Additional funding to support abortion services in the ACT
Women’s Health Matters (WHM) welcomes the decision in the ACT Government’s budget to ensure that women and people with a uterus in our region have access to safe, accessible, and affordable abortion services.
From early next year, funding will be available for people to access free medical and surgical abortions for up to 16 Weeks. All ACT residents will be eligible for this service, including those without a Medicare card.
Lauren Anthes, CEO at Women’s Health Matters, says the new funding will help to alleviate some of the barriers that people face when trying to access abortions in the ACT.
“There are significant financial barriers to people accessing termination of pregnancy services in the ACT, particularly for our more vulnerable cohorts”, said Ms Anthes.
This funding and access for those without Medicare cards will help to reduce these barriers and allow people timely access to these services in the ACT.”
The announcement comes with an allocation of $4.6 million by the ACT Government to help address this pressure.
In addition to this funding the ACT Government has committed to the development of a communications package to help ensure accessibility and easier navigation of healthcare services available in the ACT.
“We welcome the commitment of funding to develop communications with stakeholders across the ACT to ensure that people will be aware and are able to access services”, said Ms Anthes.
“This will include the development of an accessible and easy to navigate website”.
This commitment from the ACT Government is a big step forward but there is always more that can be done to improve access to termination of pregnancy services in the ACT.
WHM will continue to work with the ACT Government to work towards universal access, including expanding the provision of abortion services after 16 weeks in the ACT so women and pregnant people do not need to travel interstate.
“The availability of the Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme for those who need to travel interstate is a welcome interim measure”, said Ms Anthes.
WHM looks forward to working with the ACT Government to support the implementation of this funding and welcomes the opportunity to support the development of a communications campaign.