Australia: PM won't revive hospital abortion policy

PM won’t revive hospital abortion policy

  PM won’t revive hospital abortion policy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is not considering a policy that would require public hospitals to provide abortion services to receive federal funding.Despite Labor taking the policy to the 2019 election in opposition, Anthony Albanese said he is not considering it in government.

A proposal requiring public hospitals to provide abortion services as part of their federal funding arrangements will not be revived, the prime minister says.

Anthony Albanese has ruled out a proposal to tie federal funding for hospitals to abortion services. © Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Anthony Albanese has ruled out a proposal to tie federal funding for hospitals to abortion services.

Despite Labor taking the policy to the 2019 election in opposition, Anthony Albanese said he is not considering it in government.

Although public hospitals receive funding from the Commonwealth, it's up to the states to decide what services are offered, he said.

"We don't control the health system, states control the health system and they deal with these issues," Mr Albanese told Melbourne radio 3AW.

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But national gender equity organisation Fair Agenda is calling for all levels of government to work together to ensure reproductive and sexual health services are affordable, accessible and safe in Australia.

"There are significant barriers in Australia for people in regional and remote as well as culturally and linguistically diverse communities," campaign manager Alyssa Shaw told AAP.

"It shouldn't be a postcode lottery dependent on where you live."

Abortion should be treated as the health issue it is and be fully covered by Medicare and the PBS, Ms Shaw said.


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Meanwhile, Queensland government assistant minister Brittany Lauga wants the prime minister to reconsider the proposal for public hospital funding arrangements, which would make termination services more widely available.

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"The state and the Commonwealth definitely need to work together to help provide these services," she told The Oz website.

"The state cannot do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to reproductive health."

The US Supreme Court's overturning of a landmark abortion ruling in June has sparked a conversation about women's reproductive health in Australia.

But Australia does not have the same debate as in the United States, the prime minister said.

"We're fortunate that in Australia we don't have the sort of divisive debate ... that we've seen playing out with a Supreme Court decision on Roe versus Wade," he said.

"It's a very unfortunate decision."

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher will meet with her state and territory counterparts on Friday to decide on key policy areas for the Albanese government.

The meeting is expected to cover a range of important matters for Australian women but focus particularly on gender equality, women's economic security and women's safety.

A victory in Kansas shows the sense of Australia’s abortion rights strategy .
The referendum in Kansas saw 60% of voters protecting abortion rights, which bodes well for American women looking to claw back their legal dignity and liberty.Sixty per cent of Kansans voted to protect abortion rights, a figure that dwarfed the 40% who wanted the constitution changed so the Republican-dominated state legislature could follow the lead of surrounding states and ban the procedure outright.

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