The reproductive health of women and the gender-diverse community has been ignored for decades, impacting their quality of life and often interrupting workforce participation. In a healthcare system that systematically neglects non-male bodies and is vulnerable to misogynistic religious interference, the health and well-being of over half of Australia’s population is suffering.
This year, we’ve watched the US overturn Roe v. Wade and been told how lucky we are to have reproductive freedom, but when a patient can present to a public Victorian hospital and be denied life-saving reproductive care on religious grounds, can we really say that we are that much different?
We give a shit about reproductive health. That's why this election Reason is calling for:
Real relief for women and gender-diverse people dealing with endo: On average it takes 7-10 years for a person to receive an endometriosis diagnosis, with women constantly having their pain dismissed and being told they ‘just have PMS’. Once they finally find a doctor that listens, these patients are then forced to suffer out-of-pocket expenses and months-long waiting lists, enduring debilitating pain in the interim. We need a fully integrated endometriosis and pelvic pain centre for Victoria to cut diagnosis delays and increase treatment access.
No right to refuse: Religious public hospitals in Victoria are still given the right to refuse to provide abortions, contraception, and other reproductive healthcare services - even when patients’ lives are at stake. Residents of remote and regional areas must often race against time to secure abortion access, travelling to multiple screening and specialist appointments and multiple referrals whilst the clock is ticking. Reason calls to significantly increase access to abortion, contraception, and family planning advice across the Victorian public health system and in all Victorian regions.
Workplace education: Women and gender-diverse people are forced to take leave to deal with the physical and mental health impacts of fluctuating hormones. Reason supports menopause and menstruation education and support for Victorian workplaces, with a view of increasing women and gender-diverse peoples’ workforce participation.
This weekend, Bernie Finn, the Proud Boys, and far-right Christians will march to further restrict access to abortion in Australia. While we support their right to protest, at the same we are concerned this is the sign of what could happen if the right gain a balance of power in the upper house.
During this term of parliament, our Reason Party leader Fiona Patten secured additional funding for endo and tabled a No Right to Refuse Bill - this is unfinished business that we want to resolve in the next term.
Reason gives a sh*t about reproductive health. If you do too and want to support our campaign, click here to lend a hand.