Today is the fifth and final public hearing of the Greens initiated Universal access to reproductive healthcare inquiry.
The inquiry has heard from women, experts, advocates, and healthcare professionals across the country that despite being legal, accessible abortion is still a postcode lottery. The upcoming Budget must make medical and surgical abortions free, and available in all publicly funded hospitals, and all types of contraception more affordable.
Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters
“The message has been clear throughout this inquiry - people faced with an unwanted pregnancy need access to safe, affordable and timely abortion, contraception and reproductive healthcare. And right now, they don’t have it.
“The Labor government must use the upcoming budget to fix this inequality in our healthcare system.
“Too many people are having to spend hundreds of dollars and travel hundreds of kilometres to get an abortion, or cannot afford contraception that works best for them.
“Some regional towns don’t have a GP or pharmacist willing to prescribe a medical termination, or long acting reversible contraceptives, and many regional and all religious hospitals are not providing abortion care despite receiving federal public funding.
“For those without access to Medicare, the cost of abortion care can be totally out of reach, even if you manage to navigate the complex rules and find a clinic.
“We will keep working towards strong, cross-party recommendations from this inquiry, but it’s clear what’s required - abortion is healthcare and the upcoming Budget should ensure it is accessible for everyone.
“The Greens call on the Albanese government to fund legal, free and safe pregnancy termination services through the public health system, plus a full range of contraceptive options.
“We’ve seen the ACT Labor-Greens government act on this issue already, it’s time the federal government does its part to make abortion and contraception free, safe and accessible, no matter where you live.”