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ACT government to cover abortion costs from next year



People living in the Australian Capital Territory will soon have access to free abortion services up to 16 weeks' gestation.

Residents, including those without a Medicare card, will be provided free medical and surgical abortion services from early next year.

ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry said the decision to remove out-of-pocket costs means that people will feel "supported to make a choice about having an abortion without being influenced by financial barriers".

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"It also means that having an abortion can occur in a time-sensitive manner without being delayed due to an inability to pay," she said.

The initiative will cost the government $4.6 million over four years and aims to improve access to safe, accessible abortion services.

The procedure was decriminalised inside the territory in 2006.

The news comes following the US Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v Wade, the 50-year-old law enshrining abortion as a constitutional right in the US last month.

The landmark lawsuit, first initiated in 1973, found a 7-2 majority vote that women have a constitutional right to abortion in their first trimester.

The court's decision to overturn Roe V Wade on June 24 meant that abortion would no longer be protected at the federal level.

The decision sent shock waves across the world, with advocates demanding access to legal and compassionate abortion care.

Read about Australia's Abortion laws here.

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