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Beth Wilson: Health Service Providers and Conscientious Objection


There are currently practicing doctors around Australia who still oppose abortion and even refuse to prescribe contraception. Women have been turned away from pharmacy dispensaries when asking for the morning after pill.

What lies behind this moral standpoint? Is it legitimate for a doctor to refuse a woman contraception based on their personal beliefs? Is this practice indicative of how pro-life sentiments are spreading within the medical and political community?

Former Victorian health services commissioner, Beth Wilson AM, will look at why these choices are being removed from the hands of women – and question whether the days of ‘backyard’ abortions are really behind us.

In her Lunchbox/Soapbox address, she’ll investigate where this type of so-called conscientious objection leaves women and how the removal of choice can impact women’s health.



Beth Wilson

Beth Wilson became Victoria’s Health Services Commissioner in 1997. She is a lawyer by training and has worked mainly in administrative law. Beth has had a long-standing interest in medico/legal and ethical issues. Prior to becoming Health Services Commissioner, Beth was the president of the Ment... Read more


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