The suggestion follows US President Barack Obama's action on the issue. The ban was instituted under the Howard government thanks to the courageous influence of independent senator Brian Harradine.
The Federal Government has had the Australian ban under prolonged review but has not acted because of divisions within caucus and also concern about Family First Senator Steve Fielding, whose vote is crucial to Labor on many issues.
Mr Smith can lift the ban administratively — no legislation is required. But it would be a decision he would take in consultation with the Prime Minister at least, because of the sensitivities.
The Australian Reproductive Health Alliance said yesterday Australia was now the only country to limit overseas aid funds in this way. Alliance CEO Jane Singleton said: "We in Australia should not deny the rights we have to women in the developing world where those rights are within the law". I'm proud that Australia does not fund abortions overseas. It needs to stay that way. Singleton is forgetting that abortion is not a right. It is a legal fabrication to present abortion as a good. Women have no more a right to abortion than I have a right to run people over with my car.
The Labor chairwoman of the cross-party parliamentary group on population and development, Claire Moore, said the Obama decision "reinforces that we can't be the only country that imposes such a ban". This is true if you perceive Australia to be Obama's little lap dog. Fortunately many Australians are more than happy to distance themselves from Obama and don't really care what a small minority of international friends think with regard to its refusal to fund overseas abortions.
The former chairman of the committee, Liberal backbencher Mal Washer, said Australia now looked "out-of-date and stupid". Since when do Australians care about what international pro abortion people think? And what does the date have to do with the rightness or wrongness of abortion? Banning funding for abortion overseas was good last years it is good now and will also be good next year.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said support had come from all sides of politics to have the restrictions removed. "It is time for the Rudd Government to stand up for women's rights," she said. As I said before abortion is not a right. It is a crime against a child's right to life. If Hanson want to stand up for womens rights why is she not standing up for all those unborn women?
Make a stand. Fight to maintain the ban on Australian overseas funding for abortion.