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Exploring the Australian policy context relating to women’s reproductive choices

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This study explored Australian federal level policy instruments which influence and impact on women’s reproductive choices and the consequences of those choices. A systematic policy search and mapping exercise was undertaken. Eighteen policy instruments were identified at the Federal level and were explored through a policy framework and thematic analysis. Findings indicate there are multiple layers of influence on women’s reproductive choices and the consequences of those choices, and the policy instruments interact in multiple dynamic, interconnected and contextual ways. Yet, they also lack cohesion and congruency, failing to account for women’s life circumstances while at the same time shifting the promoted position for women in each policy instrument. The policy instruments seek to regulate, control and selectively support women’s reproduction while simultaneously silencing, marginalising and reprimanding some groups of women.
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Keywords: Australia; policy analysis; reproductive choice; social policy; women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Health through Action on Social Exclusion (CHASE), School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia 2: Centre for Health through Action on Social Exclusion (CHASE), School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

Publication date: March 4, 2018

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