, 2008 01:03am

AUSTRALIA is considering offering aid money for abortions in developing countries as the birth rate of East Timor surges to one of the world's highest.

The possibility of AusAid-funded abortions was raised in a Senate Estimates hearing yesterday as a Democrats senator criticised Australia's treatment of women in developing countries.

Lynn Allison said just 1 per cent of East Timorese men used condoms and the reproductive health of women in the fledgling country and PNG was extremely poor.

Successive Budgets had seen increases in foreign aid for areas such as policing and administration but women appeared to be being ignored, she said.

But contraception programs would likely hit obstacles in the largely Catholic East Timor.

Labor Senator Ursula Stephens said there was no time frame for any Government decision.


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