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A Guide To The Abortion Process In Australia

There are many steps involved in the abortion process, and this article will cover what is available to you and what you can expect if you live in the country.

What Are The Legalities?

In Australia, abortions are legal up to 20 weeks pregnant in all states. For an abortion on a woman past 20 weeks gestation, there are options, and this usually involves getting approval from two doctors.

The first step for most women will be to see their doctor for a referral to a termination clinic or hospital for an assessment of gestational age and suitability.

The Australian Abortion Process Explained

A woman can legally obtain an abortion on demand up to the 20 week gestational age (GD) mark.

The Abortion Act states that an abortion can be performed for any reasonable medical purpose, and after 20 weeks, the only requirement is that the termination is:

  • Previously approved by two relevant medical practitioners, one of whom must be a doctor.
  • Done in circumstances where the continuation of the pregnancy would create a risk to a woman’s physical or mental health, or to her life.
  • Done when the fetus is not viable.

Contact for more information on the process and legalities surrounding abortion in  Australia.

How Much Does It Cost To Have An Abortion?

These are general costs and may vary based on the clinic or hospital you choose to access. 

There are many options out there. Depending on where you live, it will be important to choose which clinic or hospital to receive your abortion services from that you find out as much information as possible (location, price, etc.). 

In South Australia and the Northern Territory, abortion is free, but for most other states, the costs vary between around 200AUD and 500AUD.

How Long Does The Abortion Process Take?

The length of time you will have to wait until your procedure depends on the clinic or hospital you choose to use and your own choices around timing.

Some clinics and hospitals can provide the abortion within a matter of days, and some can take several weeks, so it is important to ask for as much information as possible when choosing where you would like your procedure done. 

Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, some clinics will be able to prescribe the drugs required to induce an abortion at home.

What Happens During The Abortion Procedure? 

After an ultrasound scan, most women will be offered to take a pill at home for a medical abortion, after which you will be asked to wait for two or three days to pass the pregnancy.

Or, you might have an in-clinic termination for a surgical abortion under a safe intravenous anaesthetic, which means you will feel no pain during the procedure. A thin plastic tube is then inserted into the womb, and gentle suction is used to remove the pregnancy tissue. The procedure takes between 5 to 10 minutes, with recovery time afterwards. 

How Safe Is The Abortion Process? 

The abortion process is a safe one, with several clinics and hospitals offering after-care services so you can access psychological support if needed. 

If you are unsure about your own situation and need help, find out what options are available to you by contacting a professional abortion clinic and speaking with the experienced staff.

If you are pregnant, it’s important to think about your options and decide what is right for you.