It’s time to lift the restrictions on medical abortion in Australia – Professor Caroline de Costa

The Conversation, April 1, 2019 6.13am AEDT

Over the past thirteen years, many Australian women have used the drug mifepristone (RU486) to bring about a medical abortion.

Rather than undergoing a surgical abortion in a clinic or hospital operating theatre, a medical abortion is induced by taking drugs prescribed by a doctor.

But while mifepristone has been available in Australia since 2006, only some women, in some parts of the country, are able to access it. Professor Caroline de Costa argues in the Medical Journal of Australia that this needs to change.

The Ban on ‘Amyl’

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently postponed its decision on whether or not to change the law around alkyl nitrites (the active ingredient in ‘amyl’ or ‘poppers’). Currently, the TGA is conducting public consultations into the proposed amendments that could see amyl recategorised as a ‘prohibited substance’.

The legal consequence of this decision could see amyl fall into the same category as prohibited drugs like heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, with serious penalties for their possession, use or supply. This issue has raised concerns within our communities where amyl is used during sex.

Submissions to the TGA

The deadline for written submissions to the TGA closed on 15 January 2019; however, a number of organisations expressed their concerns including:

Earlier this month, the Nitrites Action Group (comprised of community health advocates, researchers, and clinicians) released guidelines around community submissions to the TGA.

 

Responding to LGBT conversion therapy in Australia: report

GLHV@ARCSHS, La Trobe University & Human Rights Law Centre, 2018

This report highlights the nature, extent and impact of LGBT conversion therapies in Australia.

The report is designed to help government, support services and faith communities to better respond to those experiencing conflict between their gender identity or sexual orientation and their beliefs.

S.A. sex workers more confident for law reform second time round

InDaily, Wednesday May 30, 2018

The Sex Industry Network will rally outside parliament on Friday for International Sex Workers Day after Greens MLC Tammy Franks earlier this month introduced new legislation to legalise sex work in state.

The Legislative Council passed a similar bill in July last year however it failed to pass the lower house before the March election.

 

Australian sex workers fear US anti-trafficking laws could make the internet off limits

ABC News, 10/4/2018

Think about the tools you use for work, and then imagine a legal change on the other side of the world could take them out of your hands.

Sex workers fear that could happen in Australia if a contentious US bill becomes law. It’s aimed at making websites liable if they’re used to facilitate “sex trafficking”.

Like every profession, sex work is increasingly online, which means it often occurs on American web platforms.

 

Pelvic mesh implant patients want answers from Senate report

ABC 730 report, 26/3/2018

A steady stream of Australian women with pelvic mesh implants have spent tens of thousands of dollars flying to a clinic in Missouri to have their implants removed, claiming they have suffered major side-effects from the implants used to treat prolapse and incontinence.

More than 35 Australian women have made the journey to the same practitioner because, they say, they don’t have faith in Australian surgeons to carry out a full removal of their implant.

The claim that Australia does not have the expertise is rejected by both the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).