Abortion

Some women face the situation of having an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

Abortion is also known as Termination of Pregnancy, and refers to the procedure which ends the pregnancy.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory you can legally have an abortion up to 14 weeks into the pregnancy if two doctors agree that the pregnancy would be harmful to the woman’s physical and/or mental health, or if there is serious foetal abnormality. Where there is a medical emergency an abortion can be performed up to 23 weeks into the pregnancy.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination. For further information about pregnancy options you can contact your local GP, Family Planning NT (on 08 8948 0144), or Clinic 34.

It is illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy herself. It is also illegal for anyone to assist without the necessary authority and qualifications.

ACT

An abortion is legal in the ACT, but it must be conducted by a registered medical practitioner who has the appropriate authority and qualifications to do so.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination.

It is illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy herself or for anyone to assist without the appropriate authority.

For further information about pregnancy options contact Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT on 02 6247 3077.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, abortion is legal if performed before 20 weeks. Further limitations apply for women under the age of 16.

The abortion must be performed by a medical practitioner with the appropriate authority and qualifications, and in good faith, with reasonable care and skill. The medical practitioner must be provided with informed consent, and be concerned that the woman will suffer serious personal, family or social consequences if the abortion is not performed. They will also consider any danger to the physical or mental health of the woman.

If the pregnancy has progressed to 20 weeks special circumstances may justify the abortion.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination.

It is illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy herself or for anyone to assist without the appropriate authority.

For further information about pregnancy options contact Pregnancy Support or the Women’s Health and Family Services.

NSW

In NSW, an abortion is only lawful if your doctor believes on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to avoid a serious danger to your life or your physical or mental health, taking into account economic, social and medical factors.

There are two types of abortion available: medical and surgical.

A medical abortion is performed up to nine weeks from the first day of a woman’s last period.

A surgical abortion is usually carried out between 7-12 weeks from the first day of a woman’s last period. In NSW, services for abortion are available up to 18-20 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortions must be carried out by a registered doctor who has the appropriate authority and qualifications, and are available through clinics and public or private hospitals. You do not need a referral from a doctor to a clinic, which means you can call direct to the clinic for an appointment.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination.

It is illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy herself or for anyone to assist without the appropriate authority.

For further information about pregnancy options contact Family Planning NSW.

Victoria

Abortion is legal in Victoria.  For further information and support, you can contact the following organisations:

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination.

South Australia

Abortion is legal in SA up to the 28th week of pregnancy. The opinion of doctors must be sought and the abortion may only take place in an approved clinic. Parental consent is needed for women under 16.

The Pregnancy Advisory Centre provides women in SA with information about pregnancy options and a safe abortion service. The Centre provides pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, abortion services up to approximately 22 weeks, counselling, emergency contraception and sexual health care information. The Centre is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4pm and is situated in Woodville Park in Adelaide’s western suburbs. The Centre can be contacted on 08 8243 3999 or for a SA Country Freecall, 1800 672 966.

SHine SA Women’s Information Service on 08 8303 0590 or a toll free for country callers on 1800 188 158 provides advice on what steps to take next. For further abortion information see their website.

Tasmania

You can access a termination of pregnancy in Tasmania up until 16 weeks into the pregnancy, but after that time two doctors need to certify that the continuation of the pregnancy would be against the physical or mental wellbeing of the woman.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor.  You should never feel pressured to have a termination.  If you talk to your doctor they must discuss all options with you, or refer you to someone who will.

For further information about all pregnancy options contact Family Planning Tasmania or the Hobart Women’s Health Centre.  Neither organisation provides terminations, but they can talk through all options for continuing or terminating a pregnancy.

Queensland

You can’t have an abortion in Queensland unless it is performed by a doctor with the appropriate authority and qualifications in order to prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health.

If you are considering a termination, you should speak to your doctor. You should never feel pressured to have a termination.

It is illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy herself or for anyone to assist without the appropriate authority.

For further information about pregnancy options contact True or Children By Choice on 07 3357 5377 or freecall 1800 177 725.