Bishop says abortion figures a "national disgrace"
Australia's latest abortion figures are "a national disgrace" according to Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, who added that Australia needs to promote "real alternatives" to abortion for pregnant women.
"We are terminating our future," Bishop Fisher told the Catholic Weekly. "We are losing far too many babies every year."
The Weekly reports that the figures issued by the Federal Health Department show that there was one abortion for every 2.8 live births in Australia during 2003-04.
According to the statistics, 91,358 pregnancies from a total figure of 485,792 - nearly one in five - ended in abortion. And there were 419 late-term abortions - performed 20 or more weeks into the pregnancy - in the previous year.
Most terminations were carried out in private hospitals or clinics (a third of them in NSW) while the women in question were mostly in their twenties.
"Even a single lost child is a tragedy," said Bishop Fisher, the Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health. "Ninety thousand a year is a national tragedy. Abortion is like a tsunami that hits Australia every year.
"It is more hidden but it is doing as much damage to our population and to the women (and men) left behind.
Dr Brigid Vout, executive secretary for the Bishops Taskforce on Abortion, said that the figures show that Australians have a long way to go to understand the real reasons why so many women are having abortions.
Abortion figures 'national disgrace' - Bishop Fisher (Catholic Weekly 1/5/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Life Office, Archdiocese of Sydney
Women converge on Capitol Hill to tell Senate of their pro-life views (Catholic News Service 28/4/05)
29 Apr 2005