State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will use the resumption of Parliament today to call on the NSW Health Minister to provide urgent funding for the opening of a new service or the expansion of existing services for family planning and termination services in the Hunter.
Ms Hornery will move a Notice of Motion following the closure of the Marie Stopes clinic in August this year which left women in the Hunter with limited access to services.
The closure of the clinic has meant many women are now facing uncertainty around their options of family planning and termination services.
A lack of local specialists has forced women to travel to Sydney or face considerably more expensive local services to access their right to safe termination.
The Notice of Motion calls on the Minister to provide urgent funding to open a new service or work with existing providers to expand services for women in the Hunter.
“It is a real concern when a health service such as the Marie Stopes clinic, which provides safe access to health care for women, closes down,” Ms Hornery said.
“The closure of the clinic means Hunter women face uncertainty around their options of family planning and termination services.
“Women should not be put in a position where they may have to make rushed decisions or will find themselves unable to travel, with later gestations or having to negotiate their circumstances around other carer responsibilities.
“Women have the right to choose, and to enable this they have to be able to access the health services they need.
“Telehealth is not a viable option for such sensitive situations and could be forcing women that may be in a DV relationship to be put in further danger.
“My Notice of Motion calls on the Health Minister to provide urgent funding for the opening of a new service, or the expansion of the Gynaecology Centres Newcastle clinic at Broadmeadow.
“Accessing termination services shouldn’t be a postcode lottery, our public hospitals and health services should have reproductive health in their basic services.
“Unlike other states and territories, the NSW Government has done very little to ensure reproductive and termination services are accessible, equitable and affordable for people in regional parts of our state.
“It’s time the NSW Government stepped up,” said Ms Hornery.