As of 7 July 2022, barriers to accessing abortion in South Australia will be reduced. This comes after years of advocacy for a new law that decriminalises abortion care. It is estimated that in Australia 1 in 3 people with a uterus will have an abortion in their lifetime. The decriminalisation of abortion in South Australia will make abortion care safer and reduce disparities of care.
What will change for people seeking abortion in South Australia?
Telehealth abortion care is now available. Access to telehealth abortion care is particularly important for those seeking abortions in rural and remote South Australia and for those who face other barriers to seeking in-person abortion care services.
GPs can now prescribe scripts for medical/medication abortion. Medication abortion involves taking medication and is safe and effective. Having access to medication abortion through a GP means that clients will no longer need to go to hospital for this treatment.
Client’s informed consent is now front and centre in abortion care services. This best practice care means that the client can make decisions about their reproductive health care as the experts of their situation with support and information provided by their health professional. Clients are still able to access counselling, but it is their choice. The medical practitioner must provide information to the person about how to access counselling, including publicly funded counselling. Multiple studies suggest that pregnancy counselling is able to provide better support for clients when it is a choice rather than dictated by law.
What happens next?
People seeking abortions can contact the Pregnancy Advisory Centre (7117 8999) to discuss their options. Over the coming months more information will be shared about the accessibility of abortion through GPs and other abortion care providers.
You can learn more via SA Health’s website.