Project Lead

Clare McDonald

Lead partner

Royal Women’s Hospital

MacHSR Future Leaders Fellowship Program (cohort 1).

Currently, the Royal Women’s Hospital is the sole provider of abortion care over 16
weeks gestation (outside of foetal anomalies) in Victoria. This project aims to give voice to the issue of insufficient abortion service through those who have lived experiences in facing barriers to access and by those who are providing this service in an unsustainable environment, as the sole operating service in the State.

Through interviews with stakeholders it will produce data that can be used to advocate for the decentralisation of abortion services in Victoria and highlight the gap in essential reproductive health services.

During the fellowship, interviews of patients and providers were conducted and analysed. The findings that provide insight into lived experience of abortion care over 20 weeks will inform both the service and surrounding education, and have been presented to community stakeholders, newly funded abortion services and internally at Allied Health research forums.

A lead author paper focusing on the lived experience of the patients interviewed and a second author paper on the lived experience of the clinicians providing the care are in progress.