Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Reproductive Health Services
I seek leave to amend the motion standing in my name and in the names of Senators Urquhart and Brown for today relating to reproductive health services.
I, and also on behalf of Senators Urquhart and Brown, move the motion as amended in the terms circulated in the chamber:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) access to affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraception, is part of every woman's right to control her own body,
(ii) recently, the primary provider of surgical abortions in Tasmania closed their clinic, and the Tasmanian Liberal Government ruled out providing this essential service within the Tasmanian public health with women forced to travel interstate for treatment,
(iii) in January, Prime Minister Turnbull refused to comment on whether Tasmanian public hospitals should provide this essential health service, instead leaving the matter for the Tasmanian Liberal Government, and
(iv) across Australia, inconsistent laws and service provision means access to abortion can be extremely difficult, and women face high out-of-pocket costs; in particular, women in remote, rural and regional areas are often forced to travel long distances to urban clinics; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) show leadership and work with states and territories to remove all barriers to Australians accessing abortion services, including decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales and Queensland, and provision of surgical abortion services in public hospitals across the country, and
(ii) where state and territory health systems fail to provide abortion services, step in to ensure funding and provision of essential reproductive health services for all Australians.