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Women’s reproductive choices in Australia: mapping federal and state/territory policy instruments governing choice
journal contributionposted on 2016-12-01, 00:00 authored by Melissa GrahamMelissa Graham, Hayley MckenzieHayley Mckenzie, Greer Lamaro HaintzGreer Lamaro Haintz, Ruth Mackenzie-Stewart
The reproductive choices available to women, and the consequences of those choices, exist within the broader policy context whereby policy is influenced by pervasive ideologies of women’s roles in society and the family. Women’s reproductive rights and their resulting consequences are governed by policy at the federal and state/territory levels within Australia yet little is known about the number or scope of these policies. This study aimed to systematically search and map Australian policy to identify the number and scope of policies governing women’s reproductive choices and their consequences, including how policy interprets the role of women in society through their reproductive choices. The systematic search identified 147 Australian policies in 2013. The mapping of the policies identified common themes that drive policy agenda impacting women’s reproductive choices, including those where the focus is promoting motherhood and/or children, providing economic incentives, regulating reproduction, or a broader health focus. These policy agendas simultaneously construct and are shaped by the context in which women’s reproductive choices and impacts occur. Women’s reproductive choices are highly politicised and regulated, impacting women’s position within society.