MEDIA CALL - 29 WOMEN A WEEK FORCED INTERSTATE FOR ABORTION CARE

29 women with suitcases will be marching from the corner of Elizabeth St and Martin Pl, Sydney, ending their walk out the front of NSW Parliament. This group symbolises the NSW women forced interstate each week for abortion care.

WHEN: Monday, September 16, 2019 10.15am

WHERE: Corner of Elizabeth St & Martin Pl, Sydney

INTERVIEWS: NSW Pro-Choice Alliance Chair Wendy McCarthy and Family Planning CEO Adj. Prof Ann Brassil

MEDIA CONTACT: 0402 880 653

29 WOMEN A WEEK FORCED INTERSTATE FOR ABORTION CARE

EACH week 29 NSW women are forced to travel interstate to have an abortion as appropriate care is not available in their home state. NSW Pro-Choice Alliance Chair Wendy McCarthy said this migration of patients was an appalling reality that saw women forced to endure extra costs, travel and isolation.

"It's a failure that NSW women simply can't get the abortion care they need at home," Ms McCarthy said.

"There is no other area of healthcare where NSW patients routinely need to travel interstate to access care. NSW needs to remove abortion from the criminal code and start caring for its women."

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill - which aims to decriminalise abortion in NSW - is due to return to the NSW Upper House tomorrow.

Family Planning CEO Adj. Prof Ann Brassil said travel placed increased burdens on women trying to access an abortion - particularly those living in rural areas, women dealing with domestic violence, young mothers who had children to care for and those struggling financially.

"This burden of travel is felt most by rural and regional women who face major delays, costs and access issues because of the criminalisation of abortion in this state," Prof Brassil said.

"Continuing to regulate abortion as a crime shows a clear disregard and contempt for the one in four NSW women who will have an abortion in their lifetime. These laws create barriers for the most vulnerable women in our society and impede the efforts of health workers to provide full and expert care to women. It is high time we started trusting women and doctors to make responsible, ethical and compassionate decisions in their local health setting.

"Ultimately, it is time for the Upper House to move forward with the issue at hand which is stopping the criminalisation of women and their doctors for accessing and providing health care."

Media contact: 0402 880 653

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