Thanks to the US Supreme Court gutting America’s abortion rights, many folks around the world are worried their country will be next to succumb to such cruelty. This may even be the case in Australia, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated that he won’t make abortions here a federally protected right.
However, we have to celebrate the wins when they come, and Canberra’s doing something worth celebrating. From early 2023, the ACT Government will be giving Canberrans access to free medical and surgical abortions up to 16 weeks. Here are all the details you need to know:
Why Is the ACT Government Making Abortion Access Free?
According to Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Women, Yvette Berry, this call will improve the health outcomes of so many Canberrans. “By removing the cost barriers for abortions, we are improving access to affordable and accessible health services across the ACT,” she stated. Berry also explained, “Individuals will be supported to make a choice about having an abortion without being influenced by financial barriers. It also means that having an abortion can occur in a time sensitive manner without being delayed due to an inability to pay.”
Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, had similar sentiments when discussing this program. She stated, “With one in three women estimated to experience an unexpected pregnancy in their lifetime, it is essential that these services are safe, affordable, and accessible, regardless of how much money you have.”
Women’s Health Matters CEO, Lauren Anthes, also welcomed this move. “Timely access is vital as services become more expensive and harder to access over time,” she expressed. “This funding will help people access surgical abortion as soon as possible.”
How Many Years Will Canberra’s Abortion Program Last?
The Government is investing over $4.6 million to remove out-of-pocket costs. This cash is expected to cover four years’ worth of free abortions throughout Canberra. Moreover, at the time of one’s abortion, the patient will be able to receive a free long-acting reversible contraceptive. Let’s fight for this scheme to continue forever and that other places in Australia adopt similar ones.