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Thursday, 2 December 2004
Page: 73

Senator ALLISON (2:25 PM) —My question is to Senator Hill, the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I ask: is the minister aware that 200 million women have no access to contraception in developing countries? Is the minister aware that each year around 20 million unsafe abortions take place around the world and lead to 80,000 maternal deaths in developing countries and many more health complications and disabilities? This being the case, Minister, why does the government prohibit the use of overseas aid funds for training people in delivering safe abortions?

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) —I will refer the question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and get an early response.

Senator ALLISON —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I thank the minister for getting back with an early response and ask if he could also advise the Senate: what is the rationale for limiting the contraceptives that can be purchased using our overseas aid funds to those that are registered in Australia?

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) —I will add that to the question that I am referring.