WHISE congratulates ALP on announcement for first national Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy

Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) welcomes the announcement from the Australian Labor Party that, if elected, they would deliver Australia’s first National Sexual and Reproductive Health strategy.

“We believe it’s essential that every woman has access to services and supports they need to ensure optimal health, regardless of their personal circumstances,” says Ms Kit McMahon, WHISE CEO. 

Sexual and reproductive health is a crucial issue to improve outcomes for women. WHISE is in its second year of Good Health Down South: A Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region

Built on the evidence of the needs and service gaps for women in the region, the strategy priority areas take action on:

  • Reproductive rights and access to termination services, 
  • Primary prevention to address increases in sexually transmitted infections,
  • Advocating for better services for women in our region, and increasing the health literacy of women in our region when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health.

“The ALP announcement is significant. We know that the release of the state strategy for sexual and reproductive health in Victoria was important for women’s health – a national strategy would be an incredible opportunity to improve outcomes for women across Australia.” says Ms McMahon.  

“The partners to our strategy recognise the challenges and complexities in providing consistent access to support services – harmonising access to those services across borders is important, especially abortion. What is also important is ensuring that there is consistent understanding across all parts of the health system, of the rights that women have to making choices about their own health including reproductive choices.”

WHISE is working with a number of providers across the southern metropolitan region to promote positive service models. Scaling what is already working on the ground is a valuable way to leveraging success across Australia. 

“With our colleagues from other Women’s Health Services, we are working to promote great services such as the 1800 My Options line, an independent confidential service for women seeking further information on reproductive choices.”

As the leading voice for the health and wellbeing of women in the South East we embrace the opportunity to work with a range of partners, governments and stakeholders on ensuring that all women in our region are safe, healthy and thriving.