The current coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of society worldwide, including how we live our day-to-day lives here in Australia. This includes numerous economic, social, health, and personal impacts. Many women are justifiably concerned as to how the COVID-19 health crisis might impact their sexual and reproductive health rights, including access to abortions.

Doctors across the nation have been seeking clarity around how surgeons and their patients will be able to travel, to provide and access abortion services, in light of current self-isolation and travel restrictions.
Women must continue to have access to this essential service.

The Impact of Economic Downturn on Abortions

Based on historical data, birthrates tend to decline following an economic downturn. This was demonstrated following the 2008 global financial crisis, impacting fertility rates throughout the USA, Europe, and Australia. This was triggered by employment losses, women’s increased paid workforce participation, and welfare cuts.

During a pandemic and subsequent downturn, however, unwanted pregnancy rates may be more prevalent. This may be an expected consequence of prolonged periods of isolation, which will be maximized during the COVID-19 lockdown. Income losses mean that some women may be unable to afford reproductive health care and contraception. Some women may also be isolated at home with a partner who does not respect her reproductive and sexual rights.

Access to abortions during a pandemic is more difficult, as many doctors are unable to perform the procedure due to travel restrictions, social lockdown, and other implications which also affect women requiring these services. Women will experience limitations on their access to healthcare, especially in remote areas. Issues such as the ability to travel to meet this need must be addressed by the government urgently.
It is critical for women and their families that access to healthcare, including effective contraception as well as timely abortion services, be maintained during COVID-19.

Government Stance on Abortions During Coronavirus

The Australian government acknowledges that termination of a pregnancy is an essential service and, as such, abortion is classed as a Category 1 Urgent Procedure.

During the current COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis, Category 1 Urgent Procedures and a few Category 2 procedures deemed urgent are the only procedures which may be performed in hospitals and private practice clinics or surgicentres.

What does Category 1 mean? This classification is applied to any patient requiring treatment within 30 days. Their condition is considered to have the potential to deteriorate quickly and to the extent that the patient’s circumstances may become an emergency.

Abortions comply with this classification as they must be performed within a strict time frame. The earlier an abortion is performed in a pregnancy, the safer it is and the better for a woman’s physical, mental, and emotional outcomes.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has argued that, as well as abortions, treatments for miscarriages, gynaecological cancers, acute pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy risk assessments should be also given Category 1 classification.

Gynaecology Centres Australia – OPEN as an Essential Service

All five Gynaecology Centres Australia locations in NSW are open for treatment.

We are considered by the government to be an ESSENTIAL SERVICE and we are continuing to provide our premium, compassionate, confidential abortion services as normal, throughout the COVID-19 health crisis and beyond.

Our stringent infection control policies and practices are always of the highest standards, however, we have implemented additional precautions at this time to properly address the unprecedented risks and to mitigate any potential for spread of this coronavirus.

Please call our clinic on (02) 9159 6894 or contact us today via our website.