In recent times, the definition of “reproductive health” has been narrowed to include only those services that seek to prevent or terminate a pregnancy. What is your party’s position on including support for women hoping to conceive children as part of “reproductive health” strategies?
The Australian Greens support all Australians being able to access public health care, including maternity and IVF services. We have announced a significant investment in public health, and have recently announced a specific policy which aims to improve rates of breastfeeding and improve women’s experiences of hospital maternity services.
Labor believes all Australian women should be able to access improved reproductive health care, and we consider the term reproductive health to include the full range of services women need. Our policy goal is to deliver better health outcomes for all women at different points of their lives and, through that effort, enhance their lives and the lives of their families. That’s why we’re committed to delivering a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy to address the broad range of reproductive health issues women face.
Our strategy will focus on five key priority areas, including:
- Supporting women to manage their ability to conceive a child and boost women’s control over their fertility.
- Preventing, diagnosing and treating sexually transmissible infections to reduce their impact on women’s sexual and reproductive health.
- Addressing specific reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, transvaginal mesh and female genital mutilation.
- Improving access to services to support reproductive rights so that women who choose to do so can access safe, legal, affordable termination services if they need them.
- Restoring national leadership to ensure that Australians can access safe, legal, quality sexual and reproductive health services and supports based on health care need – not geography, socioeconomic status or other characteristics
We want to bring back common sense. Plainly ‘reproductive health’ includes support for conceiving children, and even support for those with unwanted pregnancies, fits that category.
The Coalition supports access to a range of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), including IVF and medicines to assist with reproductive health on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These have been long standing arrangements which the Morrison Government continues to support.
It is a matter for the individual to decide.