The Canberra Times reported that Canberra women are travelling to Queanbeyan to access medical abortion drugs through the mail. The report said that “although abortion is not a crime in the ACT, laws penalise people who carry out an abortion unless in a government-approved clinic.” To avoid breaking ACT law, the foundation mails the abortion drugs to Queanbeyan, NSW, for women to pick-up and take before returning home.
In the ACT, the sole approved clinic for abortions both medical and surgical is Dr Marie in Civic where protesters have harassed and intimidated women seeking an abortion. The Tabbot Foundation service has revolutionized access and availability of pregnancy termination. Where women fear their dignity being compromised by attendance at local medical practices or pharmacies, they now have the option of near complete anonymity through this essentially private home-based medical procedure.
The Dr Marie clinic did not respond to inquiries about the cost of its services. Reproductive Choice Australia was quoted as saying that “the (Tabbot) foundation may more than halve the exorbitant costs many women face for abortion, as well as allowing those in regional areas to receive treatment previously denied to them.”
Health Minister Simon Corbell said “while the government was committed to enabling women to make an informed decision and access abortion, the legislation did not differentiate between surgical and medical abortions.” He has asked ACT Health for advice on the need for legislative change.