dani (_allecto_) wrote,

Aid restrictions are killing the women of East Timor

Australia's near neighbour East Timor has a birth rate of 8.5 per woman and a maternal death rate 20 times that of Australia. It is hardly an unusual case: around the world one woman dies in childbirth every minute. Another 68,000 women die every year as a result of unsafe abortion, which also leaves about 5 million women permanently injured or diseased.

These are horrifying statistics. The fact that Australia is partly responsible for them should shame and anger us all.

The AusAID family planning guidelines, instituted in 1996 by a Coalition government desperate for the support of the ultra-conservative Senator Brian Harradine, forbade any organisation that accepts Australian aid dollars from providing, recommending or even supplying information on abortion - even when to do so may save the woman's life.

Funded organisations are also restricted as to the types and methods of contraceptives they can suggest. Harradine retired in 2005 and had not held the balance of power for some years before that - but the AusAid restrictions remain.

In May the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development published a paper demanding that the family planning guidelines be abolished. The report argued that worldwide access to contraception and safe pregnancy terminations would reduce maternal deaths by up to 35 per cent and child deaths by 20 per cent.

Read the whole article...

By the way ALL of the money Australia 'gives' the East Timorese in 'aid' is actually Timorese money. When we 'saved' the East Timorese from the Indonesian military we also 'saved' (read: stole) an off shore oil rig which represented about AU$2 billion to the East Timorese people. We give a lot less than that back to the East Timorese people in 'aid' which is dictated by the fucked Australian government. So, women are dying in East Timor from our 'aid' restrictions which we pay out of money that is rightfully East Timorese money in the first place. It just warms my heart knowing that I am an Australian and that I am a part of all this generousity.
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