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Decisions around what to do if you have an unintended pregnancy can be simple, but sometimes making a decision can be complex.

If you are pregnant and don’t know what to do, talking to a doctor or counsellor about the choices available may help you decide what is right for you. It is very
important to confirm your pregnancy early on to allow you plenty of time to consider your choices.

SHQ is a pro-choice organisation, but be aware some organisations offering pregnancy support services have strong beliefs, which you may not share. If you are not getting the advice and support you want, you may want to consider getting another opinion.

An abortion is a way of ending or terminating a pregnancy. There are two types of abortion available in WA – medical abortion and surgical abortion.

Medical abortion

A medical abortion is when medication is used to end a pregnancy. It is available up until 9 weeks gestation and provides an alternative to a surgical abortion. Medical abortions are available at SHQ.

Surgical abortion

A surgical abortion is a simple procedure performed under sedation at a dedicated clinic or hospital by a specially trained doctor.

If you live in WA and decide to have an abortion, you can now book directly with an abortion provider. You can call the State-wide Abortion Care Helpline service, 1800 4 CHOICE (1800 424 642) for more information.

1800 4 CHOICE provides phone support, information, and emotional support and counselling, for consumers and health professionals on abortion procedures, available options and local service providers.

Counselling before and after an abortion is optional and available for free at SHQ.

Abortions are safe and legal in WA up until 23 weeks gestation. If your pregnancy has progressed beyond 23 weeks, you may still be able to access an abortion legally, however, you will need to discuss your options with two doctors.

The cost of an abortion varies between clinics and some costs may be covered by Medicare or Private Health Insurance. Costs for an abortion may increase as the pregnancy progresses.

Special arrangements may be made for those where cost may be a barrier. Please contact 1800 4 CHOICE (1800 424 642) for more information.

Medical abortions can be conducted at home, after a consultation with a health professional. You may be required to have some blood tests and an ultrasound prior to receiving a prescription for the medication. After taking the medication at home, you should allow for at least 6 hours to rest, and be available to attend a follow up appointment about a week later.

The procedure for a surgical abortion usually only takes a few minutes, but you should allow for a few hours at the clinic. The procedure may take a bit longer if you are over 12 weeks pregnant. On the day of the procedure, you will have some consultations with health professionals, including an ultrasound to confirm the size of the pregnancy. Afterwards you will need some time to recover from the procedure. A support person must be available to drive you home from the clinic.


Abortion is a safe procedure, particularly if done in early pregnancy (up to 12 weeks). In later pregnancy the risks from an abortion rise, however they are low.

Some bleeding and pain are to be expected and some people feel tired or sick after the procedure. There are also a small number of rare complications involved with the procedure that your health professional can discuss with you in detail. These include excessive bleeding, severe pain and infection. There is also a small chance of damage to the uterus or cervix during a surgical abortion.

There is no evidence to suggest that an abortion has any effect on future fertility or future pregnancies.

Following an abortion you may experience emotions ranging from relief, sadness, anger, guilt, doubt, depression, renewed energy, remorse, or “back to normal”. There is no right way to feel, but it may help to talk to someone. At SHQ, free counselling is available to anyone regarding unintended pregnancy and termination.

It is important to have a follow up appointment 1-2 weeks after an abortion to make sure there are no problems or ongoing pregnancy. You can not rely on a home pregnancy test. This is also a good time to discuss contraception with your doctor, as you can get pregnant soon after having an abortion.

People under 16 years of age can access an abortion without the involvement of a parent or guardian if they can understand and consent to their own medical treatment. If a person is not able to understand or provide their own consent, other parties may need to be involved.

King Edward Memorial Hospital
Pregnancy Choices and Abortion Care Team
08 6458 1119 | kemh.health.wa.gov.au

Nanyara Medical Group
08 9277 6070 | nanyaraclinic.com

MSI Australia (formerly Marie Stopes International)
1300 003 707 | msiaustralia.org.au

Choices South West
08 9746 3300 | choicessw.com.au

1800 4 Choice Helpline
1800 4 Choice is a free helpline that provides confidential support to people experiencing unintended pregnancy, and advice to health workers in WA. Clinicians can give you information on abortion care, counselling and service providers, as well as advice and clarity around WA abortion laws.

1800 424 642

Sexual Health Helpline


Information last updated May 2024

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