Extra funding for Queensland abortion services

Woman with person taking notes. | Newsreel
Queensland's abortion services are being bolstered. | Photo: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz (iStock)

Queensland’s abortion services are being bolstered as the state prepares for the introduction of nurse-performed terminations.

New laws, passed by State parliament in March, come into effect later this year and allow nurses and midwives to perform drug-induced early pregnancy terminations.

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said recruitment was underway for nurses, midwives, senior medical officers, and social workers to improve access to abortion services across the state.

Minister Fentiman said more than $20 million had been allocated for an extra 22 full-time health staff, as well as an additional $8 million to non-profit support organisation Children by Choice.

She said up to one third of Australian women experienced an unintended pregnancy in their lifetime, and in one in three of these pregnancies, women would choose termination of pregnancy.

“This funding of between $1 million and $1.6 million for each Hospital and Health Service, will see the new specialist positions work closely with patients to navigate their care options and access time-critical abortion services.”

Minister Fentiman said the investment followed law reforms which enabled suitably qualified nurses and midwives to perform termination of pregnancy using drugs such as MS2-Step, in the early stages of pregnancy.

“These laws will come into effect in the second half of 2024 and will have a real impact for women and pregnant people, with fewer people having to travel to access this healthcare, particularly in rural and remote areas of Queensland,” she said.

“Abortion is a very personal choice, and every Queenslander deserves the level of support and care we are offering with this investment.”

Children by Choice CEO Jill McKay said all people should be able to freely and safely make their own sexual and reproductive health choices without barriers.

“The decriminalisation of abortion was a landmark moment in Queensland history and correctly acknowledges that abortion is a healthcare issue.

“Despite this, the community still experience barriers to accessing this important healthcare.”