In response to the latest Medibank data breach, Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) vehemently condemns the weaponisation of private healthcare information, particularly targeting women and people with a uterus who have had abortions.
‘The gross misuse of this personal healthcare data is reprehensible and heinous. Weaponising personal information is horrendous and to do it to target women, to shame them, to hold them hostage, to use it in a way that makes this legal, safe, and common health service something bad is abuse,” said Kit McMahon, CEO WHISE.
Abortion is a safe, common, and legal medical procedure that enables women and people with a uterus to exercise their reproductive rights and autonomy.
Access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is central to gender equality and promoting the rights of women.
WHISE stands with the people who have had their personal data breached.
Kit McMahon said, ‘WHISE and the Women’s Health Services condemn this in the strongest possible terms.’
‘For the women out there who feel scared, a sense of horror or stress, and a sense of shame – please hear us. You are not to blame. You have done nothing wrong, you have taken care of your health, there is no shame in what you have done. We support you; we feel for you, and we say that it is untenable, wrong, and deplorable that these criminals have used your personal decisions against you.’
Knowing that 1 in 4 women will access abortion services in their reproductive lifetime, we ask everyone in the community to be mindful that there will be people around you today that will be worried, feel shame, and be fearful for something that they should not need to be.
Kit McMahon said, ‘We hope that Medibank Private is doing all it can to support its customers during this time, but especially those that are exposed to this data breach. These people need to be supported in the fullest possible sense.’
Abortion is healthcare – it is legal. If you know of a woman close to you that is feeling this way, listen, support, and refer to support services if needed.
If you or anyone you know is impacted by this breach, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 Crisis Support or Text 13 11 14 for a confidential one-to-one text with a trained Lifeline Crisis Supporter.