ALHR: Government must do more to protect reproductive health rights

Lawyers Weekly, 22 March 2018

The leading advocacy group for human rights law in Australia has called on the federal government to better ensure the country is meeting its international obligations to protect women and girls when it comes to processes such as abortion. 

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – said they would lobby Treasurer Scott Morrison to cease funding of family planning services that include abortion, both in Australia and internationally.

We are ignoring the sex lives of women in rural Australia and they are paying the price

SMH, 11 March 2018 — 2:59 pm

Every day rural women, particularly adolescent girls, face considerable barriers to seeking family planning services like contraception and safe abortions, STD treatment, and gynaecology appointments.

The consequences of inaccessibility are evident in the numbers: teenage pregnancy is declining in Australia overall, but is still disproportionately high in regional towns.

Pregnancy problems are leading global killer of ​​females aged 15 to 19

The Guardian, Tuesday 16 May 2017

Pregnancy complications are the leading cause of death globally among females aged 15-19, with self-harm in second place, a global study has found.

More than 1.2 million female and male adolescents die annually, the World Health roaOrganization (WHO) report said – the majority from preventable causes including mental health issues, poor nutrition, reproductive health problems and violence.

 

Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014–15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017

Immunisation against the highly contagious human papillomavirus (HPV) can prevent cervical and other cancers, and other HPV-related diseases. The National HPV Vaccination Program has been immunising adolescent girls since 2007 and was extended to boys in 2013.

This third Healthy Communities report on HPV immunisation shows the percentage of girls aged 15 across 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas who were fully immunised against HPV in 2014–15. For the first time, the percentage of boys fully immunised are also shown by PHN area.

The report finds that in 2014–15:

  • Nationally, nearly 79% of girls aged 15 were fully immunised against HPV, an increase from 74% in 2013–14 and 72% in 2012–13
  • There remains relatively large variation in HPV immunisation rates for girls across PHN areas, ranging from 86% of girls fully immunised in Murrumbidgee (NSW) to 67% in Tasmania
  • Nationally, 67% of boys aged 15 were fully immunised against HPV and across PHN areas percentages ranged from 78% in Gippsland (Vic) to 57% in the Northern Territory.

Download Healthy Communities: HPV immunisation rates in 2014–15 (PDF, 3.5 MB)

Domestic violence leading cause of hospitalised assault among girls and women in Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 19 April 2017

Nearly 6,500 women and girls were hospitalised due to assault in Australia in 2013–14, with the violence usually perpetrated by a partner or spouse, according to new analysis from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The data, available as part of a new series of fact sheets on selected injuries, shows that over half of hospitalised assaults against women and girls were perpetrated by spouses or domestic partners (59% of cases where the perpetrator was specified), with injuries to the head most common (61%).

Parents and other family members accounted for nearly half of the remaining cases where the type of perpetrator was specified.

Female genital mutilation is hurting Australian girls and we must work together to stamp it out

The Conversation, February 9th, 2017

Female genital mutilation or cutting is largely hidden in Australia and other high-income countries. Most people don’t consider it a major issue. But our research shows it should be.

Our research found girls are presenting to paediatricians in Australia with female genital mutilation, but misconceptions about the practice are common and doctors want more information on how to manage this illegal practice.

  • Read more of article here 
  • Read Female genital mutilation and cutting: a systematic literature review of health professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and clinical practice (open access) here
  • Read Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians (open access) here