In Australia, each of the six States and two Territories has different legislation that determines when abortion is lawful.
In Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, abortion is lawful based on the consent of the woman alone, but different gestational limits apply, ranging from 16 to 24 weeks. Late term abortions can be provided with medical certification (which is required for all abortions in South Australia and the Northern Territory).
In New South Wales and Queensland, abortion access remains restricted although the common law has recognised that abortion is lawful when necessary to prevent a serious risk to the physical or mental health of the woman.
The independent Queensland-based non-profit organisation Children by Choice provides an easy to read summary of the patchwork of laws across Australia.
Except in South Australia, there are extremely limited publically-funded abortion services. The majority is provided in the private sector, primarily in independently run clinics. The national heath scheme Medicare covers some of the costs of such services.
In Australia the legislation only allows for abortion to be performed by doctors.
All gynaecologists are potentially able to perform surgical and medical abortions; General Practitioners and other doctors such as Sexual Health Physicians are able to provide medical and surgical abortions after appropriate training.
Costs can vary significantly between providers and across the states and territories, so it is important to check with the provider first.
Publically-funded services such as those in South Australia and the Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria are provided with no out of pocket costs.
The typical cost of a medical abortion through an independent clinic or a GP is around AUD$350 but may go up to around $500. Telemedicine services generally cost AUD$250 - 300 for women with a Medicare card.
The cost of first trimester surgical abortion in a private clinic is around AUD$400 - 600. Costs increase after the first trimester, with steep increases with increasing gestation. Women without a Medicare cared will face higher costs.
Financial assistance for the abortion service and related costs may be available in certain circumstances:
Yes, abortion pills can be bought at registered pharmacies in Australia but only with a prescription from a doctor who has been approved to provide these medications.
No, it is illegal to import prescription medicines – but abortion pills can be obtained by post through an approved telemedicine service without the need to visit a clinic. Telemedicine is available in all states and territories except South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Tabbot Foundation https://www.tabbot.com.au/
Marie Stopes Australia https://www.mariestopes.org.au/abortion/tele-abortion/
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