Goulburn Valley Pregnancy and Family Support Service comments on push to have abortion drug RU486 added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.ESTELLE GRIEPINK April 30, 2013 4:04am
A pregnancy support service is urging Goulburn Valley women to seek ‘‘good, solid information’’ before making a decision on using a controversial abortion drug.
The comments were made as the nation debates whether the abortion drug RU486 should be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Goulburn Valley Pregnancy and Family Support Service chairperson Pat Moran said her concern was pregnant women not getting adequate information and support before deciding to use the drug.
‘‘Our organisation is of the opinion that women should be entitled to good, solid information about the choices and decisions they make,’’ Mrs Moran said.
‘‘If RU486 comes onto the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, there is a concern that it could be used quickly, without much thought.’’
Last week, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee said the drugs Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol, which must be taken together, should be covered by the scheme.
The decision would make the drugs available for $11.80 for concession card holders and $72.20 for general patients, drastically lowering the cost of pregnancy termination.
RU486 is already on the World Health Organisation’s list of ‘‘essential drugs’’.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone said if added to the scheme, the drug would give more choices to women with unplanned pregnancies.
‘‘Australia has long had contraception, the morning after pill and the option of surgical terminations,’’ Dr Stone said.
‘‘The addition of RU486 to the PBS provides another alternative for medical professionals to consider what is in the best interests of their patients.’’
However, Mrs Moran said consideration must also be given to a patient’s physical and psychological health.
‘‘A young person could buy the drug, go away, take it at home and not have any surgical help or the attention they need if they got sick afterwards,’’ she said. ‘‘There could be psychological outcomes, too.
‘‘Having this drug on the market might make terminating a pregnancy easier, but no less stressful in the long run.’’
Dr Stone questioned why it had taken so long for Australian medical professionals to be able to provide RU486 for their patients, when it had been available in most developed countries for decades.
Political leaders nationwide have been strong in their opinions about RU486.
Greens senator Lee Rhiannon said Australia needed to ‘‘catch up’’ with countries were medical abortions were already widely available.
But the Australian Christian Lobby disagreed, with chief of staff Lyle Shelton saying the group is against any drug that aided abortion.
‘‘We are against abortion and the destruction of human life at all its stages,’’ Mr Shelton said.
The facilitator of a new program to help empower women with a disability to become leaders in the community says it is time to stand up.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
The Victorian government today guaranteed the future of the National Centre for Farmer Health.
Hundreds rose early for Dawn Services across the district on Saturday to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
The Deniliquin Domestic Violence Liaison Committee hosted a community lunch at the ‘Rocket Park’ on Thursday to celebrate the launch of its new banner.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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