Catholic Senator seeks community backing for abortion bill

Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has said that he won't table a private member's bill against abortion until there is more public support for the cause.

The Catholic Leader reports this week that the Nationals' Senator Boswell said it would be pointless to introduce the bill unless there was significant support in the community, providing a genuine chance for it to be passed in Federal Parliament.

Senator Boswell said it was vital to better inform the community about the abortion issue. He said many people were unaware when they heard the annual figure for abortions was in fact a third of Australian pregnancies.

Meanwhile, Adjunct Professor of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide, Fr John Fleming, told the Australian Catholic bishops' plenary meeting earlier this month that claims of a majority support for abortion on demand was significantly softer than previously thought.

Fr Fleming presented the bishops with the report 'Give Women Choice: Australia Speaks on Abortion', which emerged from research undertaken by the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute.

The report's result reinforced Senator Boswell's assertion the issue needs to be managed differently.

Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie, said the research would be a valuable tool for the Bishops' Taskforce on Pastoral Responses to Abortion.

He said it would give a focus to their efforts to recast the debate and provide women with alternatives to abortion.

The Leader, which is leading with the story in this Sunday's issue (pictured), also back's Senator Boswell's call in its editorial.

"He makes a valid point," says the editorial writer. "He is wasting his time if the community does not stand up and voice its support for an end to abortion."

Describing abortion as "murder on a grand scale", the Leader says there is "already growing evidence that people will support moves to curb abortions when they are given the facts, particularly when they are informed there is one abortion for every 2.8 births in Australia".

Senator Ron Boswell: Back pro-life cause (Catholic Leader 29/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Senator Ron Boswell
Southern Cross Bioethics Institute

Survey reveals Australians want fewer abortions (CathNews 3/5/05)

Editorial: Pro-life voices needed (Catholic Leader 29/5/05)
Abortion law change mooted (NZ Catholic 22/5/05)
Abortion row engulfs Labor (The Australian 23/5/05)
New research on abortion (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/5/05)

26 May 2005