Decriminalising abortion in NSW is great news, but abortion is still difficult to access for many women across all Australian states, and Tele-Abortion now available at www.AbortionOnline.com.au may be the answer.
A new nationwide (except SA) Tele-Abortion service has just been launched at www.abortiononline.com.au, in answer to the major gap in abortion service accessibility right across Australia.
Though we have finally decriminalised abortion in NSW, it will still be some time before we see the benefits of the change, particularly for women living in rural and regional areas right across NSW, as well as other states. These women are forced to travel long distances to access safe and professional abortion care, and often this means that they still don’t have access.
Dr Emma Boulton, the Director of Clinic 66 (a Sydney based specialist sexual and reproductive health clinic), believes that the expansion of access to medical abortion by Telehealth (Tele-abortion) has a major part to play in helping Australian women access services. She has recently launched a trial Tele-Abortion service from her Clinic in Chatswood (NSW), in order to “fill the gap” created when the Tabbot Foundation shut down earlier this year.
“Having tested and tweaked our tele-abortion service over the past few months, we have now launched nationwide under our AbortionOnline.com.au brand, and women across Australia (except SA where tele-abortion is illegal), can access our tele-abortion service via our abortiononline.com.au website,” said Dr Boulton.
According to Emma, “medical abortion via telehealth is likely to be the preferred option for Australian women and all over the world, finally giving them autonomy over their own bodies by removing the need for them to visit health care providers face to face.”
Home-based medical abortion is intended to simplify the medical abortion regimen while providing best medical practice. Self-administration is common in many countries around the world, and medical abortion has been used by millions of women since it was approved in 1988.
Why is Tele-abortion the answer?
Medical abortion by tele-health (tele-abortion) is a safe and effective option for early stage pregnancy termination. There is overwhelming evidence to support its efficacy, though in approximately 5 % of cases it is not straightforward, which is why professional consultation and care both before and after the procedure is imperative.
Tele-abortion is particularly suitable for women who cannot access face to face abortion care locally in their community. Women consult with highly skilled experienced abortion care providers remotely by phone and video call and are prescribed and professionally guided with the medication required to complete the abortion. If a woman is suitable for tele-abortion, they can undergo the procedure in the privacy of their own home, without having to attend a clinic.
“Though abortion has finally been decriminalised in NSW, there is a long way to go in order to provide women in Australia with comprehensive abortion care,” says Dr Boulton. “Abortion is a straightforward medical intervention, ideally delivered in the community setting. It is a normal part of healthcare and it is a basic human right to have access to health care services - women deserve the right to determine what happens to their own bodies.”
“In Australia, there is a great deal of variation in the legal status of abortion between the states, so that access to basic health care services such as abortion, becomes a postcode lottery. Medical abortion by telehealth allows for some levelling of those variations - Technology enables us to do this” she said.
Who provides this service?
Expert clinicians who are highly experienced in all aspects of abortion care will run the service from the Clinic 66 Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic in Sydney and it is supported by a 24x7 professional helpline run by MSHealth (distributors of the medication).
Where is it available, and who is eligible?
Medical abortion by telehealth is available to women in the comfort and privacy of their own homes and communities, across Australia, except in South Australia where abortion care must be delivered in hospitals. Women need to meet certain criteria, such as being under 9 weeks gestation at the time of taking the medication and within a two hour drive of emergency care.
Women undergoing tele-abortion will be supported by expert abortion care health professionals who will guide and support them every step of the way to ensure that they get a safe outcome.
Unfortunately, there is no Medicare or health insurance rebate for this service. The Tele-abortion consultations will cost $395 in 2 instalments. This fee does include the entire medical abortion process including follow up but does not include the cost of investigations such as blood tests, ultrasound or the medication.
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