IMPROVING ABORTION ACCESS FOR ALL
In parliament Amanda questioned the Government on what they are doing to make abortion accessible for people in regional areas, particularly within the public health system.
My question is directed to the Minister for Finance, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Health and Minister for Regional Health. The consensus position of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is that "access to abortion should be on the basis of health care need and should not be limited by age, socioeconomic disadvantage or geographic isolation". Barriers to accessing abortion health care in New South Wales are a known problem, which is serious and worsening. As the Senate inquiry into universal access to reproductive health care tables its recommendations in Federal Parliament today, an inquiry to which myself and many New South Wales organisations made submissions, what strategy will the New South Wales Government put in place to make abortion accessible in New South Wales, specifically in regional areas and in the public health system?
The Minister provided the following response:
I am advised by the Minister for Health and Minister for Regional Health that the New South Wales Government remains committed to improving safe and clear access to abortion services. This includes reviewing current services and assessing and considering activities in other jurisdictions.
Affordable and timely access to abortion in New South Wales is a whole of sector response shared by the public health system, private providers, primary care, and accredited non-government organisations. The availability of abortion services offered by public hospitals and service pathways is determined by local health districts.
The NSW Health website provides links to information on the NSW Pregnancy Choices Helpline and website which assist New South Wales residents to find out about abortion service providers that meet their specific needs. Information is also provided on the SEARCH project [Sustainable and Equitable Access to Reproductive Choices] pilot model to improve equitable access to reproductive health services in regional New South Wales for women who experience barriers to safe and affordable health services. The SEARCH project has a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.