COVID19 Responses

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Impact of Coronavirus on Abortion

08 April 2020

I have heard a number of misrepresentations regarding the impact of coronavirus on abortions across the world – and here at home – over the past couple of weeks so I’ve decided to consolidate the most up-to-date information for you.

Please note: this information is likely to date quickly as pro-life advocates (like myself) and pro-abortion advocates continue to battle this out behind-the-scenes! Parliaments throughout Australian states have been suspended with parliamentarians only required to sit for coronavirus-related legislation. (For example, the federal parliament is being recalled to legislate for the Jobkeeper wage-subsidy program). With only these exceptions in place, our ability to advocate directly into parliaments has been suspended as well. What we can do is use our existing relationships with Health Ministers and Health Departments to advocate for the protection of the unborn and their vulnerable mothers. We can also contact our local members of parliament to ask them to advocate on our behalf. (see the links below).

Most Australian state health departments have confirmed that doctors performing abortions will be exempt from travel restrictions relating to providing surgical abortions across state borders. WA, the ACT and Queensland have confirmed that doctors are exempt from self-isolation due to their provision of an ‘essential service’. This will allow doctors specialising in late term abortions to continue to cross state lines to provide their ‘essential service’. Please note: that NSW and Victoria currently have no isolation rules in place for interstate workers so no such exemptions have been required to date.

The Australian Federal Health Department has made it clear that abortions performed surgically through ‘curettage and evacuation’ are considered to be ‘Category 1’ elective surgeries. Category 1 is defined as “needing treatment within 30 days…[having] the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point where the patient’s situation may become an emergency”.

A woman seeking an abortion for non-medical reasons at seven weeks will not be facing an emergency in 30 days if she is denied access to an abortion. She will simply be eleven weeks’ pregnant – a perfectly non-emergency medical condition.

Marie Stopes Australia proudly proclaims on their website: “We are an essential service and will continue to provide termination of pregnancy services”. While their contraception and vasectomy services have been temporarily downsized, their abortion services have continued unabated.

Telehealth for abortions is already widely available in many states in Australia, including NSW. Last year Clinic 66 set up their tele-abortion service in NSW following the passing of legislation which shifted abortion from the criminal code into healthcare. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Clinic 66 announced that they would now be bulk billing their appointments for Medicare holders ‘until further notice’. This means abortion consultations telling women how to access abortion-at-home services are now being provided free of charge. Previously this service cost several hundred dollars.

Medical abortions were further expanded last week in NSW in response to the coronavirus crisis with Family Planning NSW launching their own online and telehealth service for “reproductive and sexual healthcare”. At the same time, this service assured the public that face-to-face consultations continued to be available.

Telehealth for abortions remains inaccessible in South Australia, leading many pro-abortion campaigners to use this opportunity to campaign for legislative change.

In summary, in Australia in general and in NSW in particular, pro-abortion services have taken advantage of the coronavirus – expanding their services online and via phone and continuing most of their abortion procedures unabated. The abortion industry is alive and well in Australia.

In the US, a number of pro-life legislators have attempted to curtail the number of abortions being performed in their states by categorising abortions as non-essential (unless to protect the life or health of a woman), effectively banning access to the procedure during the pandemic. Six conservative states have followed this path: Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. All six states are Republican-led. However, under the US system of government, federal judges can hear appeals of state legislation and the lawsuits filed in response to the passage of this legislation were swift and effective. Federal judges blocked the bans from going into effect in nearly all states – with Texas being the exception. In Texas the ban has been allowed on a temporary basis while the state responds to the health crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the UK, Marie Stopes clinics are providing the clear message that they are “open for business” with their website clearly advertising that closures in the UK “do not impact our abortion care clinics as we are providing an essential medical service. You ARE allowed to leave your home to visit our clinics… You can self-refer… you don’t need a GP referral to access our services”.

The Department of Health and Social Care in the UK have changed the rules on abortions – allowing telephone and online consultations for medical abortions, enabling women to use abortion pills at home. This change in abortion rules has been authorised for two years or until the coronavirus crisis is over.

Meanwhile, Marie Stopes International recently lamented that travel restrictions and lockdowns will have a significant impact of women’s ability to access contraception and abortions across the 37 counties in which they work.   They successfully advocated against the closure of their clinics in Nepal, with some now beginning to reopen as a result. They will not rest until abortion is considered to be an essential service across jurisdictions.

In conclusion, the worldwide abortion industry is alive and well – unlike the babies’ lives they callously and routinely destroy. Pro-abortion advocates have mobilised effectively and swiftly to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. They are exploiting this time of global crisis to weaken restrictions on abortions.

We cannot sit back and be silent at this time. If you have not already done so, please contact your local members of parliament and share this information with your pro-life friends and family. We must remain constantly vigilant in this time of social distancing and restrictions.

What can Right to Life NSW do during this time of Crisis to encourage a Culture of Life?

In your own words – write to your local politicians – to encourage a Culture of Life!

Here are some templates to help inspire your writing:

Dear <Federal MP/Senator>,

Thank you for taking a strong stance during the COVID19 crisis.

At this time we cannot forget the most vulnerable in our society who are not being given a voice – the unborn.

Please do everything in your power to protect the unborn by giving mothers facing unplanned pregnancies and/or mothers who may be facing financial pressures at this time, more support.

A crisis response driven by the Federal government at this time would be appreciated by a broad section of the community – and by myself.


Insert your name

Insert your electoral address

Dear <State MP>,

Thank you for taking a strong stance during the COVID19 crisis.

At this time we cannot forget the most vulnerable in our society who are not being given a voice – the unborn.

While the National Cabinet have asked for elective surgeries from Category 2 and 3 to cease, I would like an assurance that this means abortions performed for social reasons have been stopped in NSW hospitals.

Your leadership in this area would be greatly appreciated.

Please be a Voice for the Voiceless.


Insert your name

Insert your electoral address

Dear <State MLC>,

Thank you for taking a strong stance during the COVID19 crisis.

I am aware that a working group has been trying to put together a bill to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia this year.

This is a time for the community of NSW to come together to protect the vulnerable – not to legislate for their deaths.

When this comes back on the agenda after this crisis has passed, please remember that I stand with thousands of others in NSW when I say: Protect the Sick and the Elderly in our community by Saying NO to state-sanctioned-killing.


Insert your name

Insert your electoral address

Making Abortion Unthinkable:

Even in Times of Crisis

A lot of questions have been raised about the impact of COVID19 on abortion clinics and on the number of abortions being performed in NSW.

Here are our latest responses to these questions:


Continuing to occur…

Unfortunately the option of running a telehealth service to provide medical abortions, continues to operate in NSW.

25 March 2020

Elective-surgical abortions

Should now be suspended

Late term and surgical abortions should be suspended under the terms introduced by National Cabinet.

26 March 2020

What Isolation means for vulnerable mothers

Increased pressure to abort…

Women will be receiving increased pressure to terminate the life of their child at an early stage due to financial, physical and emotional issues at this time.

27 March 2020