If you're researching an assignment, please read the FAQ below before you get in touch with us. We are a small service and our priority is our clients who need our support and assistance. This means we are not always able to respond to student requests for information, particularly at short notice. Because of this, we've compiled the most commonly asked questions about Children by Choice and our work, with the answers below. You might also like to see our facts + figures section if you're looking for statistics on abortion or unplanned pregnancy or information on pregnancy options, law, opinion polling, and so on. If you do decide to contact us you can do so here, although be aware that if the answer to your question is included on the list below we may not respond.
Q. What does Children by Choice do?
A. Children by Choice is a not-for-profit organisation, committed to providing unbiased information and support on all unplanned pregnancy options – abortion, adoption and parenting - as well as post-abortion support for those who may need it. We operate from a pro-choice, woman-centred approach.
- A supportive all options service for women to explore issues and express their feelings without judgement;
- Evidence-based information about all pregnancy options - abortion, adoption and parenting;
- Referrals to other services, including termination providers, ante-natal classes and support services, parenting groups, adoption agencies, and services which provide support on issues like violence and homelessness.
Children by Choice have supported women experiencing unplanned pregnancy since 1972, when the Association started the first dedicated unplanned pregnancy counselling service in Queensland.
Q. Who uses your counselling services?
A. We provide counselling to women (and their partners and families) of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances, who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We also offer post-abortion counselling.
We support close to 2000 clients a year, ranging in age from 12 years to over 50 years and living across Queensland. For information on the ages of our clients, what they need from us, and the types of issues they report to us, see our latest Annual Report.
Q. What are Children by Choice’s views on abortion?
A. We believe that every woman has the right to make her own decision about an unplanned pregnancy and should be able to access an abortion if that is her choice.
At Children by Choice we recognise that unplanned pregnancy is a reality of women’s lives. No method of contraception is 100% effective. We are committed to reproductive choice and access to a variety of options for all women faced with an unplanned pregnancy. These options include abortion, adoption and parenting.
We believe that women should have access to safe and legal abortion regardless of race, geographical location, gestation of pregnancy, or financial situation, and it should not be restricted to those whose life is in danger. Abortion is a human rights and social justice issue.
As a pro-choice service, it is not our opinion on abortion that is important, but the opinion of each and every client we support. Nobody 'wants' an abortion but women need to be able to choose to have one when they deem it best.
Q. What are the reasons women give for having an abortion?
A. Every woman and situation is different. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy it can be extremely difficult for some women to decide what is best for themselves and those around them. For other women the circumstances of their lives and the pregnancy make the decision more straightforward.
Women of all ages consider abortion for many reasons. Often there is more than one factor influencing their decision. These factors can include the age of the pregnant woman, her plans for the future, her relationship with the man involved in the pregnancy, her financial situation, possible violence she may be experiencing, her expectations of parenthood, what support is available to her, and social or cultural expectations around the role of women, among other things. Each woman considers the issue through her own lens, as is her right. Women are the experts in their own lives and the ones best placed to know if and when they are capable of becoming a parent.
Q. Does Children by Choice think that abortion is immoral or unethical?
A. Children by Choice does not regard abortion as inherently immoral or unethical. One of our guiding principles is self-determination, meaning that it is inappropriate for health professionals and others to impose their own moral and religious view on women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Women are capable of making decisions about their health and life using their own moral and ethical compass, and this is what true all options counselling helps women and couples to do.
Q. Does Children by Choice think the fetus is a person?
A. Some wide ranging beliefs exist on this issue. Some people believe that the foetus becomes a person when conception takes place; others believe that the foetus becomes a person when the act of birth has taken place. Some prefer to think of a fetus or embryo as a 'potential' person or life. In the absence of specific legislation or scientific consensus, this is very much a matter for individual beliefs and values, and it is up to each person as to when they believe life begins.
Q. Wouldn’t it be better for a woman to adopt the child out rather than have an abortion? So many couples want children and can’t have any.
A. To force a woman to continue with a pregnancy so that she can adopt the child out to a couple who are childless is to ignore her right to make a decision about her body. Adoption is generally the first option most women rule out when they are making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy, and the reasons women give are usually to do with thoughts of what is best for the potential child - for example, not wanting a child to grow up feeling that he or she was unwanted by his or her biological parents.
Q. Shouldn’t women delay having sex unless they are prepared for the consequences – pregnancy?
A. Whether you agree with this statement or not depends on your view of sexuality. For some, having sex is not a positive thing in itself if it does not include an openness to children. Others may consider sex to be the expression of love, physical urges or both. When a woman makes a decision to have an abortion because she is not ready or able to have a child for whatever reason, she is making a response to the consequences of being sexually active. Children should be the result of a freely made decision, not be punishment for having sex.
Q. Shouldn’t the man have just as many rights as the woman to decide whether the pregnancy is continued or not?
A. Couples in a loving permanent relationship may want to work together and support each other in making a decision (and often do), however it is ultimately the woman who bears the risks and responsibility of pregnancy and giving birth, and it is therefore in the end her decision.