Support for abortion cooling-off period: Survey

A survey has found that most Australians believe there should be a compulsory cooling-off period before proceeding with an abortion.

The Australian reports more than half the survey respondents thought doctors should show the stage of fetal development to patients before a decision is made. This should be done using models, pictures or ultrasound.

The findings come from privately funded studies conducted from 2004 to 2006 by the Sexton Marketing Group. They are published in a new book, Common Ground: Seeking an Australian consensus on abortion and sex education .

The book is edited by Campion College Sydney President Fr John Fleming (pictured), together with bioethicist Nicholas Tonti-Filippini. They argue the debate over abortion, embryonic stem cell research and the abortion drug RU486 does not reflect the feelings in the community.

Dr Fleming said: "Their attitudes to abortion are far more complex and nuanced.. The need is for a change in social policy, not to make abortion more or less difficult."

He said Australians are both pro-choice and anti-abortion. One survey, conducted across a sample of 1200 people, found that although 83 per cent supported a woman's right to choose an abortion, 88 per cent agreed it would be good to reduce the current rate.

So although tighter abortion laws were comprehensively rejected, participants were concerned to learn there were up to 90,000 abortions a year.

In another story, SUR reports that a Spanish woman has been the first mother in Europe to undergo open foetal surgery to prevent spina bifida

The 36 year old Malaga woman, María José, said just 36 hours after giving birth last week by Caesarean to baby María: "They suggested having an abortion, but I ruled that out immediately because I'm a Catholic",

Cooling-off period urged for abortions (The Australian, 15/9/07)
A mother will give everything for her child (SUR in English, 15/9/07)

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