Hopeful News Alert: Abortions Are Now Free in Canberra

Fact: Having access to abortion clinics doesn’t increase the amount of abortions. It increases the amount of safe abortions. It increases the amount of people going to a professional, instead of having one in their living room. 

Therefore, it’s worth noting that the ACT has just made a very smart move. The ACT has just made abortions free in both Canberra and the surrounding territory.

As the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, said, “This is about providing women and people who need an abortion with access to the right supports and services without stigmatisation or financial burden. Abortion is a health service and not being able to access appropriate care in a timely way can have a detrimental impact on a person’s mental and physical health as well as socioeconomic consequences.”

“The ACT Government will continue to invest in appropriate, accessible and equitable healthcare to ensure all Canberrans can access the right care, at the right time.”

Now, let’s get a bit more specific. This program will initially run for over four years and cost $4.6 million. It will give all ACT residents free medical abortions up to nine weeks and free surgical abortions up to 16 weeks.

The free medical abortions are available through MSI Australia, a GP, or a telehealth service. Meanwhile, free surgical abortions are only available through MSI Australia.

“Abortion care is basic healthcare and it is wonderful that the ACT has stepped up and become the first jurisdiction in Australia to fund free access to abortion care,” said MSI Canberra’s Melissa Ryan.

The Clinic Nurse Unit Manager also said, “We regularly see people who are struggling to pay for the cost of abortion care, and this will make such a huge difference to the lives of countless people. It means women and pregnant people in the ACT can make an informed decision.”

Your move, the rest of Australia, your move.

Related: What Are Australia’s Abortion Laws?

Related: Why the ACT Government Decriminalised Drug Use

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