Senate inquiry into abortion access
RANZCOG welcomes the Senate inquiry into abortion access in Australia.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RANZCOG), the leading body for obstetrics, gynaecology, and women’s health in Australia, welcomes the Senate inquiry into abortion access in Australia.
The inquiry will also look at access to sexual and reproductive healthcare more broadly.
Professor Kirsten Black, Chair of the RANZCOG Sexual and Reproductive Health Special Interest Group, said: “Access to safe, timely, affordable, and legal abortion is required as an essential health service for women and girls. Abortion access should not be limited by age, socioeconomic disadvantage, or geographic location.”
Despite abortion being decriminalised across the country, non-legal barriers preventing women and girls from accessing abortion services remain – most notably financial, geographic, and practitioner availability.
RANZCOG is developing a training pathway in abortion care. “RANZCOG is developing a Certificate in Sexual Reproductive Health to increase the service provision of medical and surgical abortions. The best way to remedy financial and geographic barriers to this essential health service is to provide free abortions in every state and territory, following the ACT’s move earlier this year,” Professor Black said.
“We need integration of abortion care into public hospitals so we can build expertise. Exposing students and trainees to abortion and contraceptive care is vital to ensure abortion is normalised as a health care issue.”
RANZCOG, which has called on all State and Territory health ministers to remove out-of-pocket costs for abortion, will make a submission to the inquiry.
RANZCOG has consistency called for increase access for both early medical and surgical abortions in all jurisdictions, including rural and remote areas, with its Women’s Health Summit last year highlighting the issue, and it will be discussed by a number of experts at the College’s Annual Scientific Meeting – which will be attended by more than 1000 obstetricians and gynaecologists from across Australia, New Zealand and the world – to be held on the Gold Coast in October.
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