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Nelson abortion comments naïve and shallow.

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Nelson abortion comments naïve and shallow

Education Minister Brendan Nelson’s comments in the media that Australia had “pretty much got it right” on abortion were shallow and naïve, Senator Brian Harradine said today.

Minister Nelson was interviewed on Ten’s Meet the Press about the ABC’s plans to broadcast the British documentary “My Foetus”, which shows an actual abortion taking place, as well as images of aborted babies.

“I don’t see how anyone can say we’ve got it right when there are up to 100,000 abortions in this country every year, when one in three pregnancies end in an abortion and when we have one of the highest teen abortion rates in the world”, Senator Harradine said. “I also don’t see how we can claim to have got it right when babies are being aborted up to eight months of pregnancy.

“Dr Nelson is fooling himself if he thinks everything is fine.”

Senator Harradine also criticised Dr Nelson for claiming that “we do everything we can to educate women and young teenagers in particular”.

“The high teenage abortion rate demonstrates we are not doing what we can to both prevent teenage pregnancy and to offer adequate support to teenage women who are pregnant”, Senator Harradine said.

“Risk factors for teenage pregnancy include early sexual activity, low self esteem, low performance at school or dropping out and low socio-economic status. Government programs should target each of these factors to encourage abstaining from premature sexual activity and provide early intervention programs for students who may be struggling.

“Teenage women who are pregnant or who have young children face many challenges such as continuing their education, finding and keeping a job and providing the best care for their children. These factors need to be addressed so that young women in these situations aren’t made to feel they have no other choice than aborting their child, which research demonstrates can result in terrible psychological ramifications.”

12 July 2004

Senator Brian Harradine, Tel. 02 6277 3735