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Abortion drugs remain inaccessible, unsafe and unaffordable for many Australian women | Gina Rushton

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.

Lockdown pregnancies creating a 'shadow pandemic' of complications

Reproductive health and abortion providers say they are preparing for a 'shadow pandemic' following a wave of unintended pregnancies during the world's lockdowns. A heavily pregnant 19-year-old with high blood pressure lost her baby and went partially blind after she was turned away from a Port Moresby hospital in April, as the hospital had no temperature-testing facilities to confirm she was not carrying COVID-19.

The government has improved abortion access during the pandemic. Doctors are fighting to keep it that way

To help women safely access abortion services via telehealth, the government would need only to keep doing what services say it has been for decades: nothing. In March the government introduced temporary Medicare rebates for telehealth appointments in an effort to minimise face-to-face appointments for maladies that could be managed with an over-the-phone consultation during the pandemic.

NSW victims of crime now have a new obstacle to collecting compensation

Thanks to cost-cutting, victims of crime will essentially take on the work of public servants. This month the NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman passed landmark reforms to child sexual assault proceedings. He declared the changes could never take away a survivor’s pain, but they would help “deliver justice for survivors across NSW”. But on Friday, the government announced a controversial change to the state’s Victims Services scheme.

Victoria’s spike in Covid-19 cases

A cluster at a Brimbank meatworks, a teacher at an Albanvale primary school, outbreaks at two Melbourne hotels where travellers were quarantined, a Coburg family, staff at a McDonald’s and an H&M, a toddler at a Prahran childcare centre, a Coles worker at a Laverton distribution centre, an Essendon AFL player who returned a positive and then a negative test. Then, on Wednesday, the first death from coronavirus in Australia in a month.

Mesh-injured women win in the courts and Senate yet still wait for compensation

Women injured in vaginal mesh procedures have won a class action against Johnson & Johnson, but as the case drags on to an appeal, they are still waiting for compensation. When more than 1300 women with pelvic mesh devices won a seven-year legal battle against Johnson & Johnson in November, the judgement was so lengthy that one Federal Court staffer remarked they’d “need a forklift” to carry the printed version.

The fight for reproductive rights isn’t over in Australia until there’s equity in access

Abortion may be disappearing from criminal codes across Australia, but a lack of access to providers means the fight is far from over. You can see how long these battles have taken in the faces of the women who were on the front line. A few days before abortion was decriminalised in Queensland in October 2018, Beryl Holmes stood, supported by a cane, on the steps outside state parliament house for a rally in support of the bill. She had been fighting for this for almost 50 years. In the 1970s

Temporary visa holders at risk

“I think of it as a Choose Your Own Adventure book where every door is locked,” says Diana Sayed, chief executive of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. She describes the path offered to women in Australia on temporary visas who are seeking to leave a violent relationship. It’s a stark reality that was brought into focus last week when Kamaljeet Sidhu, a 27-year-old international student living in Sydney’s north-west, was fatally stabbed in her home. Her husband, Baltej Lai

South Australia Is Waiting On One Man To Decide If Women Have To Travel For Medical Abortions In A Pandemic

In every Australian jurisdiction bar one, women can access medical abortions over telehealth. In South Australia, the law dictates a woman must physically see two different doctors at an approved hospital to get medical abortion pills. Only a handful of hospitals in the state provide the pills, meaning the vast majority of rural and regional women have to travel to the capital Adelaide.

Victims Of Violence Will Now Have To Gather Evidence Themselves To Get Compensation In NSW

Victims of crime in the Australian state of New South Wales will have to gather their own evidence to support claims of violence under a controversial change that has taken community services by surprise in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have been the victim of a crime and are seeking counselling or compensation in New South Wales, the long-standing process has been that you submit a form outlining when you think the crime occurred and what the injury was, whether that is physical

Is The Coronavirus Making A Comrade Of Conservative Leaders Or Are They Just “Saving Capitalism”?

The coronavirus pandemic has Australians joking that prime minister Scott Morrison is an unlikely new comrade in the march toward socialism. In a matter of weeks, the once surplus obsessed “ScoMo” has doubled the rate of welfare payments, scrapped childcare fees for essential workers, announced a nationwide moratorium on rental evictions and handed $150 million extra dollars to domestic violence services.

Lots Of New Parents Are Seeking Mental Health Help As They Deal With Social Isolation And A Baby

There has been a 20% surge in callers to national Australian support group Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as families grapple with social isolation in the new coronavirus pandemic. The helpline, which is now sourcing retired volunteers to meet current demand, is a “live thermometer” for how parents across Australia are coping, according to its chief executive Julie Borninkhof. "We have seen a significant increase in the number of new and expecting mums and dads across Aus

The Coronavirus Has Pushed Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings Online, And Regulars Are Worried About Newcomers

"I would not want to be in early recovery right now," Matthew told BuzzFeed News. The three Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings he chairs each week in Sydney's inner west have all moved online as Australians stop social gatherings to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. "When people are in early recovery the only thing they can do when they get home is to go straight to a meeting. I was pretty much at a meeting every day for the first few months," Matthew — a pseudonym to protect his privacy

Dozens Of Women Are Waiting For Surgical Abortions As Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Delay Doctors

Up to 80 women on surgical abortion lists around Australia could be left in limbo as doctors fight to be exempt from the new coronavirus travel restrictions to provide vital sexual and reproductive healthcare. Australia's largest abortion provider Marie Stopes Australia (MSA) is desperately seeking clarity from various state health departments as to whether eight of its surgeons who need to travel interstate in the next fortnight to provide abortions will be exempt from travel restrictions.

Women Who Feel Ignored By Their Doctors Are Turning To An Instagram Tea Released By A Model

Sydney model agency owner Brigitte Warne’s health rapidly deteriorated after she came off the oral contraceptive pill to start a family. She developed cystic acne, her hair began falling out, and “vicious cycles of severe anxiety” made her withdraw from her friends and family. Doctors gave her antibiotics for her skin, but it took crying and pleading until the fourth doctor she asked agreed to run tests. “We did a full hormone test and my testosterone levels were actually off the scale,” she sai
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