While laws and regulations regarding legal termination of pregnancy are legislated at a state and territory level, the federal government has the ability to influence policy by making changes to Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (therefore impacting the affordability of such procedures).
In the past, individual MPs have used their balance of power positions in the federal parliament to try and restrict women’s access to Medicare rebates which may be used for termination of pregnancy.
As such, Fair Agenda and Reproductive Choice Australia have teamed up to ask marginal seat candidates where they stand on this important issue. We asked candidates three questions:
- Do you support a woman's legal right to decide whether to continue or terminate her pregnancy?
- The Federal Parliament has the power to make changes to Medicare. Currently there is a small Medicare rebate for surgical termination of pregnancy. Would you support any restrictions on access to Medicare rebates for services related to pregnancy termination?
- Right now there is no medical rebate specifically for pregnancy options counselling or medical termination of pregnancy. Nor is there a rebate for sexual or reproductive health consultations aimed at educating patients about safe sex practices and contraception. Would you vote to support the creation of new Medicare item numbers to cover:
- pregnancy options counselling by medical practitioners or suitably trained nurses,
- medical termination of pregnancy, and
- a sexual and reproductive health education consultation rebate
A number of pro-choice candidates have responded to our survey, and their responses have been indicated below.
So far no other candidates have responded to the survey:
What about the parties - where do they stand? (click to view)
This is how the parties who responded to our survey scored on the same three questions:
*The Liberal and National parties were sent separate surveys; but one response was received from Coalition HQ. That response did not address these questions.
You can see the detailed explanation of how the parties responded to these questions here.
My local candidate is missing (click to view)
Fair Agenda has sent this survey to candidates in key lower house marginal seats. We have displayed the responses we received from candidates. Many candidates have not responded to our survey questions.
Given our focus on key marginal seats, not all lower house candidates will have received the survey.
Want to know where your local candidate stands before you vote? Encourage them to respond to Fair Agenda's candidate survey which they can find here:
Can you help share Fair Agenda's reproductive rights scorecard with your friends?