Family Planning NSW celebrates 90 years by looking to the future

MEDIA RELEASE

28 October 2016

Family Planning: The Next Generation Conference - 3 and 4 November 2016

To commemorate 90 years as the state's leading provider of reproductive and sexual health services, Family Planning NSW, the first family planning organisation in Australia, is hosting a two-day conference on November 3 and 4. It focuses on opportunities and challenges surrounding reproductive and sexual health internationally and locally.

The CEO of Family Planning NSW, Adjunct Professor Ann Brassil said "To celebrate this milestone, we want to create conversations about the future of family planning and reproductive and sexual health in Australia and overseas."

During the conference, some issues being explored are:

  • the relevance of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, to which Australia is a signatory
  • how we can integrate reproductive and sexual health with a faith-based perspective
  • what it really means to be a pro-choice organisation including issues around adoption and abortion, as well as issues relating to parenting, fertility, men and other topics.

Keynote speakers are local and overseas experts in their fields, including:

Jon O'Brien, President of Catholics for Choice, USA will be speaking about policy and reproductive choice in a religious context. Catholics for Choice amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who support access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion.

"Catholics for Choice works to change the conversation regarding sexual and reproductive rights to one where the conscience of each person is recognized as the keystone of moral decision making," said Mr. O'Brien. "I am delighted to join friends and colleagues at Family Planning NSW to discuss how we can work together to make this happen."

Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, an organisation committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health rights in Canada and globally. Sandeep, who is a human rights lawyer, will speak about the processes underpinning the Sustainable Development Goals and their accountabilities.

"Every country of the world has committed itself to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, prioritizing the poorest and most marginalized. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are an integral part of that agenda. Now it's up to civil society to press for implementation and hold governments accountable to their commitments."

Prof Elizabeth Sullivan and Dr Angela Dawson, both from UTS in the Faculty of Health, will present separate discussions around the latest research on early abortion in NSW, providing insight into the motivations and experiences of both health professionals and women accessing abortion services.

Prof Brassil says the 90th anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate where we have come from and to think about where we should be heading.

"This conference is not just about celebrating 90 years of commitment to the community. It's also about looking forward, remaining relevant and being effective advocates for reproductive and sexual health."

She says that our core values and principles remain steadfast. "We continue to focus on human rights, inclusiveness and equity of access with integrity."

The two-day conference is aimed at raising controversial and unfinished agendas and exploring opportunities for the improvement of reproductive and sexual health into the future.

For full program overview: www.fpnsw.org.au/conference2016

For media enquiries contact Netta Kovach on 02 8752 4253 or media@fpnsw.org.au
 

Background

Family Planning NSW provides expertise in contraception, pregnancy options, sexually transmissible infections (STIs), sexuality and sexual function, menstruation, menopause, common gynaecological and vaginal problems, cervical screening, breast awareness and men's sexual health.

We provide extensive clinical services, as well as best-practice education and training in reproductive and sexual health for professionals and the community. We are a recognised research organisation and provide an international development program in the Pacific. As an independent, not-for-profit organisation, we recognise that every body in every family should have access to high quality clinical services and information.

We provide a safe place for people to talk about their most intimate and personal issues.

We respect the rights of our clients to make choices about their reproductive and sexual health and we treat each and every person with respect, dignity and understanding.

Catholics for Choice strives to be an expression of Catholicism as it is lived by ordinary people. We are part of the great majority of the faithful in the Catholic church who disagrees with the dictates of the Vatican on matters related to sex, marriage, family life and motherhood.

We are part of the great majority who believes that Catholic teachings on conscience mean that every individual must follow his or her own conscience - and respect others' right to do the same. At Catholics for Choice, we believe that this is the world where the meaning of choice can truly be realized.

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