In Victoria, where abortion is available in a range of public and private settings, it is a safe, common and legal reproductive health choice.

Unplanned pregnancies occur for many reasons – for instance when contraception fails, is not available, or a woman does not consent to having sex. The decision to have an abortion is for each individual woman to make based on her unique circumstances.

What is abortion?

An abortion is the deliberate medical process of ending a pregnancy. An abortion is also known as a 'termination' or 'termination of pregnancy'.

There are two types of abortion procedures – surgical abortions and medical abortions. 

Most surgical abortions are performed between 6 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, but they can be performed later as well. A surgical abortion is usually performed as a day procedure by a method called suction aspiration. Women having this procedure are usually under a general or local anaesthetic.

Medical abortion uses prescription medication given in doses over two or more days to end a pregnancy. This method of abortion can be performed for women whose pregnancy is up to nine weeks gestation.


Myths and facts - Abortion

Browse all topics in women's sexual and reproductive health

The following content is displayed as Tabs. Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content. The activated link is defined as Active Tab



Sexually transmissible infections

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Royal Women's Hospital

Last updated: March 2018

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.