91 per cent of Australian respondents said there were too many abortions.
The Health Minister Tony Abbott has claimed that health insurance statistics show there are 100,000 abortions performed in Australia each year- about one for every three live births. But this figure is misleading as it includes tens of thousands of dilatation and curettage procedures, commonly known as D and C, carried out after women spontaneously abort- that is miscarry.
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Obstetricians say the real abortion figure could be as low as 25,000. This is because the same Medicare item number is used for all abortions and medical procedures undertaken as a result of miscarriage or foetal death.
As the uncertainty about the matter as fundamental as whether termination rates have risen or fallen in the past decade suggests the abortion debate is factually undernourished.
There are those who say we need to normalise the level of abortion in Australia but what needs to be normalised is the distribution of non-corrupted statistics.
Late-term abortions represent less than one per cent of all terminations, according to the Health Department, The majority of these are performed either because the mother’s life is at risk or the baby is likely to be severely impaired- or stillborn. A number of late-term abortions occur after women have an amniocentesis, which is usually performed at 16-20 weeks.
In Abbott’s tidy world of wishful thinking, contraception works perfectly. That way, those who fail to use it can be written off as reckless, narcissistic or plain stupid.
Suzanne Dvorsk, managing director of reproductive healthcare provider Marie Stopes international states “Politicians should ensure that women have access to unbiased information, support and the highest medical care when making this decision”
In February of this year it was revealed that right-to-life pregnancy counselling services run by the Catholic Church received nearly $1 million in federal funding this year – as apposed, for example, to the secular immigrant women’s health counselling service who receive an eighth of that sum.
Some agencies provide information that is misleading. Women are told often that abortion causes breast cancer, where there is absolutely no evidence of that.
The commonwealth government needs to increase resources into improving sex education for teens, collecting move accurate abortion statistics, increasing access to sexual health services and addressing the issue of contraceptive failure.
In Victoria, the crimes act prohibits any person from wilfully destroying a child, who otherwise be born alive, of a woman who is greater than 28 weeks pregnant.
Common law position established in Mehhnennitt’s case, which held that abortion could proceed if, the mother’s mental or physical health or life was in serious danger.
“The anti-choice movement is based on the idea that you can not trust women and that they do not really understand what they are doing”
– Dr Leslie Cannold, author of the Abortion Myth.
Health Minister Tony Abbott mourned the unambiguous moral tragedy of up to 100,000 abortions a year.
Despite the fact that between 92% and 95% of abortions occur before the 14th week of pregnancy. Tony Abbott continually directs societies to focus on what he calls ‘late-term abortion’. But this in itself is a misleading term as what he is actually referring to is mid-trimester abortions-that is pregnancies terminated between12-24 weeks, and less than 1% of abortions take place after 20 weeks- not quite the epidemic Abbott suggests.
Australians are entitled to be informed of the facts and to discuss ways of reducing the incidence of the practice, not with bias and corrupted information.
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