The Federal Government should set up a national abortion fund to provide timely access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for people in financial distress.
The final senate inquiry hearing into universal access to reproductive healthcare took place today in Melbourne.
MSI Australia is the only independent, national, not-for-profit provider of abortion, contraception and vasectomy care.
Head of Policy and Research Bonney Corbin said funding should be allocated to fund abortion and contraception care in the upcoming Federal Budget.
“We’re in a cost of living crisis and people can’t afford to manage their own fertility,” she said.
“Young people are being criminalised for stealing condoms, menstrual products and pregnancy tests from supermarkets.
“We need a national abortion fund. A national independent fund for abortion and contraception that could bridge gaps until the public health workforce is fully equipped.
“We need MBS and PBS reviews of contraception for all genders.
“It’s embarrassing that in Australia we have so few affordable men’s contraceptive options.
“We must fund nurses and midwives to lead reproductive healthcare, particularly in regional, rural and remote Australia.”
Ms Corbin said the inquiry report should address which levers the government should pull to enable free sexual and reproductive healthcare.
“What we’ve heard at the inquiry highlights how reproductive healthcare costs profoundly affect economic security for women” she said.
“The report, which is due to be delivered in a few weeks, should recommend reforms to medicare, the PBS and the distribution of state and territory health activity funds.
“The National Women’s Health Strategy commits to equitable access to abortion by 2030.
“The government has seven years to fix abortion access gaps and implement the findings of this inquiry.
“We know the Assistant Minister for Health Ged Kearney is looking into abortion deserts at the national level.
“We look forward to her reviewing and implementing the findings of this inquiry.
“In the interim, it’s critical to create a national abortion fund which can provide access for women and pregnant people in financial distress.”
The Australian Abortion Access Scorecard can be viewed here. View a summary of State and Territory abortion laws here.
Women and pregnant people can book a teleabortion here.
Donate to the Choice Fund to support people experiencing financial hardship or other barriers to abortion and contraception care here.
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For further information contact Anna Jabour on 0428 396 391.
MSI Australia is the only national not-for-profit provider of sexual and reproductive health services including permanent and long-acting reversible contraception and abortion care. For more information on our clinic network visit msiaustralia.org.au