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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 379

Senator Hanson-Young to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the recent decision by the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to overturn the global gag rule for family planning guidelines that effectively prohibits the use of aid funding for some contraceptives, and for abortion advice and services, and

(ii)   that Australia is now the only country that continues to enforce these harsh restrictions on our aid program, limiting its ability to provide an effective and essential family planning service;

(b)   recognises:

(i)   the essential role mothers play in developing communities, with both maternal and child health considered crucial Millennium Development Goals, and

(ii)   that an estimated 34 000 mothers die in our region each year, due to the lack of maternal health supports available, with more than half of the 29 developing countries not on track to achieve either goal; and

(c)   calls on the Rudd Government to stand up for women’s rights and immediately abolish the family planning guidelines that prevent Australian aid money from being spent on contraception and family planning advice.

Senator Bob Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   expresses its concern about the high number of civilian deaths and injuries that have occurred as a result of people being caught in the crossfire of Sri Lanka’s civil war;

(b)   supports calls on the Sri Lankan Government from the United Nations, the Red Cross and Amnesty International to ensure the safety of civilians in war-torn areas and their safe passage out of those areas; and

(c)   supports calls on the Sri Lankan Government to lift bans on journalists and aid workers entering war zones.