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‘Abortion pill’ to be available to Australian women over the phone

An “abortion pill” will be prescribed to Australian women over the phone as part of a service touted as making abortion more accessible and more affordable. From Monday women will be able to arrange a medical abortion over the phone by ordering the pill RU486.  Ultrasounds and blood tests will be organised and RU486 delivered to their […]

Newsdesk

September 29, 2015 10:19 am

An “abortion pill” will be prescribed to Australian women over the phone as part of a service touted as making abortion more accessible and more affordable.

From Monday women will be able to arrange a medical abortion over the phone by ordering the pill RU486.  Ultrasounds and blood tests will be organised and RU486 delivered to their door.

RU486 was legalised in Australia in 2006, but there has been no great uptake in doctors applying for the licence to distribute it.

Reproductive Choice Australia co-president Jenny Ejlak said:

It’s providing a similar kind of service if you went to a GP or a clinic who were providing medical termination.

You don’t need to physically travel, so for women in parts of the country where there are no clinics and no GPs licensed to prescribe this medication we’re hopeful [it] will open up access.

The service will cost AUD$250. The Tabbot Foundation said an abortion at a private clinic generally cost between AUD$300 and AUD$600.

Ejlak said “telemedicine” – prescribing medication over the phone – was already used quite frequently in Australia.

My understanding is as long as doctors are able to communicate effectively with a patient that they are a suitable candidate, then it is fine.

It’s very signficant [for women], it’s a very different approach to what’s been available in the past, it will provide access in a lot of areas where there currently is no access.

Medical termination is not suitable for everybody, there is a careful screening process. There will obviously be women for whom this is not suitable and they will need to go elsewhere.

Ejlak said her organisation had already braced for objections.

I think people who oppose abortion generally are going to be opposed to anything that improves access, we certainly anticipate protest.

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