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Barriers to Access Are Keeping Australian Women from Accessing Medical Abortion, Say Experts

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Barriers to Access Are Keeping Australian Women from Accessing Medical Abortion, Say Experts

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Less Australian women are choosing to abort via medical abortion compared to women around the world, because there are barriers to access, opined two experts. In a published Australian and New Zealand Gynecology article, the two GYN stated that medical pregnancy termination was crucial in women’s healthcare.

Less Australian women are choosing to abort via medical abortion compared to women around the world, because there are barriers to access, opined two experts. In a published Australian and New Zealand Gynecology article, the two GYN stated that medical pregnancy termination was crucial in women’s healthcare.

It proffers a safe and efficient alternative, an option other than early surgical abortion and can occur in the privacy of a woman’s home, they said.

Furthermore, in countries where Mifepristone pills have been made available for some time, about half of the women seeking to terminate pregnancy choose medical option over surgical one, say researchers.

Access in Australia is comparatively recent – prior to 2013, use of mifepristone was strictly restricted and a composite pack of Mifepristone and Misoprostol, like the MTP Kit has only been made available since 2015, and at this stage, only about one-third of women seeking pregnancy termination, choose the medical option.

Reasons for less women seeking medical abortion The reason of lesser number of women seeking medical termination of pregnancy, is because of several barriers to access.

According to the experts, as a result of legislative reforms of six to eight jurisdictions in Australia. Pregnancy termination is legally subjected to numerous conditions in these jurisdictions, however it has been fully decriminalized only in the Australian Capital Territory. Abortion remains criminalized in Queensland and New South Wales [ NSW] and can only be performed legally at all as a result of case law allowing abortion where it is critical to prevent serious risk to life or the health of the woman.

Cost barriers Other than due to legality status, only private clinics provide the abortive services, which are mainly located in cities, thus leaving women from rural areas without any access to abortive care. The two experts also write that one of the main barriers to access is cost as well. The lack of cost and access leave rural women only a few options of private services. Although these private services proffer high quality care, they can be costly and out of financial reach for some women.

Need to travel The researchers cite a study which shows that rural women had to travel for 4 or more hours to city clinics, in comparison to others and were more likely to access services later than 9 weeks’ gestation, which cancelled out their possibility of having termination by abortion pills.

While it was expected that PBS citing Mifepristone and Misoprostol would aid improve access to medical abortive services, however uptake of accreditation by general physicians seems to be low.

Telemedicine abortion service Ordering abortion pills online or by telemedicine services with use of communication technologies is ideally fit to the Australian situation where repeated clinic visits can be restrictive but a follow-up is required.

Therefore, it is best to encourage medical professionals to prescribe, dispense and participate in easing up access to abortive services for all women in the country. More needs to be done, so that women have all reproductive choices where her access is not barred due to her residence or financial situation.
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Barriers to Access Are Keeping Australian Women from Accessing Medical Abortion, Say Experts  Less Australian women are choosing to abort via medical abortion compared to women around the world, because there are barriers to access, opined two experts. In a published Australian and New Zealand Gynecology article, the two GYN stated that medical pregnancy termination was crucial in women’s healthcare.

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