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FPA Slams Capill Over Abortion Booklet

FPA SLAMS CAPILL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ABORTION BOOKLET

Christian Heritage Party Leader Graham Capill is clearly electioneering in trying to drum up a conflict between FPA and the Government says FPA Executive Director Dr Gillian Greer.

‘This issue is now well over a year old and Mr Capill is not only engaged in spreading mallicious nonsense he is inaccurate and way out of date,” says FPA Executive Director Dr Gill Greer.

“We take strong exception to the way he has construed this issue – in fact we are so angry about some of his allegations we are considering legal action,” she says.

The facts are as follows:

“FPA was part of a committee established by the Abortion Supervisory Committee in 1994 to write the booklet “Considering An Abortion – What Are Your Options?” The committee was eventually disbanded because of differences of opinion over content and the project was then picked up by the Ministry of Health.

“In May 1998 FPA wrote to the Ministry advising that we did not want to be associated with the booklet unless it presented a truly balanced and objective view . We said didn’t want our name on it unless we could see a copy of the final draft.”

“This did not happen, so in October 1998 we sent the 1500 copies back to the Ministry saying we still believed the booklet to be biased against abortion – for example:
 one of the five helping agencies listed only counsels against abortion – and does so in an extraordinarily emotive way.

2.


 It also states that abortion results in an increase of miscarriages and premature births which is inaccurate.


 We were also concerned about the portrayal of foetuses in the pictures and believed their impact was “over-emotive”.

“In order to ensure that clients truly had an informed choice we informed the Ministry that we would continue to use our own pamphlet “Unplanned Pregnancy” which is shorter, easily understood and more objective.

Dr Greer said FPA was not contracted to distribute Ministry of Health pamphlets and had never been formally contracted to distribute this one.

“Allegations that FPA has done little to implement the Government’s Reproductive and Sexual Health Strategy to reduce the abortion rate are clearly ridiculous.

“The desire to reduce abortion numbers and STIs is a primary objective of this organistion and is demonstrated in a huge range of activities including our 180,000 client visits. Our core business is to prevent abortion and unplanned pregnancy by facilitating access to effective use of contraception.”

“Mr Capill seems to have based some of his allegations on our comments on earlier drafts of this booklet.

Dr Greer said it was interesting and perhaps co-incidental that the Australian Government had recently been involved in a debate over a similar booklet on Abortion.

“This is clearly another step in an international campaign by right-wing fundamentalist groups against organisations who promote women’s freedom of choice, including the right to family planning and safe abortion.” she said.

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