Planned parenthood and reproductive rights

An evaluation of access and equity in the provision of medical abortion following the introduction of Mifepristone on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

The inclusion of mifepristone, a safe and effective abortifacient, on the Australian PBS in 2013 has provided Australian women with a non-surgical option for early termination. This study provides new data on the proportion of intended and unwanted pregnancies amongst women of reproductive age; preferences for type of termination method; direct and in-direct costs; and the challenges in obtaining an abortion, and key measures of access.

The methods included: an online survey of registered medical abortion providers; computer assisted telephone interview surveys with a random sample of 2013 women aged 18-45; and a self-completed survey of 2326 women from Marie Stopes’ clients across Australia.

researchersAngela Taft and Mridula Shankar; in collaboration with Philip Goldstone, Marie Stopes International Australia; Jayne Lucke, Kerry Petersen, La Trobe University; Kirsten Black, University of Sydney; Danielle Mazza and Safeera Hussainy, Monash University

Shankar M, Black KI, Goldstone P, Hussainy S, Mazza D, Petersen K, Lucke J, Taft A. Access, equity and costs of induced abortion services in Australia: a cross-sectional study. Aust N Z J Public Health 2017; 41(3):309-14

fundingTransition to Contemporary Parenthood Program, Marie Stopes International Australia, Women’s Health Around Victoria

Collaborative Work

SPHERE – The Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women

Achieving Better Outcomes through Primary Care

Despite high standards of health care and the existence of a universal health care system in Australia, women continue to have poor sexual and reproductive health, particularly in relation to abortion, contraception, and preconception care.

The aim of SPHERE is to improve the quality, safety, and capacity of primary health care services to achieve better outcomes in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Specifically, the SPHERE CRE will: research innovative ways of improving the delivery and uptake of medical abortion, contraception, and preconception care; examine the effectiveness and feasibility of new models of care; and improve effective translation of research outcomes by engaging with health care providers and consumers throughout the research process.

The SPHERE CRE will build capacity in primary health care and women’s sexual and reproductive health research by training future research leaders and facilitate collaborations between researchers, healthcare providers, health service delivery organisations, policymakers, peak bodies and consumers.

researchersAngela Taft; in collaboration with Danielle Mazza and Jane Fisher, Monash University; Jayne Lucke, La Trobe University; Kirsten Black and Kevin McGeechan, University of Sydney; Marian Haas, University of Technology, Sydney; Wendy Norman, University of British Columbia
websiteSPHERE website

Accessing contraception for emergency supply study (ACCESS)

Access to emergency contraception is essential as it helps prevent unwanted pregnancies. While the levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pill has been available over the counter since 2004 through community pharmacies without prescription, there are significant barriers to access. We are conducting a comprehensive barriers analysis to design pilot studies and ultimately evidence-based interventions to promote increased adherence with pharmacy guidelines and improve access for women.

researchers Angela Taft; in collaboration with Safeera Hussainy, Danielle Mazza, Kevin McNamara, Ayesha Ghosh and John Jackson, Monash University; Kirsten Black, University of Sydney; Rhonda Clifford and Sajni Gudka, University of Western Australia
funding Monash University, Bayer and Marie Stopes

The Australian contraceptive choice project (ACCORD)

The primary aim of this study is to increase the uptake of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) amongst Australian women by trialling a complex intervention that involves training GPs to provide “LARC First” structured contraceptive counselling and implementing rapid referral pathways to LARC insertion.

researchersAngela Taft; in collaboration with Danielle Mazza, Monash University; Kirsten Black and Kevin McGeechan, University of Sydney; Jayne Lucke, La Trobe University; Marion Haas, University of Technology, Sydney; Jeffrey Peipert, Washington University, St Louis
fundingNHMRC Project Grant