Online Project Showcase

The Australian Choice Project

  • Organisation:

    Marie Stopes International (T/A Marie Stopes Australia)

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    63093595192

  • Scope of Activity:

    Australia

  • Geographic Location:

    Australia

  • Target Groups:

    Gay and Lesbian
    Indigenous
    Migrants
    Mothers
    Refugees
    Rural / Regional
    Sexworkers
    Singles
    Unemployed
    Adolescents

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Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):

    100,000

  • Current Funding (AUD):

    50,000

  • Funding Needed (AUD):

    50,000

  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):

    Yes

  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):

    Yes

  • DGR Additional Information:

    N/A

  • Other Funding Partners:

    N/A

Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 01 May 2018
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 01 May 2019
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • Reproductive autonomy occurs when a woman controls her contraception, pregnancy and childbearing. While many Australian women can access services to help them to do this, there are some who are unable to do so due to personal circumstances.
    Marie Stopes Australia helps hundreds of women access abortion, contraception, STI screening & treatment and trauma-informed counselling by providing low-cost and free services. The women may be experiencing severe financial hardship, intimate partner violence, mental health issues, homelessness and sexual assault.
    Accessing an abortion in Australia is often through private providers with little public funding and support available. Marie Stopes Australia recognises the need for women in vulnerable circumstances to access services so they can exercise their reproductive autonomy. Marie Stopes Australia has set up the Australian Choice Project to provide support for women in need to access abortion and contraception services.
  • Project Description:
  • The Australian Choice Project provides funding for safe, high quality abortion and contraception services for women experiencing severe hardship including financial, family and intimate partner violence, mental health issues, homelessness and sexual assault. The funding will provide these services for a low cost, or in some cases for free.
    Marie Stopes Australia works with community partners to triage patients who are in the most need of assistance and then provides the relevant services to the women through one of Marie Stopes Australia’s clinics.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • In Australia there is a lack of national policy, funding and provision of contraception and abortion services. In some states, abortion is still included in the criminal code (NSW, QLD and SA) and there is little public funding or provision of abortion services across the country. This means that women who choose to have an abortion will often need to seek this service (and contraception) from private providers.
    For women experiencing severe hardship including financial, family and intimate partner violence, mental health issues, homelessness and sexual assault, accessing contraception and abortion care when they need it is problematic.
    The Australian Choice Project will, at $50,000, provide support for up to 100 women experiencing hardship to access abortion and contraception services
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Abortion access in Australia is still deeply stigmatised. It is in the criminal code in NSW, QLD and SA and subject to varying laws, regulations and service provision. This project will help women who are most in need of abortion and contraception services to access the service in a timely and cost-effective manner. It will also show them that despite what might be going on in their lives, they will not be judged by Marie Stopes Australia.
    Many of the women that Marie Stopes Australia assists are experiencing family or intimate partner violence. Often in these circumstances, the woman may be experiencing ‘reproductive coercion’, where her partner may be controlling her contraception and forcing her into a pregnancy so as to maintain or extend control over her. To provide a safe, discrete and accessible service will provide a woman with more support in these circumstances and provide her with more options if she chooses to leave the relationship.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • When a woman controls her reproductive choices, she controls her future. This project not only highlights the need for reform when it comes to providing services for women to do this, it also a provide tangible means for women to take control of their reproductive choices even if they are experiencing severe hardship.
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • Marie Stopes Australia is heavily engaged in advocacy work to change current laws, practices and challenge the stigma that surrounds abortion care and sexual and reproductive health generally.
    As with most of the work we do, we employ respectful storytelling to highlight the plight of women in vulnerable circumstances.
    This project employs storytelling as part of its media relations and advocacy strategy. We use stories to deliver powerful opinion pieces, online content and as part of keynote addresses in forums that can assist with positive change.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • The Australian Choice Project collects de-identified data from each woman who is supported by the project. The success will ultimately be determined by:
    • The number of women who are helped by the project fund
    • The development of support and referral pathways for women who require them
    • The take up rate of contraception for each woman who accesses an abortion through the Australian Choice Project
    • The development of de-identified evidence to encourage Australian governments to provide targeted funding and policy support for a common, yet highly stigmatised form of healthcare.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Jacquie O'Brien

  • Email:

    jacquie.obrien@mariestopes.org.au

  • Website:

    Click Here

  • Phone:

    0396587534