Australia should not be blindly following the lead of the US and allow aid dollars to be used to fund abortions, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

Overturning the Bush administration’s ban on the use of US foreign aid to promote abortion as a family planning option - known as the Mexico City Policy - was one of the first acts of the new Obama administration.

That has led to calls for it to be abolished in Australia. Among those calling for its abolition are Senator Claire Moore, chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Group on Population & Development, who has reportedly said she intends bringing the issue up at the first Government caucus next week.

Others who have reportedly voiced support include Bob McMullin, parliamentary secretary for international development assistance, and the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance.

Jim Wallace, ACL managing director, said those pushing for the ban to be overturned are trying to impose the pro-abortion ideological stance of many of them on Australia’s aid program and said that Australia’s current policy provides for safe and effective family planning methods including contraception.

“Surely the best way to address maternal health concerns overseas is to fund maternal health programs to help women experience a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery?” he said in a statement. 

“Trained midwives, blood stocks and a clean birthing environment are far more effective in preventing maternal death than providing abortions.”

Mr Wallace said the many Christians who have strongly supported the Millennium Development Goals to increase overseas aid to poor countries would be “appalled” if this money was put toward funding abortions.