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Australian Abortion Law and Practice

Legislation

Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018

Abortion is legal in Queensland and available on request as a health service up until 22 weeks gestation. Thereafter the involved medical practitioner must consult another medical practitioner who also considers that, in all the circumstances, the termination should be performed.

A registered health practitioner with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who, in the first belief, can provide the requested service and does not also have a conscientious objection.

150m safe access zones are set around termination services.

Counselling referrals are optional. 

For detailed information on Queensland abortion law see our Queensland abortion law page.

Availability

Private clinics in Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Sunshine Coast. GPs in metropolitan and regional locations offer medication abortion. Some public hospitals and sexual health clinics across the state.

This is subject to change so please check out our Abortion and Contraception Map to find a service near you.

Legislation

The Abortion Law Reform Act 2019

Abortion is legal in New South Wales, a termination can be sought up until 22 weeks gestation. Terminations can be performed after 22 weeks gestation however there are conditions to this including the consultation of a second medical practitioner and the offering of counselling.

A registered health practitioner with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who does not have a conscientious objection.

150m safe access zones are set around termination services.

Availability

Mostly in private clinics in Sydney and some regional areas, with limited public provision. No referral necessary.

For more information on availability check our interstate abortion providers page or contact Family Planning NSW on 1300 658 886.

Legislation

Health Act 1993, Division 6.1 

(Hyperlink: https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/View/a/1993-13/current/html/1993-13.html) 

Abortion is legal in Australia Capital Territory with no pregnancy gestation limit. 

Abortion can only be carried out by a doctor within an approved medical facility.

It is against the law for someone other than a doctor to supply or administer abortion medicine to someone, with the aim of ending a pregnancy, or perform a surgical abortion. 

The ACT Health Minister must give their approval for any facility where surgical abortions are provided. 

A doctor with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who does not have a conscientious objection. 

50m safe access zones are set around termination services.  

Referrals for counselling are accessible, however, they are neither mandated nor legally required. 

Legislation

Abortion Law Reform Act 2008

Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Bill 2015

Abortion is legal in Victoria; legal termination can be sought up to 24 weeks gestation by a qualified medical practitioner, nurse, or pharmacist. Thereafter for termination to be performed the involved medical practitioner must consult another medical practitioner who also considers that, in all circumstances, the termination should be performed.  

150m safe access zones are set around termination services. 

Availability
Mostly private clinics, however, some public services are available. Most of these are located in Melbourne.

For more information on availability check our interstate abortion providers page or visit 1800MyOptions

Legislation

South Australia Termination of Pregnancy Act 2021

Termination of Pregnancy Regulations 2022 

In South Australia, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks and 6 days. Thereafter for legal termination to be performed the involved medical practitioner must consult another medical practitioner who also considers that, in all circumstances, the termination should be performed. The two medical practitioners must also consider if continuing the pregnancy would cause elevated risk to the life, physical or mental health of the pregnant individual or if there is a risk of foetal anomalies. 

Before accessing abortion care, the pregnant person must be residing in South Australia for at least two months.  

A doctor or nurse with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who does not have a conscientious objection. 

150m safe access zones are set around termination services. 

Before termination, a registered medical practitioner is legally required to provide all necessary information regarding access to counselling.  

Availability
Pregnancy Advisory Centre in Adelaide and prescribed hospitals. Pregnancy Advisory Centre provides termination of pregnancy services at no cost. No freestanding private clinics.

For more information on availability check our interstate abortion providers page or call the Pregnancy Advisory Centre on 08 8243 3999.

Legislation

Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013

In Tasmania, abortion is legal up to 16 weeks. Thereafter for legal termination to be performed the involved medical practitioner must consult another medical practitioner who also considers that, in all circumstances, the termination should be performed. The two medical practitioners must also consider the pregnant person’s physical, psychological, economic, and social situation. And at least one of the consulted doctors must specialize in obstetrics or gynecology. 

A doctor with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who does not have a conscientious objection. 

If the medical practitioner conscientiously objects, they must provide a list of resources to seek support including all pregnancy options. If the doctor does not conscientiously object, there is no mandated information or counselling referral. 

150m safe access zones are set around termination services. 

Availability
Family Planning Tasmania provides medication abortion up to 9 weeks there may also be access to medication abortion through a GP or telehealth. Providers are listed on the Women’s Health Tasmania website.

For more information on availability check our interstate abortion providers page or call Women’s Health Tasmania on (03) 6231 3212 or Family Planning Tasmania – Hobart on 03 6228 5244.

Legislation

Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911; Public Health Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Act 2021; Crime: Criminal Code Act Compilation Act, s199 

In Western Australia abortion is legal up to 20 weeks gestation, with limitations for pregnant people under the age of 16. However, it is subject to counselling by a medical practitioner other than the one performing the abortion resulting in informed consent, or when serious personal, family, or social consequences will impact the pregnant person if an abortion is not performed, or when the life or physical or mental health of the woman is endangered or when pregnancy causes danger to the woman’s mental health.  

Beyond the 20 weeks’ gestation period, abortion is only legally performed if at least two out of the six medical practitioners appointed by the WA Minister for Health agree that the pregnant person, or the fetus, have a severe medical condition that justifies the procedure. The termination can then only be performed at a facility approved by the Minister for Health.
For pregnant people under the age of 16, a custodial parent/guardian must be informed, or Children’s Court can make an order to proceed with the termination if not suitable to involve parents. 

150m safe access zones are set around termination services. 

Abortion remains a criminal offense in Western Australia unless “by a medical practitioner in good faith and with reasonable care and skill”, and it is justified under the Health Act 1911. 

Legislation

Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Legislation Amendment Act 2021 

 In North Territory, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks gestation, with one doctor’s approval. For termination beyond 24 weeks to be performed another medical practitioner beside the involved medical practitioner must give their approval. In the case of an emergency, abortion will be performed if considered necessary by the medical practitioner to preserve the life of the patient. 

150m safe access zones are set around termination services. 

A doctor or nurse with conscientious objection must disclose the objection to the person and refer on to a practitioner or service who does not have a conscientious objection. 

Counselling referrals are optional.