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High Court decision welcomed

Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O’Byrne has welcomed the High Court decision recognising that women deserve to be able to access legal medical procedures free of harassment and bullying.

“I was proud to successfully introduce a private members bill into the Tasmanian Parliament in 2013 which decriminalised abortion and introduced Australia’s first access zones,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Now the matter of access zones had been dealt with by the High Court we will continue the fight to ensure affordable and safe access to terminations free from harassment.

“Under the conservative Hodgman Government, clinics have closed and women have had to leave the state and their support networks at significant cost to obtain a termination.

“It has been more than 450 days since Tasmania’s last clinic closed.

“Resolutions of the Tasmanian Parliament required Health Minister Michael Ferguson to provide a service by October 2018, which is disgracefully now nearly six months overdue.”

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $1 million to ensure Tasmania’s public health system provides the reproductive health services women are entitled to.

Ms O’Byrne called on the Morrison Government and Tasmania’s Liberal Senators to match Labor’s commitment.

“Labor’s commitment will mean Tasmanian women will no longer have to travel interstate or pay huge out-of-pocket costs to access legal, surgical terminations,” Ms O’Byrne said.