New Zealand – Doctor fined for illegally prescribing abortion drugs

10 July 2020

The New Zealand Health Practitioners
Disciplinary Tribunal said the doctor, whose name is suppressed, illegally
prescribed the medicines to two patients.

The move was against the requirements of the Contraception, Sterilisation and
Abortion Act. The charge was laid against "Dr E" by a Professional
Conduct Committee and the matter was heard on 29 January.

In one patient the doctor ought to have known the prescription exceeded the
recommended dose. He also prescribed it in combination with Primolut - an
inappropriate treatment for termination of pregnancy.


Australia – Abortion providers fear telehealth changes

Finbar O'Mallon, Australian Associated Press
9 July 2020

An Australian abortion provider fears telehealth measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic will be rolled back in September but the government says there are no plans to limit the services.

Marie Stopes Australia says women could face higher out-of-pocket costs when they try to access discreet medical abortions if the measures are done away with.


New Zealand – Abortion Statistics: Year Ended December 2019

Abortion Statistics: Year Ended December 2019

Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Press Release: Statistics New Zealand

Far fewer women aged under 20 years had abortions in recent years compared with a decade ago, Stats NZ said today.

Abortions for women under 20 have been decreasing since the peak in 2007. In 2019, just under 10 percent of the 12,857 abortions were for women under 20. In 2007, it was 23 percent.


Australia – Improving access to early medical abortion amid COVID-19

Improving access to early medical abortion amid COVID-19

May 28, 2020
Monash University

To mark today’s International Day of Action on Women’s Health (May 28), a newly formed coalition of key stakeholders and clinician experts is advocating rapid policy and practice-based changes to improve the accessibility of early medical abortion (EMA) in Australia during COVID-19 and beyond.

Early medical abortion (EMA), along with contraception, has been declared an essential service during the pandemic but it is not always easy to access. This is particularly the case for highly time-sensitive EMAs that must be undertaken before nine weeks’ gestation in Australia. As a result of the pandemic access may be further challenged by delays in accessing ultrasounds, an inability to travel (especially for women living in remote and regional areas) and cost-barriers including those caused by job losses due to COVID-19.


Australia – Getting an abortion just got harder, thanks to the coronavirus. Here’s what we can do better

Getting an abortion just got harder, thanks to the coronavirus. Here’s what we can do better

May 11, 2020
Erica Millar, Lecturer, La Trobe University

The COVID-19 crisis has starkly revealed the patchy and precarious provision of abortion in Australia, deepening existing inequalities in access.

What was already an expensive procedure may be even less attainable for many women facing financial strain during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a shortage of staff and resources is likely to be affecting access for many women seeking an abortion – particularly those in regional and rural areas.


Abortion providers take private flights to regional Queensland as coronavirus triggers industry collapse

Abortion providers take private flights to regional Queensland as coronavirus triggers industry collapse

By Emilie Gramenz
May 1, 2020

Family planning clinicians have had to charter private planes to deliver surgical abortion services in central and north Queensland, as the collapse of the domestic travel industry bites.

The only surgical abortion provider in Rockhampton and Townsville — Marie Stopes — runs clinics once a week, using a mixture of local staff and clinicians from Brisbane or elsewhere.


A Supplier Refused To Fill A Face Mask Order For An Australian Abortion Provider Because They’re For “Health Professionals”

A Supplier Refused To Fill A Face Mask Order For An Australian Abortion Provider Because They're For "Health Professionals"
Exclusive: Marie Stopes Australia says it only has two weeks worth of face masks left as orders are cancelled in the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted on April 6, 2020,
Gina Rushton, BuzzFeed News Reporter, Australia

Australia's largest abortion provider says its supply of face masks and hand sanitiser for carrying out surgical abortions will only last two more weeks after a number of orders from private personal protective equipment (PPE) providers were cancelled or refused in the coronavirus pandemic.

In one instance, a private company cancelled an order from Marie Stopes Australia (MSA) on the basis it was reserving supplies for "health professionals".


Jamaica – Editorial | Whither abortion reform?

Editorial | Whither abortion reform?

Jamaica Gleaner
Monday | March 23, 2020

IT IS not clear whether Parliament’s Human Resources and Social Development Committee, which hasn’t had a sitting in recent months, has concluded its hearings on reforming the abortion law and, if it has, what it has recommended to legislators. Its chairman, Ronald Thwaites, will shed light on the matter, as well as informing the public how the committee intends to proceed.

Perchance they are not yet done deliberating, it is this newspaper’s hope that the committee will be inspired by last week’s developments on the matter in New Zealand, which finds its way in their report, and embraced by Jamaica’s legislators.


This week we brought New Zealand’s abortion laws into the 21st century

This week we brought New Zealand's abortion laws into the 21st century
Seeking an abortion was a crime until now, but new legislation has removed the stigma and given women a choice

Andrew Little
Thu 19 Mar 2020

New Zealand’s current abortion laws are more than 40 years old and were enacted when there were more MPs in Parliament named Bill than MPs who were female. This week we brought the laws into the 21st century.

Up to now, women seeking an abortion in New Zealand were committing a crime under our main criminal statute but had a defence if they followed the requirements of the abortion legislation. These requirements included the woman being referred by their doctor to two specialists who each had to certify she faces a serious danger to her life or physical or mental health. Other conditions also applied, such as whether the pregnancy was a result of incest or the woman lacked capacity to consent. For abortions after 20 weeks, conditions were more stringent.


New Zealand – Parliament removes abortion from Crimes Act

Parliament removes abortion from Crimes Act

18 March 2020
Hon Andrew Little

Abortion has been removed from the Crimes Act under a new law passed by Parliament today.

“For over forty years abortion has been the only medical procedure considered a crime in New Zealand. But from now abortions will be rightly treated as a health issue,” Minister of Justice Andrew Little said.