Dr Emma Boulton requests your support by signing the SPHERE campaign to help petition the federal government to keep access for all Australian women to medical abortion via telehealth during the Pandemic and beyond.
Abortion care in Australia is fragmented and unavailable to many women, particularly those who are already disadvantaged by living in rural/regional/remote areas. COVID has provided an opportunity to transform the way we deliver some primary care services.
Face to face care is considered to be the gold standard, but what if you are in lockdown? What if your local GP doesn’t provide women's health services? There are few GPs in Australia who are registered prescribers of medical abortion, and seeing those has just got a whole lot harder.
During May and June 2020, due to COVID 19 we briefly had a taste of rebates for telehealth for Australian women seeking abortion care. Then, as a result of mass rorting of the system by 'corporate telehealth pop ups', these rebates have been withdrawn again. Sadly, this leaves many women facing real difficulty and hardship, without any kind of support for essential services.
Put simply, women are being disadvantaged now more than ever, by the lack of access to abortion care. They need to access reproductive and sexual health services face to face, and/or via telehealth if not locally provided by their own GP. Medical abortion by telehealth needs to be available and supported by Medicare. The SMH has got this just right in their opinion piece we reckon.
Clinic 66 is an established abortion care provider in NSW, providing face to face in-clinic medical and surgical abortion since 2014. In June 2019 we answered the need for more teleabortion services in Australia, and launched AbortionOnline.com.au, which is a teleabortion service delivering professional medical abortion services to women in their own home.