Home杭州楼凤 › Katherine GP throws support behind NT Speaker’s push for RU486

Katherine GP throws support behind NT Speaker’s push for RU486

OPTION NEEDED: Katherine GP Dr PJ Spafford says the suggestion that the availability of RU486 will lead to irresponsible use by Territory women is “bullshit”.A PROMINENT Katherine general practitioner says debate about providing Northern Territory women with access to so-called “abortion pill” RU486 should be based onmedical, not philosophical, arguments.
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Member for Goyder and parliamentary Speaker Kezia Purick introduced a private member’s bill calling for the drug, also known asmifepristone, to be made available in the NT during the final sitting of 2015 earlier this month via changes to theMedical Services Act.

The drug allows for a non-surgical termination during the early stages of the first trimesterand Ms Purick said it was about time the NT caught up with the rest of the country to provide a “basic human right” for women.

Abortion remains a divisiveissue both in parliament and the community, but Dr PJ Spafford, who runs Gorge Health, said he believed women “totally needed” access to RU486 in order to provide an alternative to a traditional termination.

“Currently, ladies here have to travel to Darwin to have a termination,” he said.

“I’m absolutely without a doubt that having [RU486] available would lead to better health outcomes, because they wouldn’t have to leave their support base or have invasive surgery.”

Dr PJ Spafford

About 1000 surgical terminations are carried out in NT public hospitals each year, according to Department of Health figures.

Critics of Ms Purick’s bill have suggested that access to RU486 would lead to misuse and some women seeing it as an easy solution to pregnancies, a claim slammed as “bullshit” by Dr Spafford.

“It’s not going to make any difference to the rate of conception,” he said.

“I don’t believe anyone wants to make that decision to abort an unborn child but, sometimes, that hard decision needs to be made.

“Having this drug available will not make it any easier an option.”

Ms Purick echoed Dr Spafford’s sentiment and said there was an urgent need to “dispel the myths” surrounding the drug.

“There’s no way for it to be abused,” she said.“A woman has a right over her own body to use medically-approved options.”​

Katherine TImes

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