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Queensland abortion access just got easier

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Queensland Parliament has passed laws to increase the number of midwives in hospitals and increase abortion access.
queensland abortion access

Queensland Parliament has passed laws to increase the number of midwives in hospitals and increase abortion access.

Under the changes, Qld will become the first state in Australia where nurses and midwives can prescribe abortion pills.

The Qld Labor government introduced the legislation to the state’s one house of Parliament in November.

Abortion access

The legislation expands who can legally prescribe MS-2 Step, the medication that ends pregnancy up to 63 days gestation.

Until now, only doctors could give patients MS-2 Step. Under the new laws, eligible nurses and midwives can prescribe the drug.

It’s hoped Queenslanders in regional and rural communities, where access to GP care can be limited, will benefit from the reform.

Midwife ratios

The reforms also mean midwife-to-patient ratios will increase across the state’s public hospitals.

The new legislation now recognises newborn and stillborn babies as separate patients to their birth parent.

A one-to-six midwife-to-patient ratio will mean midwives can spend more time providing care to families. The boosted ratios will be rolled out in hospitals that offer specialised maternity care before a wider rollout in all state hospital birthing wards.

Opposition

The Liberal-National Opposition flagged some concerns with the legislation.

This included the use of gender-neutral language when referring to pregnant people, and allowing nurses to prescribe MS-Step.

However, it ultimately voted in support of the legislation.

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