An unplanned pregnancy can mean different things to different women, and all women deserve to have choices in terms of the outcome of a pregnancy. The decision can be complex and difficult, and options include terminating the pregnancy. If you are wondering how to get an abortion in NSW, abortion is legal and safe for women whose pregnancy is at or below 22 weeks.

At GCA, we offer first-trimester abortions (i.e., up to 14 weeks). Women are best served by choosing a private abortion service provider like Gynaecology Centres Australia (GCA), for its specialist expertise and experience in providing abortions, confidentiality, compassionate, empathic care, and prompt access to abortions. Our core focus is on women’s health and wellbeing.

Abortion in NSW – Legal Requirements

Abortion is legal throughout Australia, with regulations and laws differing somewhat between states and territories.

In NSW, abortion was legalised in October 2019. At this time, the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 In NSW was passed. It states that:

  • Women who procure an abortion are no longer at risk of prosecution, nor are the doctors who perform abortions up to 22 weeks gestation providing informed consent is given.
  • For pregnancies after 22 weeks, abortions may only be carried out in an approved health facility or hospital, and only by a specialist doctor in consultation with another independent medical practitioner.
  • Any doctor or other medical practitioner who has a personal conscientious objection to abortion for any reason must refer on, transfer care, or provide information to women to enable easy access to another registered provider who will perform the abortion.

Abortions in NSW must be performed by a registered doctor. Referrals from general practitioners are not required, and women can book directly with a private abortion clinic. While most NSW abortions are carried out within the first trimester (14 weeks), abortion services are available up to 22 weeks.

Later abortions (after 22 weeks) have more limited availability but may be carried out for serious medical reasons, including but not limited to severe foetal abnormalities.

How to get an Abortion in NSW – The Process

There are two ways to get an abortion in NSW:

  1. Surgical abortions – carried out up until 14 weeks (98 days) from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. This involves visiting a clinic for a day procedure which is carried out under sedation. A surgical abortion is the preferred, most effective option to end a pregnancy.
  2. Medical abortions may be performed up to 9 weeks (63 days) from the first day of the last menstrual period. They involve taking tablets at home which end the pregnancy and induce a miscarriage.

Informed consent is essential prior to an abortion. This includes being given comprehensive information relating to your options, the abortion procedure, its risks and possible complications, and contraceptive options thereafter.

Young women under the age of 16 years, as well as those with an intellectual disability, have the same rights as any other woman and may give informed consent if the doctor determines they are competent to do so. Having an unbiased parent or guardian as a support person during the process is a good idea where feasible.

Safe Access Zone for NSW Abortion Providers

Legislation was passed by NSW Parliament in June 2018 to protect women and doctors from harassment outside abortion clinics. Known as the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill 2018, it provides safe access zones around health clinics at which abortions are performed. Per the Act, a safe access zone includes the reproductive health clinic premises at which abortions are provided, as well as the area within 150 metres surrounding it, including its pedestrian access points.

It is an offence for any person to:

  • interfere in any way with a person accessing or leaving any reproductive health clinic where abortions are provided
  • block or obstruct roads, footpaths, or other access points leading to any of these clinics.

It is also an offence to:

  • verbally harass or communicate concerning abortions within the safe access zone in a way that may cause distress
  • intentionally capture visual data (photo, video) of any person within a safe access zone without consent
  • distribute or publish a recording of any person taken within the safe access zone without consent and which could identify said person

Penalties for infringement of the above for a first offence is currently $5500 or 6 months imprisonment or both. These penalties double for second or subsequent offences.

The purpose of safe access zones is to protect the rights of women to access essential medical services (of which abortion is one) freely and without interference, and to protect the practitioners who provide this care.

Choose Gynaecology Centres Australia

Are you wondering how to get an abortion in NSW?

Gynaecology Centres Australia is proud to provide women with the safe, legal, unbiased and compassionate access to pregnancy termination they deserve. Operating from five locations in NSW and the ACT, we offer non-judgemental, expert abortion and gynaecology services that are second to none, as well as a comprehensive range of other women’s health services, including but not limited to reliable and effective contraception, women’s health screening, and more. We also offer vasectomy for men.

Contact us today via our online booking form or call 02 9585 9599 to book a consultation or for more information.