Rural New South Wales women's access to abortion services: highlights from an exploratory qualitative study

Doran, Frances, and Hornibrook, Julie (2014) Rural New South Wales women's access to abortion services: highlights from an exploratory qualitative study. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22 (3). pp. 121-126.

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to identify factors that New South Wales (NSW) rural women experience in relation to their ability to access an abortion service and follow-up care.

Design: The qualitative responses from interviews are reported.

Setting: Rural and regional NSW.

Participants: Staff from community based non-government Women's Health Centres across regional/rural NSW and women in rural NSW who had accessed an abortion in the preceding fifteen years.

Main outcomes: A number of barriers that NSW rural women experience in relation to their ability to access an abortion and follow-up care were identified.

Results: The main barrier rural women experienced was travelling relatively long distances to access an abortion clinic because of lack of services in their local area. Women with limited financial resources needed to borrow money for the procedure and associated costs of travel and accommodation. Women's Health Centres provide a range of support and referral information. Lack of integrated care was reported.

Conclusions: Rural women's access to abortion services are impacted by the availability, accessibility and affordability of services and prevailing negative social attitudes. This exploratory study provides a snapshot of women's experiences of the process of seeking an abortion in rural NSW, where they are not available locally and women have to travel out of the area to access services. Findings indicate rural women experience multiple barriers in relation to their ability to access abortion services and follow-up care, which may impact on overall health outcomes.

Item ID: 37770
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: access issue, health service access, public health, rural women's health, women's health
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2015 11:02
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111404 Reproduction @ 40%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 60%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920206 Health Policy Economic Outcomes @ 20%
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