Unplanned pregnancies are incredibly common, with up to half of all Australian pregnancies unplanned. By providing medical termination of pregnancy (MTOP) services, GPs and other specialists can provide women and others living in their community better access to abortion.
Since 2012, GPs and obstetricians and gynaecologists have been able to prescribe medication abortion pills to patients through their practice. In Australia, the medications are marketed as MS 2-Step, and is listed on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Schemes (PBS).
Medication abortions are available to end pregnancies less than nine weeks gestation (up to 63 days LMP). Medication abortions, or MS-2 Step, contain mifepristone – which stops the pregnancy from developing, and misoprostol – which causes cervical softening and uterine contractions, passing the products of conception.
Mifepristone has been used worldwide by millions of women since the 1980s. A large Australian observational study of over 11,000 women who had a medication abortion found that nearly 80% would use it again, and over 90% would recommend it to a friend. This reflects international trends, where studies in Scotland, the US, Sweden, Norway and Finland have found that the large majority of women who chose an abortion through medication found it acceptable.
If you are an Australian healthcare professional and would like to become a certified prescriber or dispenser of MS-2 Step, you must first register online. Registration is free.
Medication practitioners can register by going to the MS 2-Step website.
To become a licensed prescriber, you will also require:
More detailed information is available on the MS Health website.