Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure in Victoria. Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, you can either have an abortion with medication, or through surgery.
In 2008, Victoria decriminalised abortion and clarified how an abortion can take place:
A person can choose to have an abortion before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The service must be provided by a registered medical practitioner.
It is very rare for abortions to be performed after 24 weeks of pregnancy (the most common reason being for foetal abnormalities). The law states that 2 medical practitioners need to agree that the abortion would be appropriate, considering the medical, psychological and social circumstances involved.
A GP or health professional who objects to abortion or contraception services must refer their patients to another medical practitioner who doesn’t object. If your health professional has not done this, you can raise a complaint through the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner or the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
In 2016, the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 was altered, to include the establishment of legally protected “safe access zones” – the 150m radius around abortion providers.
Safe access zones allow for staff and patients to access clinics safely and privately, without harassment or obstruction.
Abortion legislation is different in every Australian state and territory. For more information about abortion across Australia, see here.