Australia – ‘Devastating’: Rural women are struggling to access abortion services during the pandemic

The pandemic has reinforced existing barriers for rural and regional women when it comes to termination services. There are fears some women could take matters into their own hands and attempt unsafe abortions.

September 6, 2020

BY EDEN GILLESPIE

Dr Catriona Melville, Deputy Medical Director at Marie Stopes, has been flying
into rural towns to provide termination services since the pandemic began. 

She told The Feed that while abortion is an essential service, some patients in
Melbourne, who under lockdown, are in a precarious position with no abortion
clinics or specialists in their area.

Continued: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/devastating-rural-women-are-struggling-to-access-abortion-services-during-the-pandemic


Australia – COVID-19 vaccine: Archbishop Anthony Fisher condemns Oxford vaccine

Australia’s most powerful Catholic Archbishop has penned a letter warning a COVID vaccine presents an “unacceptable ethical dilemma”.

Samantha Maiden
August 24, 2020

Australia’s most powerful Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher has sparked outrage after suggesting the COVID-19 vaccine could create an “ethical dilemma” for Catholics who may refuse to take it because it uses a cell line from an aborted foetus in the 1970s.

The Catholic leader has outlined his “disappointment” in correspondence with Prime Minister Scott Morrison that has sparked fears it could encourage Catholics to refuse to take the vaccine on religious grounds.

Continued: https://www.news.com.au/world/coronavirus/australia/covid19-vaccine-archbishop-anthony-fisher-condemns-oxford-vaccine/news-story/7b94e83a5491b6a76964d9bddfcb495d


Australia – Religious leaders’ ethical concerns of vaccine misplaced, expert says

By Matt Bungard
August 24, 2020

Three of Australia's leading religious voices have written to the Prime Minister with their concerns that the COVID-19 vaccine will be "ethically tainted" by aborted fetal cells.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies and Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia Makarios Griniezakis raised concerns about the deal with AstraZeneca that would ensure Australians would be among the first in the world to receive the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine if human trials are successful.

Continued: https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/religious-leaders-ethical-concerns-of-vaccine-misplaced-expert-says-20200824-p55otg.html


Australia – Unique SA legal requirement adds hurdles for country women accessing abortions

By Evelyn Leckie and Georgia Roberts
Aug 8, 2020

Regional doctors in remote South Australia are joining lobbyists in Adelaide calling for abortion law reform to be pushed through Parliament urgently, saying the current laws are placing barriers to termination access, particularly for regional women.

Port Lincoln's Dr Anna Kearney is one of two GP registrars on the Eyre Peninsula who is qualified to prescribe the early medication 'abortion pill' RU486.

Continued: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-08/law-adds-hurdles-for-sa-women-accessing-abortions/12536186


Australia – Leading health and medical experts sound the alarm over telehealth restrictions

July 29, 2020
Marie McInerney

Hundreds of leading public health, nursing, midwifery and medical experts and organisations have signed an open letter urging the Federal Government to modify new restrictions on telehealth provision.

In an accompanying statement issued yesterday, the Government is warned that the changes “may already be having a devastating impact on sexual and reproductive health during the pandemic”.

Continued: https://croakey.org/leading-health-and-medical-experts-sound-the-alarm-over-telehealth-restrictions/


Telehealth has improved abortion access for women around Australia. We can’t let it lapse

A dearth of political leadership means abortion drugs remain inaccessible, unsafe and unaffordable for many women

Gina Rushton
Published on Tue 14 Jul 2020

It has been 24 years since the federal government chose the partial privatisation of Telstra over the rights of Australian women to safely terminate a pregnancy with abortion drugs. In 1996, anti-abortion independent Brian Harradine, who held the balance of power in the Senate, agreed to support John Howard’s one-third float of the telecommunications company if the government amended legislation to give the health minister veto to prohibit the import, manufacture or use of abortion drug RU486 (mifepristone).

A perpetual dearth of political leadership in the subsequent quarter century has meant the drugs remain inaccessible, unaffordable and at times unsafe for many women in Australia outside of a certain income or major city.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2020/jul/15/abortion-drugs-remain-inaccessible-unsafe-and-unaffordable-for-many-australian-women


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.

Continued: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/420927/doctor-fined-for-illegally-prescribing-abortion-drugs


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.

Continued: https://au.news.yahoo.com/abortion-providers-fear-telehealth-changes-140511325--spt.html


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.

Continued: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE2006/S00079/abortion-statistics-year-ended-december-2019.htm


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.

Continued: https://www.miragenews.com/improving-access-to-early-medical-abortion-amid-covid-19/