News, media releases

Tasmanian women again betrayed by Ferguson on terminations

  • Access to safe, affordable terminations still restricted after government report
  • Minister Ferguson determined to shut down women’s health services
  • Premier’s refusal to stand up to his conservative colleagues badly lets women down

Health Minister Michael Ferguson has betrayed Tasmanian women and families by delivering a report on access to terminations which establishes further obstacles rather than providing solutions.

Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said the recommendations of the report will not resolve the issue of access to safe, affordable termination services.

“Minister Ferguson has delivered nothing – in fact he has delivered further hindrance and obstruction because, it’s also clear, he was determined to get his own way in blocking access,” Ms Lovell said.

“This is a decision that puts women in the unacceptable position of having to beg for help.

“Women will be no better off and in fact women in some areas of Tasmania like the North West will be worse off because terminations will be carried out only through a fly-in, fly-out service – at an unspecified cost and frequency – in Hobart.

“The Patient Transport and Travel Assistance Scheme which Tasmanian women have been using to travel to Melbourne to access services will now only be available for intrastate travel.

“And the private service in Hobart will not be available until October – contingent on negotiations being finalised – leaving women in limbo for the next four months.

“It’s appalling the way Michael Ferguson and this Liberal government have treated this issue and treated women.

“At the end of the day, this is a decision unfairly, unacceptably based on the ideology of the government’s hard right Cabinet members.

“Premier Hodgman had an opportunity to stand up to those conservative voices including Michael Ferguson and provide health services for women.

“Again he has utterly failed.”