For information about contraception, pregnancy options and sexual health in Victoria

Explainer: The abortion “post-code” lottery

on 17 May 2022 6:10 AM
Photo of a hand reaching into a glass bowl with small paper slips, in front of a red background

What is the abortion “post-code” lottery, and what can we do about it?

The term “post-code lottery” refers to the fact that where someone lives can often determine the availability and quality of healthcare services they can access. Simply living in the “wrong” city, town, or even street can make a difference in what healthcare services you can access, or whether you can access it publicly or privately.

When it comes to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health services, this post-code lottery can be even more obvious. In some countries such as the US, the abortion post-code lottery is dramatically visible, as abortion is criminalised in certain states.

In Victoria however, there is still an abortion post-code lottery. This is for a combination of reasons:

People seeking essential healthcare services such as abortion should not need the luck of the post-code lottery on their side. Some ways that we can address the abortion post-code lottery can include:

While abortions are safe and legal in Victoria, there is clearly still work to be done to ensure that abortion access is equitable for everyone, regardless of where they live.

If you need help finding an abortion service, contact 1800 My Options - weekdays, 9am - 5pm, on 1800 696 784.