Life Office applauds PM's pregnancy hotline

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday announced a new Medicare payment for pregnancy support counselling and a 24-hour hotline to give help to those wishing to "explore pregnancy options".

Women who had been pregnant in the previous 12 months would also be eligible for the counselling service. The counselling would be "non-directive" and would include advice on "all options available, including adoption", Howard said.

Mr Howard hopes that the measures would reduce Australia's high abortion rate.

The Life Office of the Archdiocese of Sydney said professional counselling, independent of abortion providers, would "provide women with the information and space that might not otherwise be available to them".

Referring to a study by the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, the Life Office said that a majority of the community would not know where to refer a woman for alternative advice on abortion during pregnancy.

"This package will begin to address this discrepancy by improving knowledge of, and access to, a range of support services", the Life Office said.

New pregnancy counselling service welcomed (Life Office, Archdiocese of Sydney 2/3/06)
Mixed response to $51m pregnancy hotline (Sydney Morning Herald 3/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Life Office (Archdiocese of Sydney)

Catholic Welfare pushes for more abortion counselling (CathNews 20/2/06)
RU486 decision a bitter pill (CathNews 17/2/06)
Pell says Australia changing its mind on abortion (CathNews 15/2/06)
Catholic groups decry Senate vote (CathNews 10/2/06)
Catholic and Evangelical students join Muslims in RU-486 fight (CathNews 9/2/06)
Abbott says attacks are sectarian (CathNews 9/2/06)
Bishop Fisher says RU406 won't curb abortions (CathNews 7/2/06)
Catholic GPs ready to quit over RU-486 (CathNews 3/2/06)
Life Office criticises advertiser's gag on abortion debate (CathNews 1/2/06)
Churches lead RU406 protest (CathNews 30/1/06)
Day of action to fight abortion drug move (CathNes 27/1/06)
Melbourne Archbishop says maintain abortion drug ban (CathNews 25/1/06)
Pope says 'no' to gay marriage, abortion pill (CathNews 13/1/06)
Catholic Health to address abortion pill inquiry (CathNews 15/12/06)

Abortion clinics banned from hotline (The Age 3/3/06)
Govt unveils pregnancy counselling plan (The Age/Australian Associated Press 2/3/06)
South Dakota legislature readies challenge to Roe v. Wade (Catholic World News 24/2/06)
Fears of rise in abortion rate (Catholic Leader 24/2/06)
Church role in hotline plan (Catholic Weekly 26/2/06)
Dems wants religion-free pregnancy help (The Age 23/2/06)
U.S. Court to Reconsider Partial-Birth Abortion (Zenit 21/2/06)

3 Mar 2006