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Every Australian deserves equal access to abortion

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It’s time for me to speak publicly.

My name is Angela Williamson. I’m 39 and have three wonderful kids. I was recently sacked by Cricket Australia for tweeting about Tasmania failing to provide accessible abortion services.

This year I was one of the first women forced to travel interstate to receive an abortion after the procedure was no longer offered in Tasmania.

I flew to Melbourne, alone and scared. I was away from my partner and kids and had to take a week off work, so the trip ended up costing me thousands. I wouldn’t have had to do this if abortion was accessible in Tasmania like it is every other state.

On my way home on the plane I was so upset I decided I couldn’t stay silent about this injustice. I took to Twitter - on a personal account - describing the turmoil I went through as a “disgrace”.

Then, because I spoke up for women across Tasmania, Cricket Australia fired me.

Is this Australia? Is this 2018?

I’ve never felt so powerless – first I couldn’t access the healthcare I needed because the Tasmanian government made the procedure inaccessible, then I had Cricket Australia sack me because I spoke up for the women of Tasmania.

I’m speaking publicly now, waiving my privacy, because nobody should have to go through what I went through to access a legal health procedure.

This is not just a fight for Tasmanian women. This is a fight for women in Cairns forced to fly interstate and women right around Australia forced to spend hundreds of dollars they don’t have on accessing a legal abortion.

It’s time to ask why women are paying up to $500 for RU486 - an abortion pill that costs less than $40 on the PBS.

And it’s time that all women in Australia had access to safe, affordable pregnancy terminations and contraception.

Please join me in calling for affordable, accessible abortion in Australia. We are not powerless when we stand together.