THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
TASMANIAN SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
It is disgraceful that Tasmanian women are still being forced to travel to Victoria to access abortions.
Reports that Melbourne clinics have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Tasmanian women seeking surgical abortions since the closure of Hobart’s last private clinic are deeply disturbing.
Not-for-profit provider Marie Stopes Australia says the numbers have gone from one or two per month to 10 per month since the start of this year. This is totally unacceptable.
Terminating a pregnancy is difficult enough. Forcing a woman to travel interstate to access surgical services can dramatically increase the emotional and financial burden.
All Australian women should be able to access safe and affordable abortion services if they choose to do so.
Will Hodgman and Greg Hunt told us during the state election campaign that they had fixed this issue.
Nearly two months on from the state election, nothing has been done. It is time for Will Hodgman and Greg Hunt to sort this out.
Groups like Marie Stopes are doing good work to advance women’s reproductive options throughout Australia but these organisations can’t do it alone. State governments need to step up – and if they refuse, the federal government should intervene.
That’s why federal Labor committed $1 million during the state election to build a reproductive health hub in Tasmania. Our commitment stands but we need a partner who is willing to work with us to make this happen.
We also renew our call for an urgent national review of the availability of sexual and reproductive health services.
FRIDAY, 27 APRIL 2018