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Access to Abortion in Tasmania

There’s been a lot of distress in Australia about the US Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision.   

What is happening in the US is terrible, and Australia isn't perfect, but that situation will not happen here.

 

Here are four key facts:

  1. The right to an abortion is enshrined in the law of every state of Australia except Western Australia. This is because of the work over decades of committed activists, health workers and politicians. It is even part of the National Women’s Health Strategy (developed by the Morrison Government) to ensure equitable access to abortions across Australia.
  1. We have a different history, culture and health system to the US.
  1. In Tasmania abortion is legal and accessible.
  1. There are abortion care services available in each Tasmanian region and cost should not be a problem. (Surgical abortion in Tasmania is free through the public hospital system. Funding is available to cover the cost of a medication termination.)

 

Would you like to know more?

 

  • You can access a surgical abortion from a public hospital in your region. This service is available for all pregnant people (you don’t have to be considered ‘vulnerable’ to be eligible.) This service will not cost you anything.
  • If you choose to access a medication abortion there might be costs associated with this. There is financial assistance available.
  • If there is a reason why you can’t access a surgical abortion from a public hospital in your region you can have the procedure from a doctor in the private health system. This will not cost you anything.
  • If you have private health insurance, you can access an abortion from a private provider using your insurance.
  • If you don’t have access to Medicare because of your visa status, you can be helped with the cost of either a medication or surgical abortion.
  • It is the law that GPs who don’t provide abortions must give you information about the pathway to an abortion provider.

 

You might be told these things about Tasmania, but they aren’t true

You have to have counselling before you have an abortion. Not true. But if you would like to have it, it is free, non-judgmental, and confidential.

You have to get a doctor’s permission to have an abortion. Not true - if the pregnancy is less than 16 weeks gestation it is your decision alone. (But you do need to see a GP to get the pregnancy confirmed.) It is possible to get a referral for an abortion after 16 weeks in certain circumstances.

Let’s be clear: up to 16 weeks, it is your decision, not your doctor’s, whether you have an abortion. Your rights are protected in law and there are accessible health services in Tasmania that provide abortions. Financial and other support are out there, including if you need an abortion after 16 weeks.  

If you have questions about any of the facts above (or questions about how to access support), please contact

  • Women’s Health Tasmania (03) 6231 3212
  • Family Planning Tasmania (03) 6273 9117

 

SO PLEASE BE A PROTECTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

US anti-abortion lobby groups fund activity in Australia and try to make this an election issue. Their messages frighten people who are looking for abortion care today.

Make sure your messages about reproductive rights are accurate. Tell your friends:

  • In Tasmania, we aren’t fighting to get access to abortion care. We are on guard to ensure we never lose it.
  • Abortion care is an essential health service, and its provision is supported by all three major Tasmanian political parties.

Somebody might be listening to you who really needs to hear those messages.

Help embed and protect our reproductive rights.