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Nurses And Midwives Empowered To Prescribe Abortion Medication In Queensland

Queensland is set to become the first state to introduce legislation that will allow nurses and midwives to prescribe, administer, or supply pregnancy termination medication. 

This historic move aims to enhance access to reproductive healthcare in regions often described as “abortion deserts”.

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In August, the Therapeutic Goods Administration removed restrictions on medical abortion pills, such as MS-2 Step, in the early stages of pregnancy. 

However, individual jurisdictions are responsible for determining the healthcare practitioners authorised to prescribe these medications. 

In Queensland, a Labor bill introduced on Thursday is anticipated to pass, given the parliamentary majority held by the Palaszczuk government.

Daile Kelleher, CEO of Children by Choice, described the challenges faced in areas as “huge abortion deserts,”and the access to termination healthcare is severely limited. 

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“There are areas where there’s not a single prescriber or any type of medication and there’s no surgical or hospital options for people,” Ms Kelleher said.

The legislation aims to address these issues by empowering nurses and midwives to provide essential services.

“People from regional and remote areas travel on average 200km to access a termination of pregnancy and we just don’t think that’s suitable.”

Under the legislation, doctors will remain the sole practitioners authorised to perform surgical abortions and medical terminations for gestations nine weeks and above. 

Notably, the amendments also aim to ensure inclusivity by changing references from “woman”, to “person”, allowing all pregnant individuals, including those who are transgender or gender-diverse, to access medical terminations.

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