MSI Australia (formerly Marie Stopes Australia) will show up across the country this weekend to attend rallies to stand in solidarity with women and pregnant people in USA, and to highlight that there is still much more work to do for abortion access in Australia.
In the week since Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in the USA, 27 states have banned or are threatening to criminalise abortions.
Rallies have occurred at US embassies throughout the week and larger rallies will be taking place around the country over the weekend.
MSI Australia Managing Director Jamal Hakim said it was important to demonstrate solidarity with women and pregnant people in the United States.
“The events taking place in the US are devastating for human rights. Fortunately, we are not at risk of having abortion bans in Australia but we do need increased access and equity to abortion care services,” he said.
“The Federal Government is supportive of abortion rights – but there is still a lot of work to still do to make sure that any person in Australia who wants an abortion can actually access abortion care.
“Abortion law in Australia are complex and that’s why we’ve released our Abortion Access Scorecard, to celebrate progress and highlight where there is still work to do.
“Every week, women and pregnant people in Australia who have no access to public funded services request financial support to access abortion care.
“In particular, people on temporary visas in Australia face extraordinary barriers to abortion care. Reproductive rights are about healthcare access for all, not for some.
“That’s why it’s so important to support safe abortion funds like the Australian Choice Fund. Philanthropists continue to fill the gap, every dollar goes directly to abortion and contraception care for women and pregnant people.
“I encourage people to get out and rally this weekend to show solidarity for women and pregnant people in the US and to call for better access to services here in Australia.”
MSI Australia Health Communications Officer Brenna Bernardino said threats to reproductive rights anywhere was a threat to reproductive justice everywhere.
“As a dual US-Australian citizen, this has been distressing to watch,” she said.
“I flew in from Texas just before Roe v. Wade was overturned and soon I will travel back to Texas where there is practically an outright ban on abortion.
“It’s completely unjust. Criminalising abortion doesn’t stop abortions, it just forces people to access them illegally or travel long distances. It impacts people’s mental health and increases fear.
“We shouldn’t be made to feel afraid of accessing essential healthcare.
“In Australia, no state or territory is perfect – more can be done by government at every level and more should be done.
"We need the mobilising and uprising this week to galvanise the politicians and decision makers across borders to strengthen abortion services and access."
Rallies will be taking place across the country at these locations and times:
Thursday 30 June
- NEWCASTLE 5:30PM Newcastle Museum
Friday 1 July
Saturday 2 July
- MELBOURNE 12PM State Library
- SYDNEY 1PM Town Hall
- CANBERRA 12PM Garema Place
- PERTH 1PM Murray St Mall
- HOBART 11AM Salamanca Markets
- WOLLONGONG 12PM Crown St Mall Amphitheatre
- ROCKHAMPTON 10AM Rocky Riverfront
Sunday 3 July
- LAUNCESTON 12pm Prince's Park
– Ends –
MSI Australia is a 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 mariestopes.org.au.