Australia says “Do as we say, not as we do” on abortion and contraception

I was surprised to find out during that week that Australia has restrictions on Australian funded foreign aid programs that ban giving advice on abortions and contraceptions. This is perplexing as Australia has no such restrictions on its own citizens. People can freely seek out advice on contraception and abortions, the limitations only likely to be found in religious based programs.

The imposition of such restrictions is worrying from a political perspective. The politicians know that such a ban would be political suicide in Australia. Unable to enforce their morality on Australians, they force it on those who need it the least. From a humanitarian perspective it is a disastrous policy. The conviction of the anti-abortion politicians may be strong but their intentions most certainly cause more misery than they would care to admit.

Women in less developed nations have very little options when it comes to reproductive health. Abstinence (which is what this policy seems to encourage) is not an option in patriarchal cultures women have little power or find the sex trade as one of the few ways to survive.

In East Timor, these aid restrictions kill women. It firms my belief that there is a element of misogyny that informs anti-abortion politics.

It is very easily to take the high moral ground when you are immune from having to deal with the deadly consequences of such policies.


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