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Promoting reproductive choice in primary care

28 April 2022 - Dr Jessica Botfield

Promoting reproductive choice in primary care

Approximately one-quarter of women in Australia have experienced an unintended pregnancy, with one-third of these ending in an abortion (1). Access to effective methods of contraception can contribute to the prevention of pregnancies, however only around 11% of women are using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) in Australia (2). Many women experience considerable barriers when accessing contraception and abortion care (3, 4).


Primary care providers play a critical role in providing contraception services and supporting pregnancy options, however the number of providers able to insert LARC and provide early medical abortion (EMA) medications is relatively low, particularly in rural areas. This is due to a range of reasons, including lack of training opportunities, appropriate remuneration, access to peer and expert support, and referral pathways. Without sufficient LARC and EMA providers many women are required to seek care outside their local area, which can pose significant financial and logistical challenges and delays to care.


The AusCAPPS Network

In response to these issues, the Australian Contraception and Abortion Primary Care Practitioner Support Network (AusCAPPS Network) was launched in 2021 to support the Australian primary care workforce (including general practitioners, practice nurses and community pharmacists) in providing contraception and abortion care. AusCAPPS is a national, secure and free online space that provides:

  • Access to training and education opportunities relating to LARC insertion and medical abortion provision
  • Connection to general practitioners, nurses and pharmacists who provide LARC and EMA services in primary care
  • The opportunity to ask questions to peers and experts
  • Access to clinical resources, guidelines and forms
  • Evidence-based research and updates related to LARC and EMA

Opportunities for primary care providers:

  1. To join the AusCAPPS community, please click here to register. 

  2. Members of the AusCAPPS network can join the upcoming free 1-hour webinar on Preparing your practice to deliver medical abortion, running on Monday 06 June 2022 from 7:30PM (AEST).


For more information, please email

Dr Jessica Botfield
Dr Jessica Botfield

Jessica joined SPHERE, the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care, as a Research Fellow in February 2021. At SPHERE she is involved in the ORIENT trial (ImprOving Rural and regIonal accEss to long acting reversible contraceptioN and medical abortion through nurse-led models of care, Tasksharing and telehealth), the AusCAPPS study (the Australian Contraception and Abortion Primary Care Practitioner Support), and coordinating the SPHERE Women's SRH COVID-19 Coalition.

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