Polls confirm Australians want accessible and affordable abortion care

National polling confirms Australians want the government to ensure affordable and accessible abortion care

Fair Agenda

National polling has confirmed that 72 per cent of Australians agree the government should ensure that patients who want abortion care can access it. 

The polling, commissioned by Fair Agenda, a community of 43,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and gender equal future, was undertaken by Essential Media, who tested four abortion care arguments among Australians and found little difference in ‘total agreement’ across them all. 

Results showed that 71 per cent of Australians agree one person’s religious beliefs should not impact a patient’s access to abortion care. 

When asked if laws in Australia should support nurses to be appropriately trained for abortions without risking criminalisation, 70 per cent of Australians agreed. 

Barriers to abortion care are particularly significant for patients in rural and regional areas, or those experiencing domestic violence, and 69 per cent of Australians agree that governments should actively address this.  

In all four questions, those aged 55 and over were more likely to agree than those aged 18-34, but this was due to younger respondents’ tendency to select ‘neutral’ or ‘prefer not to answer’ rather than disagreeing. 

Campaign Manager at Fair Media, Alyssa Shaw said on the findings: “There is no room for complacency when it comes to abortion access. What we’ve seen overseas shows how easily abortion rights can be attacked- we need to cement Australia as a country that supports compassionate abortion care; and ensures that we have agency over our body, and our future.”

After the shocking overturning of Roe Vs Wade in the US, it may seem that Australia is further ahead on abortion care, but accessible and affordable abortion is still not guaranteed by government, and many Australian women face significant barriers to care such as having to drive hundreds of kilometres or pay upwards of $500. 

With the backing of these poll results, Fair Agenda has called on the Australian government to ensure abortion care access is included in Medicare. 

Shaw said this is the first step in addressing the substantial barriers to abortion care access in Australia and that it would ensure safe and legal abortion is affordable and accessible for anyone who needs it. 

“Minister Butler can take immediate steps to remove barriers faced by women in Australia by including medical abortion care as a Medicare item number and subsidising the cost up to $500,” she says.

Daile Kelleher from Children by Choice, a pregnancy options counseling service, said: “Nobody should have to find $500 on short notice to get the urgent medical care they need. We hear from too many women and pregnant people who discover how much an abortion will cost, and consider delaying accessing this time sensitive healthcare in order to scrape the funds together.”

With abortion rights being taken away in the United States, it’s significant to see Fair Agenda’s polling confirm that Australians want the government to take action to ensure accessible and affordable abortion care.

Shaw added: “This isn’t just about legality, it’s about affordability and access. We should all be able to access the abortion care we need; no matter our income. But we need Government leadership to make this possible.”

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