Abortion is one of those hot-button issues.
It seems that everyone has an opinion on it - who can access it, when and how, but not many of those people have experienced it.
Abortion is not something that many people want to be talking about frequently, it's one of those social and moral quagmires and is a highly personal issue.
However, unfortunately, for the past several months, many people have had to talk about abortion in Tasmania.
Abortion should not have had to become a political issue, it is common in other states, other jurisdictions that women have a right to choose, however much it might make other people uncomfortable.
Stories from some soon-to-be-published research from Kathryn LaRoche from Macquarie University has shed some light on the common experiences of women who are seeking such services in Tasmania. It is horrific to think that while women are enduring emotional turmoil that they would experience while deciding to have an abortion, for the many reasons they feel that it is necessary, that they also have to jump through medical hoops that make it nearly impossible to access the services.
The research by PhD candidate Ms LaRoche shows what many have heard anecdotally, that despite some services being available in Tasmania, many women are choosing to fly to Victoria or other states to seek the services they require. Assisting a woman through this process is no doubt a delicate balancing act for health care professionals, due to the nature of the assistance, but it appears that for many Tasmanian GPs or other healthcare professionals are erring on the side of caution.
This shows there is a gap in the system, for the healthcare sector to feel supported in allowing to assist women in that choice.
It's not to say that women should be given a free-for-all in accessing the services, for all intents and purposes the checks and balances must be made, but healthcare professionals should feel supported in a system that will assist women in this situation - on both sides of the fence if they decide or not to go through with it.