Labor's Position on Key Issues

Women’s Reproductive Rights

March 15, 2019

Despite generally high standards of healthcare, many Australians experience poor sexual and reproductive health. Access to services – particularly through the public health system – is patchy across the country. In many cases women have to travel interstate to access services. Every Australian woman should have access to the health services she needs, where and when she needs them.


That is why I am proud that a Shorten Labor Government will deliver Australia’s first ever National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy to make sure all Australians can access safe, legal, affordable reproductive health services.


We will:

  • Review the Medicare rebate for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to ensure that cost is not a barrier to their use;
  • Ask the Therapeutic Goods Administration to advise government on options to reduce barriers to improve access to the contraceptive pill. This will include examining arrangements in New Zealand, where you can now get a three year prescription for the pill from your doctor;
  • Support access to terminations in public hospitals;
  • Review the Medicare rebate associated with medical terminations (RU486) to address access and affordability issues;
  • Support doctors in the provision of medical terminations through a new online community of practice;
  • Establish a new Tasmanian Reproductive Health Hub to ensure Tasmanian women are not forced to travel interstate due to a lack of local services;
  • Fund a national telephone referral service linking women to safe, credentialed providers of termination services;
  • Work closely with the states to progress the decriminalisation of abortion across Australia; and
  • Restore funding to the Australian Women’s Health Network – Australia’s only peak body for women’s health.


Labor’s plan will provide national leadership to ensure that all Australian women can access legal, safe, affordable reproductive health services, when and where they need them.