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A qualitative study exploring barriers to access to sexual and reproductive health services during the COVID pandemic

This qualitative study aims to understand the multiple and intersecting barriers to sexual and reproductive health services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and inform development of strategies to address these. We will do so by exploring the experiences of women who succeeded in obtaining abortion care during the pandemic despite challenges, as well as women who were unable to access care despite attempting to do so. The pandemic presents an opportunity to understand and address the multiple and intersecting barriers to SRH services in Australia, with relevance for service provision not only in the current pandemic but also in the face of future and escalating disasters and climate events. In this exploratory study, we will focus on access to abortion and contraception services as a ‘test case’ for difficult-to-access SRH services. The findings will elucidate access issues for abortion specifically and sexual and reproductive services more broadly – ultimately contributing to improvements in the accessibility and quality of SRH services beyond the pandemic. A student can be involved in: data collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of findings for this qualitative study. This can include a literature review and/or contributing to writing a manuscript for publication, and coordinating stakeholder meetings to jointly interpret and make sense of the study findings and inform policy and service recommendations.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
abortion, contraception, qualitative research, quality of care, stigma, intersectionality, barriers, sexual and reproductive health
Available options 
Masters by research
Short projects
Time commitment 
Physical location 
553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne (adjacent to The Alfred)
Jane Fisher
Angela Taft

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