Abortion Pills Are Now Easier to Access in Australia

Warning: This article makes reference to sexual assault, which may be distressing to some readers.

For many Aussies, abortion pills are a vital piece of medicine. They have protected our rape survivors from going through with unwanted pregnancies. They have protected others from homemade abortions.

It’s therefore a huge relief that Australia is making its abortion pills more accessible. As of 11 July, Mifepristone and Misoprostol have less bureaucratic barriers around them. Both of these drugs are approved, safe, and effective.

Before 11 July, you’d need a doctor to prescribe these medicines. You could also only acquire them from registered dispensers.

However, you can now be prescribed by Mifepristone and Misoprostol by any healthcare practitioner with the appropriate training. This means that these abortion pills can now be prescribed by some nurses. Additionally, more pharmacies can now stock these drugs.

This decision was made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and approved by the Federal Government. One such official that has commenced this move is Ged Kearney, our Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.

“We welcome these changes that remove red tape and improve equitable access to healthcare for all Australians,” said Kearney.

“We know that women experience structural barriers trying to access the health care that they need, particularly in regional and rural areas. That’s why it’s so important that all health practitioners can perform the care that they are already trained to provide.”

This decision was also praised by Professor Danielle Mazza, the Head of General Practice at Monash University.

Mazza said, “This very welcome decision aims to destigmatise and increase access to abortion and bring Australia into line with countries such as Canada, which in 2017 completely deregulated mifepristone, providing evidence not only of continued safety, but also a marked increase in the number of providers.”

“Restrictive arrangements since medical abortion became available in Australia, in 2012, led to access problems, particularly for women who had limited incomes.”

Related: Abortions Are Now Free in Canberra

Related: Period Poverty in Australia — What You Can Do to Help

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the National Sexual Assault, domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service.