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Legislation Summary

Australian Abortion Law and Practice

Abortion is the subject of criminal law in all Australian states and territories, except the Australian Capital Territory. Each state and territory has legislation prohibiting unlawful abortion. 

Queensland:  Legal to 22 weeks. Legal post-22 weeks with two doctors’ approval. Safe access zones are  set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.

New South Wales: Legal to 22 weeks.  Legal post-22 weeks  two doctors’ approval.  Safe access zones are set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.  

Australian Capital Territory: Legal, must be provided by a medical professional which includes a nurse practitioner. Safe access zones may be set at the discretion of the ACT Health Minister.   

Victoria: Legal to 24 weeks. Legal post-24 weeks with two doctors’ approval.  Safe access zones are set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.

South Australia: Legal if two doctors agree that a woman or pregnant person’s physical and/or mental health is endangered by pregnancy, or for serious foetal abnormality. Unlawful abortion a crime.  

Tasmania: Legal to 16 weeks. Legal post-16 weeks with two doctors’ approval.  Safe access zones are set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.

Western Australia: Legal to 20 weeks, some restrictions particularly for under 16s. Very restricted after 20 weeks. Safe access zones are set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.  

Northern Territory: Legal to 14 weeks. Legal at 14 – 23 weeks with two doctors’ approval. Not legal after 23 weeks unless it is performed to save a woman or pregnant person’s life.   Safe access zones are set at 150m around clinics that provide termination of pregnancy services.