Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure in Victoria. Abortion services are located in both Melbourne and regional Victoria, although the majority of Victorian service providers are in Melbourne. The costs, procedures and time required can vary from service to service.
Depending on how long you have been pregnant, and service availability, you may have the option of either a medication or surgical abortion. For more information about each procedure, and to work out which one is right for you, please visit the following Better Health Channel factsheets:
The gestation of your pregnancy, or ‘how many weeks pregnant you are’, is counted from the first day of your last period. Medication abortion can be provided between five and nine weeks of pregnancy. Most providers will perform a surgical abortion up to 12 weeks after the last normal period. Some providers will perform abortions later in pregnancy.
Abortion can legally be accessed up to the 24th week of pregnancy (and in certain circumstances beyond this). However, contacting services earlier can minimise procedure costs and maximise options.
1800 My Options is Victoria’s Sexual and Reproductive Health information phone line. It is a woman-centred service, established to provide information on contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health. This includes providing:
- a non-clinical and non-judgemental service
- information on relevant clinical services
- information on support and counselling services, based on each woman’s needs.
If you need information about how to confirm a pregnancy, or assistance with decision-making or support you can:
Please note this information is intended as a guide only. Always contact providers directly for specific information relating to your own circumstances.
Choosing an abortion service in Victoria
There are a number of issues to consider when you choose an abortion service, including:
- privacy and safe access zones
- what contraceptive services they offer
- what support services they offer after the abortion.
Costs of abortion services in Victoria
Costs vary among clinics and depend on:
- whether the service charges fees or not
- the gestation of your pregnancy (how many weeks pregnant you are)
- what sort of abortion procedure you will be having
- whether you have a Medicare card
- whether you have a Health Care Card
- whether you have private health insurance, and what your insurance covers
- whether you attend a public hospital, a community health service, a private clinic or a GP.
The process of having an abortion
The process of having an abortion depends on how many weeks pregnant you are, whether you have a surgical or medication procedure and the service provider. Your abortion provider will give you more detailed information on what you can expect.
Depending on which type of procedure you choose, some services may require two visits, others will require one.
Abortion and contraceptive services
Speaking with a health professional about abortion can also be a good opportunity to discuss contraceptive options. Some services may be able to provide long-acting reversible contraception such as an IUD (intrauterine device), or a contraceptive implant or injection, at the time of the abortion or at your follow-up appointment.
Support services after an abortion
How you feel after an abortion will depend on your reasons for having one and how comfortable you were about your decision. The majority of women feel relieved and that they made the right decision for them at the time.
If you find that you need additional support, please let your abortion provider know, as providers will either offer follow-up support or refer you to an appropriate support service. You can also access this information via 1800myoptions.org.au or by phoning 1800 My Options (1800 696 784).
Privacy and safe access zones
In May 2016, the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 was amended to provide for the establishment of legally protected safe access zones within a radius of 150 metres around abortion providers. This is to ensure that women and staff who are entering or leaving premises providing abortions can do so safely and privately, without harassment or obstruction.
Abortion services in Victoria
Surgical abortion services tend to be concentrated in metropolitan Melbourne. There are some surgical services available in regional areas. Medication abortion is also available through some health clinics and regional GPs.
Some Melbourne service providers cater for women coming from regional Victoria and offer a ‘same-day service’.
To find abortion services, discuss your options with 1800 My Options phone line, your GP, or your local community health or women’s health organisation. There are some rural and regional abortion providers that are not listed below.
Telemedicine abortion services
Telemedicine uses telecommunication technologies to exchange health information and provide healthcare services. Healthcare providers that offer medication abortion services via telemedicine include:
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this information was correct. Please confirm details with specific service providers when you first contact them.
Where to get help
- Your GP – in most cases you can start by contacting your doctor. However, as not all doctors will be supportive, you may want to ring your clinic in advance to find a supportive, pro-choice GP. If you need an interpreter, your GP should also be able to provide an interpreter service by phone
- Your local community health centre
- 1800myoptions.org.au, Tel. 1800 696 784
- Family Planning Victoria Tel. (03) 9257 0100 or freecall 1800 013 952
- Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline 1800 882 436
- Women's health organisation in your region
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
Women's Health Victoria
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