Australia should approach all aspects of reproductive health holistically and ensure abortion is accessible to people who need it, a federal government minister says.
The US Supreme Court’s overturning of a landmark abortion ruling has sparked a conversation about women’s reproductive health in Australia.
While abortion is legal in Australia, different states and territories have laws which can limit accessibility.
All levels of government should work together to provide a full suite of reproductive health for Australian women, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said.
“You need to have a holistic view of women’s reproductive health and it starts with better sex education, with young people knowing that they can say no to sex,” she told ABC radio on Tuesday.
“It goes on to much better advice and availability of contraceptives, including long acting reversible contraceptives.”
Ms Plibersek joins Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Women Katy Gallagher in supporting a person’s right to access terminations.
In opposition Labor proposed a policy of Medicare-funded abortion during the 2019 election but Ms Plibersek would not confirm if the idea will be revisited in government.
“What we know for certain is if you make abortion illegal or too expensive for women to access it doesn’t stop them having abortions,” she said.
“It just pushes them into unsafe, illegal, expensive terminations.”