It is outrageous that women's groups and health professionals who should know much better are complaining that the Northern Territory government is restricting medical abortion.
Dr Suzanne Belton, Chair of the Northern Territory Family Planning association demonstrates a dangerous ignorance about the potential harm from medical abortion to women in rural and remote areas of the country.
She proposes arguments for medical abortion that are inconsistent with the recommended and appropriate health care of women when she laments that fact that, "Women face a road trip of hundreds of kilometres, which could take several days, to reach Darwin orAlice Springs, and may have trouble affording childcare or negotiating time off work.".
All recommended guidelines for the use of medical abortion state that women must be within a very short distance of emergency medical care following commencement of a medical abortion regime. To propose that women in remote communities should have access to a potentially very dangerous drug without access to such services is at best irresponsible. This is not a procedure suited to the needs of women in rural and remote areas, even if they have a GP in their smaller communities able to prescribe it.
Keep in mind it may also be difficult to negotiate childcare and time off work while undergoing what some women have described as 'the most excruciating pain that went on for 3 days' and 'I bled so much I couldn't believe I wasn't going to die'.