Abortion

Family Planning NSW (FPNSW) provides abortion services as part of our comprehensive reproductive and sexual health service delivery.

The following information is for people who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and want information about abortion.

What is abortion?

Abortion is when medication or a surgical procedure is used to end a pregnancy. If you have decided to have an abortion you are not alone. It is estimated that one in four Australian women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

There are two types of abortion:

  • surgical abortion (which involves an operation, usually under light sedation)
  • medical abortion (which involves taking medications that cause a miscarriage)

Surgical abortion

A surgical abortion is a day surgery procedure performed under sedation to end a pregnancy.

The procedure involves a plastic suction tube being inserted through the vagina and the cervix (opening of the womb), into the uterus (womb) to remove the pregnancy.

A surgical abortion is available at Family Planning NSW for people up to 13 weeks gestation and is generally very safe and effective.

An initial abortion assessment can be booked at any Family Planning NSW clinic, where the clinician will arrange the required tests and confirm that you are suitable to have your procedure with us. You will then be scheduled in for your surgical abortion procedure at Chatswood.

After the procedure, a responsible adult should accompany you home. It is best to go home in a car if possible, not by bus or train, just in case you feel unwell.

Medical abortion

Medical abortion is a two-step process that involves taking two different types of medications. The medications interrupt the pregnancy and then cause the uterus (womb) to contract and expel the pregnancy.

A medical abortion is available for people up to 9 weeks gestation and is very safe and effective. It does not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future.

At Family Planning NSW, people having a medical abortion can expect to have three appointments: abortion assessment; medical abortion provision; and a follow-up appointment post-abortion.

During your medical abortion provision, Family Planning NSW will give you a prescription for the medication which you can buy from a pharmacy. You will then be advised how to take the medications at home.

Because the medical termination will take place in your own home, it is important to have another responsible adult at home with you for support.

Cost of an abortion at Family Planning NSW

Generally, Family Planning NSW charges fees for abortion services in addition to any Medicare rebates. Exemptions to fees apply for:

  • clients aged 18 years and under
  • Health Care Concession Card holders
  • Pensioner Concession Card holders
  • low-income Health Care Card holders
  • full-time students

For more information about medical abortion fees, click here.

For more information about surgical abortion fees, click here.

If you have more questions about our fees, please contact your nearest clinic to discuss your individual situation.

Accessing an abortion

Abortion services are provided at all Family Planning NSW clinics. To book an abortion assessment, please call your local clinic:

Contraception

We recommend that you start effective contraception as soon as possible after an abortion. Most methods of contraception can be started straight away.

At Family Planning NSW, we provide information about all forms of contraception and can discuss which option might work best for you. Learn more about your contraceptive options on our contraception options website.

Counselling

Family Planning NSW offers access to confidential counselling before or after an abortion if you feel that this would be helpful to you. This service is available to you (and your partner, as appropriate) if needed and is not a requirement to access our abortion services.

You can ask any of our clinics about making an appointment for counselling or you can contact the counselling team directly on 02 8752 4369.

Pregnancy options

If you are not sure what to do about your pregnancy, you can call any of our clinics to make a pregnancy options appointment. During this appointment we will talk through the range of options available to you and outline some of the things to consider, such as where to go to for support and tools to assist your decision making.

You can find some useful information in the booklet on our website here.

Contact us

To speak with a health professional about abortion or your pregnancy options, you can make an appointment with one of our clinics or call our Talkline service.

Family Planning NSW Talkline 1300 658 886

Family Planning NSW Talkline is a confidential telephone, email and webchat service. It is staffed by nurses specialising in reproductive and sexual health.

Family Planning NSW Talkline is open 8.30am to 5pm weekdays for information and referral advice. Further information is also available at www.fpnsw.org.au/talkline.

If this is a crisis for you, please make contact with:

Lifeline 13 11 14

Lifeline provides a 24 hour telephone counselling service, online chat for crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services. Further information is available at www.lifeline.org.au

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