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Catholic Welfare pushes for more abortion counselling


Catholic Welfare Australia executive director, Frank Quinlan, has said more counselling services are needed to help women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies make decisions about their future and to help women after they had abortions.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that women with unplanned pregnancies will be able to choose whether to seek counselling but will be referred only to trained professionals by their general practitioners under measures to be discussed by Federal Government ministers tomorrow.

Church groups already running pregnancy support services say that although their views on abortion are well known, their counselling services canvass all options.

"Anyone coming to one of our agencies is likely to understand the Catholic Church's position on abortion," Mr Quinlan (pictured) said yesterday.

"But we are very adamant that we have to be providing support and assistance to all comers."

The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, will take a $60 million package to cabinet tomorrow, including a proposal for a 24-hour national telephone service for pregnancy counselling.

He will also ask for an extension of the Medicare rebate to cover three counselling sessions for women with unplanned pregnancies.

It is understood the counselling would be optional and women would be referred to psychologists or to general practitioners or nurses with psychology training.

Mr Abbott said yesterday he does not have a problem with church groups making expressions of interest for the service.

"I have a great deal of confidence in church groups to deliver professional health services," Mr Abbott said.

"They deliver them with a Christian ethos of love and compassion and I think any services which the Christian churches deliver are delivered with great professionalism but also with great compassion."

SOURCE
Abortion counselling: the choice is yours (Sydney Morning Herald 20/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Welfare Australia

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Abortion advice a must, doctors say (The Age 20/2/06)


20 Feb 2006