The Conservative Party has notched up another win for respecting Australian values with news today that White Ribbon Australia (WRA) has withdrawn its support for radical abortion policy.
The anti–domestic violence charity’s new chief executive Tracy McLeod Howe told BuzzFeed News, “We have withdrawn it (the ‘Position Statement’) because we are agnostic until our stakeholders tell us it is important to most of them.”
The statement had stated that it supported ‘late term abortion in all states and territories’ and backed the Pro-Choice Queensland campaign to allow abortion-on-demand to 22 weeks, a measure that controversially passed the Queensland parliament this week.
These are policies that WRA now says it is ‘agnostic’ about.
“My job is to represent a movement of diverse members of a community who range in age and gender and religion and viewpoints,” Ms McLeod said.
The retracted statement was first issued in February 2017 and was put in the national spotlight shone by Australian Conservatives. A November 2017 motion moved by Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi highlighted that White Ribbon Australia supported late term abortions and invited senators to contact the organisation if they had any concerns.
The motion was supported by some crossbench and Coalition senators but was defeated by Labor and the Greens. Nonetheless, the motion and the media coverage of it served to alert WRA and its high-profile to grassroots advocates that its position was questionable.
WRA did not announce the retraction, but BuzzFeed News understands members of WRA contacted a number of pregnancy option counselling and sexual health providers to notify them of the shift yesterday.