Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokeperson
The ideological anti-abortion position of the Liberal Party is clearly on display by their continued refusal to provide surgical termination procedures for any woman through the public hospital system. It’s very sad, but not surprising, this denial of service is affecting women from the north and northwest most severely, as outlined today by Family Planning Tasmania chief executive Cedric Manen.
There is no truth in the statement from the Minister’s office that she is "committed to ensuring Tasmanian women are able to access the full range of women's health services".
The only way to demonstrate that commitment is to make this essential women’s health service – legal abortion – available through the public hospital system.
Minister Courtney had the chance to walk away from the trenchant anti-abortion position of the previous health minister Michael Ferguson. Instead of standing up for the health rights of Tasmanian women, she chose to bow to the views of her conservative male Liberal colleagues.
Tasmanian women have the legal right to a surgical termination if that is their choice, and like all Australians they have the right to legal operations through the public health system. It is the government’s responsibility to provide those services, and to make sure clear information about them is widely available.
The Liberals seem to be deliberately using as many barriers as they can to stop women from exercising their right to choose. Having to travel across the state adds an unfair and unnecessary element to what is often an already extremely difficult process.
Minister Courtney should make it her priority to ensure freely available surgical termination services are available at each major public hospital so that all women, from everywhere in the state, can be saved the extra anxiety and problems of organising a long distance operation.