Hidden Forces: Shining a light on Reproductive Coercion (White Paper)

Marie Stopes Australia, 2018

Reproductive Coercion (RC) is behaviour that interferes with the autonomy of a person to make decisions about their reproductive health. Many Australians do not have full control over their reproductive choices. Their choices are constrained by people in their familial and community networks or by structural forces at play in our society.

Reproductive Coercion is gaining greater attention in Australia. Brave people are coming forward to share stories of their lived experience of Reproductive Coercion in order to build greater understanding of this important issue and how it has shaped their lives.

For twenty months, Marie Stopes Australia coordinated a public consultation process that has culminated in this White Paper on Reproductive Coercion. This White Paper has emerged following a roundtable of 50 stakeholders, two phases of public submissions, comment on a draft White Paper and targeted engagement of leading
academics, healthcare professionals and psychosocial specialists.

84 submissions that have informed the development of this White Paper. These submissions have provided a wide spectrum of views on this complex issue.

 

Emergency contraception awareness in an at‐risk population

Hope, D. L., Hattingh, L. and King, M. A. (2019) J Pharm Pract Res. doi:10.1002/jppr.1554

Background

Consumer awareness of emergency contraception is generally poor. School leavers (schoolies) engage in risky behaviours, including casual sex and alcohol and drug consumption.

Aim

The aim of this study was to explore the awareness of an at‐risk population of schoolies regarding the use and availability of emergency contraception.

Methods

An electronic survey was self‐administered by participants using Wi‐Fi‐connected iPads at the Schoolies Wristband Distribution Centre, Surfers Paradise, on the first day of Queensland Schoolies Week, November 2017. Outcomes measured were awareness of the availability of emergency contraception from a pharmacy, maximum time for effective use following unprotected intercourse and whether emergency contraception is harmful to the health of the user.

Results

Schoolies completed 498 valid surveys. Most (83.5%) were aged 17 years and 50.8% were aware that emergency contraception is available from community pharmacies with prescription and 36.7% were aware that it is available without prescription; 18.5% were aware of the 72‐ or 120‐h effectiveness window and 38.0% agreed that it is not harmful. All questions were associated with considerable uncertainty. Females were 1.8‐ to 3.2‐fold more likely than males to provide an appropriate response to any emergency contraception statement.

Conclusion

Schoolies’ awareness of emergency contraception availability, effectiveness window and safety was low. At‐risk schoolies may not access emergency contraception when indicated due to fear of harm, uncertainty about its effectiveness window or a lack of knowledge about timely non‐prescription access from community pharmacies. Targeted education may improve current knowledge gaps. The misnomer ‘morning‐after pill’ should be abandoned for the clinically appropriate term ‘emergency contraception.

 

Concerns for women after SA closes two centres for surgical abortion

ABC News, 19/09/2019

Two of South Australia’s surgical abortion services have been shut down over the past 18 months, amid community concerns about the impact on women seeking care.

In January, services were relocated from the main abortion provider in the state, the Pregnancy Advisory Centre in Adelaide’s inner-western suburbs, moving all surgical abortions to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

SA Health is now looking at relocating the abortion service permanently to the QEH during the hospital’s redevelopment.

 

 

More than half of fertility and period-tracker apps ineffective at predicting ovulation, study finds

ABC Health & Wellbeing,  17/09/2019

An Australian study of the most downloaded fertility apps has found over half didn’t perform well at predicting ovulation — which is exactly what many users are using these apps for.

The findings, by researchers at Eve Health Fertility in Brisbane in conjunction with Queensland Fertility Group, were presented at a Fertility Society of Australia conference this week in Hobart.

Updated fact sheet on Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs)

SHINE SA, May 2019

We have recently updated our fact sheet on Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs). 

There has been a rise in popularity of  period tracking and fertility tracking apps, used for ‘calendar-based’ fertility awareness methods. FAMs are methods where people become aware of the signs of fertility and learn to detect when they are most likely to become pregnant.

These methods rely on the motivation, experience, commitment and cooperation of all sexual partners to be effective for contraception or conception.

The fact sheet answers question such as ‘how effective are such methods?’ and ‘what are the advantages and disadvantages?.

Reproductive coercion research – seeking GPs

The University of Melbourne, May 2019

Reproductive coercion (RC) is an under recognised form of abuse experienced by Australian women. RC refers to a group of behaviours that intend to control a woman with regards to reproduction. Contraceptive sabotage, pregnancy coercion and controlling the outcome of a pregnancy are all forms of RC and often occur alongside other forms of abuse in a relationship.

Researchers at the The University of Melbourne are undertaking a project exploring GP’s experiences responding to RC. They aim to understand how GPs identify and respond to this type of abuse. They ask that any antenatal care GPs, or GPs who prescribe medical termination of pregnancy medication to participate in a confidential interview with a member of their team. The interview can be conducted either by telephone or face to face, at a time convenient to your busy schedule. Interviews take approximately 20 minutes and all interview data will be de-identified.

Ethics ID: 1853440.

To register your interest in the project or to gain more information about the project please contact: Molly Wellington