Pregnancy counselling hotline launches

Catholic Social Services chief Frank Quinlan has welcomed today's launch of the Federal Government's Pregnancy Telephone Counselling Helpline.

In a statement, Mr Quinlan (pictured) said Centacare Sydney, one of Catholic Social Services Australia's 64 member organisations, played a small but important advisory role as part of a working group responsible for developing an information manual to be used by counsellors on the Helpline.

"The working group also consisted of independent experts in psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology," Mr Quinlan said.

Mr Quinlan says that the manual has been completed and has been signed off by the Minister.

"McKesson Asia Pacific is the lead agency responsible for providing counselling services for the Government under the new arrangements," he said.

"Centacare Sydney has not been contracted for any further role associated with the Helpline.

"While our member agencies are not involved in the ongoing provision of the Helpline, they will continue to provide support to pregnant women and their families, including women who are experiencing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

"These organisations have provided compassionate, non-directive counselling and support for pregnant women and their families for many years and will continue to provide these services in future," Mr Quinlan said.

The $15 million service is part of a broader $51 million initiative announced by Health Minister, Tony Abbott, last year aimed at giving more support to women who are or have been uncertain about continuing a pregnancy.

Pregnancy counselling telephone hotline (Catholic Social Services, Media Release, 30/4/07)

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

Women's groups concerned over helpline privacy (CathNews, 26/4/07)
Centacare defends pregnancy counselling role (CathNews, 11/1/07)
Life Office applauds PM's pregnancy hotline (CathNews, 3/5/06)
Catholic Welfare pushes for more abortion counselling (CathNews, 20/2/06)

1 May 2007