“Australia needs to know how much money goes to which overseas countries for abortion related services under new AUSAID guidelines,” said The Nationals’ Senator Ron Boswell today.
“At Senate Estimates today I was told by officials that these funds would be allocated in block grants to non-government organisations working in several countries and that it would be impossible to know exactly what money was spent in which country for abortion services.” “Under soon to be finalised new guidelines, Australia will for the first time in its history fund overseas counselling and training for abortions and even the abortions themselves.” “Abortion is a serious and sensitive issue and I believe it is essential that Australians know exactly what money is spent where and for what abortions and related activities including promotion of abortion.” Senator Boswell said he was also concerned that the new guidelines and their administration must make it very clear to grant users that Australian overseas aid funding must never be used for sex selection abortions as is practised in Vietnam. “It is all very well for AUSAID to say they would never do such a thing but how do we know that the NGOs who they give Australian taxpayer money to will abide by these rules? There must be careful oversight of their activities and expenditure. At present it would appear that that rigour of accountability is not in place.” ENDS