Australia urgently needs a national approach to the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and today, that need is one step closer to being met with the announcement by the Australian Labor Party that it would fund a national strategy if elected to Government this year.
“While we have made some headway on sexual and reproductive health issues, it’s been a patchwork approach to what is a very important yet neglected public health issue,” Acting CEO Jamal Hakim said.
“Having a national strategy to direct sexual and reproductive health priorities and funding is essential and that’s why we welcome today’s commitment by the Australian Labor Party.”
Marie Stopes Australia has welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s $9.3 million initial commitment to the plan and its package of commitments that includes:
- Reforms to the MBS for medical termination of pregnancy and long acting reversible contraception
- Public provision of abortion across the country
- Professional support for GP prescribers of medical termination of pregnancy
- The funding of an abortion referral telephone line for women wishing to access a service
- Support for decriminalisation of abortion services.
Joining the Deputy Opposition Leader, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek in Sydney for the announcement, Mr Hakim said “as a national not-for-profit provider of sexual and reproductive health services, we see the inequality of access right across the board. Right now, it is based purely on where you live. This announcement is a step towards addressing inequality of access to vital public health services, particularly abortion care.”