EXPERTS are in the dark about the extent to which abortion is contributing to Australia’s historically low teenage birth rate, prompting renewed calls for the collection of national abortion data.
In a Perspective published by the MJA, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jennifer Marino, research fellow at the University of Melbourne, have called for the collection of abortion data in all states and territories, with national integration and analysis. They further called for publicly funded abortion clinics in all states and territories, with a feasible plan for access for people living in remote areas.
National Condom Day is 14 February, a day to promote healthy sexual relationships and encourage the use of condoms. Condoms are not only a form of contraception but are also able to protect against STIs. With national rates of STIs rising it’s important that people understand the benefits of condoms.
The benefits of condoms include reducing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and reducing the risk of STIs. They are also available without prescription and are easy to obtain.
Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:
“Valentine’s Day is also National Condom Day – which reminds us that around one in five young people have chlamydia, but up to 75% will have no symptoms. Condoms and regular testing protect you and your sexual partner against STIs. We encourage all young people to use condoms as well as get regular sexual health checks from a GP or at our SHINE SA clinics.”
SHINE SA has free condoms at our clinic reception desks and offer free sexual health checks for people under 30.
ONE in four women who responded to a national telephone survey reported falling pregnant in the past 10 years without planning to do so, and 30.4% of those pregnancies ended in abortion, according to the authors of a research letter published online today by the Medical Journal of Australia.
Ten years after the only other national household survey on the subject of mistimed or unplanned pregnancy, researchers led by Professor Angela Taft, a principal research fellow at the Judith Lumley Centre at La Trobe University, undertook a national random computer-assisted telephone (mobile and landline) survey (weekdays, 9 am–8 pm) during December 2014 – May 2015. Women aged 18–45 years with adequate English were asked whether they had had an unintended pregnancy during the past 10 years, and whether any unintended pregnancy was unwanted.
Despite the availability of effective contraception in Australia, we found that, as in the United States, about half of the unintended pregnancies were in women not using contraception. Research is required to explore the reasons for not doing so, and to determine where education would be most helpful