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Depending on the gestation of your pregnancy, your location, and the type of abortion procedure you are looking for, you may have more than one option in terms of where and how. 

Calculating your gestation is very important in determining what your abortion options are. How far into your pregnancy you are is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period, not actually when the sex which led to the pregnancy occurred, so be aware that you may be further along in your pregnancy than you first expect to be. 

Medication abortion is a drug-induced miscarriage and is available for pregnancies less than 9 weeks gestation (so up to 8 weeks and 6 days from the first day of your last menstrual period), through private abortion clinics and a small number of GPs. 

Surgical abortion is available to around 15 to 16 weeks gestation (from the first day of your last menstrual period) in most of Queensland’s private abortion clinics. Some will provide to 18 weeks, and two clinics (one in Brisbane and one at the Gold Coast) offer the procedure to 19 weeks gestation. After this point, only a handful of public hospitals or a clinic in Victoria will be able to provide you with a termination. 

I want a medication abortion 

Both GPs and clinics providers of medication abortion in Queensland are listed here. General information on how the medication works is here (mtop procedure page), although some clinic processes differ from this so you should check with your closest provider. Also, some medication abortion providers only offer the procedure up to 7 weeks gestation. 

No referral is needed for either a GP or a private clinic for a medication abortion. Call your closest provider to make an appointment. In some cases you may need to bring an ultrasound with you, in others it will be done on the day; the provider will inform you of this and any other criteria on the phone. 

Make sure when you make the appointment that you ask the provider for the full cost of the procedure, including the medication, tests, and follow up appointments. This may depend on whether you have a Medicare or Health Care Card. Payment will generally be required upfront. Only one clinic (located in Brisbane), offers the option of a payment plan, and this is only available under certain circumstances. Depending on your provider, expect to pay between $350 and $800. Call us if you need to discuss financial assistance. 

There are also strict instructions for aftercare which the provider will give to you. The complication rate of medication or surgical abortion in Australia is very low, but as with any medical procedure, it is very important to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider, and seek medical care if you have any questions or concerns. 

I want a surgical abortion 

How far into your pregnancy this is available and how much it will cost depend on your location and your nearest provider. All clinics and their services are listed here. You may have to travel to reach an abortion clinic. If so, you may be eligible for rebates from the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme. Talk to your local hospital or GP about this, or contact us for more information. 

No referral is needed for a clinic for a surgical abortion.Call your closest provider to make an appointment. In some cases you may need to bring an ultrasound with you, in others it will be done on the day; the provider will inform you of this and any other criteria on the phone. 

Make sure when you make the appointment that you ask the provider for the full cost of the procedure, including tests and follow up appointments. This may depend on whether you have a Medicare or Health Care Card. Payment will generally be required upfront. Two clinics in Brisbane sometimes offer payment plans, but they are only available under certain circumstances. Depending on your provider and your gestation, expect to pay between $350 and $1600 for a procedure less than 16 weeks gestation. Procedures between 16 and 19 weeks are lengthier and more difficult to access; a procedure at 19 weeks is only available at two clinics (located in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast) and will cost in excess of $3000. Call us if you need to discuss financial assistance. 

As you will be under some type of anaesthetic, it is important you have a support person who can accompany you home from the clinic and make sure you are not alone for the next 24 hours. Keep this in mind when making your appointment if you only have a small number of friends or relatives you could ask to do this for you. Some clinics open on a Saturday, which can make it easier to schedule an appointment around work hours for both you and your support person. 

There are also strict instructions for aftercare which the provider will give to you. The complication rate of medication or surgical abortion in Australia is very low, but as with any medical procedure, it is very important to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider, and seek medical care if you have any questions or concerns. 

Public hospital provision 

Only around 1% of abortions in Queensland are provided by public hospitals. Queensland's hospitals have strict criteria that women must meet in order to access a publicly provided procedure. There is some information on this for health consumers here, or you can contact us for more specific information. 

What about post-abortion contraception? 

If you're seeking an abortion because your contraception failed, you might want to think about your future contraception options. Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) like the Implanon or an IUD have very low failure rates due to the lack of possible human error; once they're inserted you don't have to do anything and they last from between three and five years depending on the method. Some abortion providers offer a LARC insertion at the time of your abortion, so you can have both done at once while you're under anaesthetic. It's a good idea to ask about this when you call a clinic or GP to make an appointment; costs vary depending on the provider and the method. 

Last modified on: 11 January 2018
Getting an abortion
11 January 2018

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