The Health (Improving Abortion Access) Amendment Bill 2018 will amend the Health Act 1993 to improve access to safe and legal abortions for people in the ACT.
The changes will enable medical terminations of pregnancy (using medication rather than a surgical procedure) to be carried out in a location of the woman’s choosing, with care provided by a trained GP or nurse practitioner. At present, medical terminations can only be carried out at a clinic that also meets the requirements for surgical terminations. It also means that only facilities providing surgical terminations, not medical terminations, are required to be listed in the notifiable instrument.
This change will make medical termination more accessible to women in the ACT, and provide women with the ability to choose a service provider according to her individual needs.
WCHM has provided advice on the needs of ACT women to improved access to medical termination of pregnancy to Caroline Le Couteur, who sponsored the legislation, and Minister Meegan Fitzharris.