Multicultural Centre For Women's Health

Introduction

There are fears coronavirus is stopping Australia’s migrant women from accessing abortions

MCWH Executive Director spoke with SBS News about how financial hardship caused by COVID-19 is impacting women across the country, particularly migrants who do not qualify for welfare support.

There are fears coronavirus is stopping Australia’s migrant women from accessing abortions

Excerpt from SBS News
Article by Megan Clement

‘Vulnerable pregnant women could lose access to abortion throughout Australia because of increased financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reproductive health providers have warned.

A combination of widespread job losses, differing abortion laws around the country, and patchy access to Medicare, could mean more women need financial assistance to terminate unwanted pregnancies or will face carrying their pregnancies to term.

Some providers even fear a return to people attempting unsafe abortions if women cannot afford legal terminations.

Migrants could be worst affected, says the executive director of the Multicultural Centre For Women’s Health in Melbourne, Adele Murdolo.

“So many migrant women are facing financial hardship,” she told SBS News.

“They’re much more likely to be in casual positions, so many women have lost their jobs. They are also not eligible for any of the support that has been provided by the federal government.”

Temporary visa holders in Australia are excluded from the government’s COVID-19 JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments. Many are also unable to get home due to border closures and the suspension of international flights.’

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