COVID-19: pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding – statements & guidance

Various sources, March 2020

Early medical abortion: reflections on current practice

O&G Magazine (RANZCOG), by Dr Lisa Rasmussen

In the last 30 years, medical abortion has globally become an established, safe and straightforward method for pregnancies of less than nine weeks gestation. It is now recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists as the method of choice for women up to nine weeks gestation.

The reality of providing medical abortion for women, however, is a more complex matter. Abortion services are contextualised by the specific and, at times, changing abortion laws in each country and state. These laws, in turn, are determined and maintained by each jurisdiction’s specific gendered social and political histories, practices and attitudes.

In Australia and New Zealand, this context continues to affect who can provide medical abortions, the models of care adopted, the ongoing struggle to provide affordable and accessible care to all women, and the level to which medical abortion is accepted as a normal and important part of women’s healthcare.

Within the context of these histories and challenges, this article will attempt to guide you through the process of providing a medical abortion as a health practitioner.

More LGBTQI content needed at medical schools – survey

Radio New Zealand,  23 June 2018

There are gaps in gender identity and sexuality education at medical schools, staff at the country’s two providers say. The findings were published in the most recent New Zealand Medical Journal, after surveying staff from both the Universities of Otago and Auckland.

Two-thirds said it was important and both schools would like to see more content and earlier education for medical students. When asked how much LGBTQI content was included in their module, 54 percent responded “none at all”, while 33 percent responded “a little.”

The survey’s author, University of Otago’s Charlene Rapsey, said education relating to gender identity and sexuality did happen but most material was not covered until a student’s third year – and it should at second year.

Pregnant women are at increased risk of domestic violence in all cultural groups

The Conversation, April 26, 2018 6.00pm AEST

Domestic violence occurs across all age groups and life stages. Rather than reducing during pregnancy, expecting a child is a key risk factor for domestic violence beginning or escalating.

Our research, published today in the journal BMJ Open, found that 4.3% of pregnant women due to give birth in Western Sydney disclosed domestic violence when asked about it by a midwife at her first hospital visit. The study examined more than 33,000 ethnically diverse women who gave birth between 2006 and 2016, and found that these disclosures spanned all cultural groups.

One in four people say those in same-sex relationships ‘should be charged as criminals’

The Guardian, 1st November 2017

More than one in four people across the world think people engaging in same-sex relationships should be charged as criminals, according to a new survey of 77 countries and territories.

However, there were major divisions in attitudes towards the criminalisation of those engaging in same-sex relationships when broken down across regions, the 2017 Ilga-Riwi global attitudes survey to sexual and gender minorities found.

Vaccine for Meningitis Shows Some Protection Against Gonorrhea

New Zealand Family Planning

Some strains of the bacterium that cause gonorrhoea are now resistant to all available antibiotics. With no new drugs on the near horizon, the disease is in desperate need of a vaccine.

Our research, published in the Lancet medical journal this week, shows that protection against gonorrhoea could come from an unexpected source – a vaccine against meningococcal group B disease.