The US Supreme Court's overturning of a landmark abortion decision is a massive step backwards, according to a south-west gender equality advocate.
Women's Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West chief executive officer Emma Mahony said she hoped other countries would ensure a woman's right to make decisions about her body was protected.
"Does this international decision concern me? Yes. It makes me very aware that we need to remain vigilant," Ms Mahony said.
She said women should always have the right to make choices about their own bodies.
"Fundamentally we believe women are best placed to make the best decisions about their bodies."
Ms Mahony said she was shocked this decision had been made in 2022.
"I think we live in a time where we are moving towards greater inclusion in our communities and then you have a law like this that sets you back decades," she said.
Ms Mahony said Victorian women were lucky to have access to abortions.
However, she did believe it was sometimes a difficult path for women.
Ms Mahony said a lack of information about where to access services, along with the cost, were factors that sometimes made it difficult for women to make an informed choice.
She said abortion was decriminalised in Victoria in 2008.
However, some women do not know what options are available to them and where to access the services.
"The pathway to abortion in Victoria is neither clear nor easy," Ms Mahony said.
Australia's minister for women Katy Gallagher said the decision was a reminder that people needed to be vigilant in protecting their freedoms.
She said the ruling against the 50-year-old Roe v Wade decision, which guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion, was devastating for many women but showed the importance of protecting fundamental rights.
"Hard-fought-for wins before our parliaments can be taken away easily," she told ABC radio on Monday.
"I think vigilance is the message to make sure that women in Australia have access to safe and legal abortion and that matter is resolved between her and her medical practitioner."
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the decision was a setback for women in the US.
While people were entitled to their own views on abortion, they were not entitled to impose their views on women who made that decision, Mr Albanese said.
"That is, in my view, one for an individual woman to make based upon their own circumstances, including the health implications," he told ABC radio.
"It is a good thing that in Australia this is not a matter for partisan debate."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.