Australian physicians unwilling to provide late term psychosocial abortions

A former health services commissioner who was among those behind the passage of a controversial abortion law in the State of Victoria is complaining that the law is “being thwarted at the service provision level.”  Her concern focuses on women seeking late term abortions – apparently 16 through 24 weeks gestation and beyond.  Physicians are reported to be willing to provide late term abortions only for eugenic reasons, but about 70 women annually ask for late term abortions for “psychosocial reasons.”  Another factor reducing availability appears to be the need to give priority to devote health care resources to addressing illness and other health problems over “psychosocial” issues.  One clinical advisor has suggested that this could be rectified by a regulation requiring that abortion be given legal priority. [The Age]

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