Labor has announced a comprehensive $9.3million plan to ensure Australian women can more readily access legal, safe and affordable reproductive health services if elected.
— Rae Cooper (@Raecooper1) March 5, 2019
The plan, announced by Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, would require public hospitals to provide abortion services to qualify for federal funding for the first time.
“Women have been turned away from public hospitals for termination services and have not been able to access or afford to go to a private clinic,” Plibersek told Fairfax Media. “Choosing to terminate a pregnancy is difficult enough. Forcing a woman to travel long distances or interstate to access surgical services can dramatically increase the emotional and financial burden.”
Making termination services consistently accessible in public hospitals would ease the already burden of seeking and funding adequate medical care.
— Gina Rushton (@ginarush) March 6, 2019
As part of the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy Labor would also push for abortions to be decriminalised in NSW and to review the Medicare rebate associated with medical terminations to address access and affordability.
It would also review the Medicare rebate for long-acting reversible contraceptives and explore options to reduce barriers to improve access to the contraceptive pill.
Every Australian woman should have access to the health services they need, where and when they need them.
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) March 5, 2019
Under the strategy a “reproductive health hub” would be established in Tasmania, adjoining a public hospital, to address the issue of women in the state having to pay thousands of dollars to travel to Victoria to access termination procedures.