Abortion (or ‘termination of pregnancy’) is when a pregnancy is intentionally ended early. Safe access to abortion is good public health practice and plays an important role in supporting women’s health, wellbeing and gender equality.


Factors influencing women’s decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy include the level of support they are likely to receive, the financial resources they have access to and their own emotional readiness to become a parent. Regardless of whether a woman decides to continue or terminate her pregnancy she will need access to appropriate, sensitive and non-judgmental supports and services.

If you are looking for information in relation to pregnancy options, contact 1800 My Options.

WHV’s advocacy for safe and legal access to abortion

Working to ensure women have the right and ability to access safe and legal abortion in Victoria has been a longstanding priority. Inability to access sexual and reproductive health services can contribute to social and economic disadvantage for women and further health inequalities.

We are proud to have played a significant role in:

View the full list of publications and resources related to abortion

The law in Victoria

Abortion is legal in Victoria. The Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 decriminalised abortion and regulates when abortion can take place. A woman is legally entitled to have an abortion until she is 24 weeks pregnant. After 24 weeks two doctors must agree the termination is appropriate, considering the woman’s relevant medical circumstances and her current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances. Abortion after 24 weeks is not common.

While some doctors may object to abortion, they are required by law to refer you to a pro-choice doctor if you wish to discuss abortion. If you feel your doctor has not done this, you can make a complaint to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

In 2016, legislation establishing safe access zones around abortion providers was introduced to ensure that women and staff entering or leaving premises providing abortions can do so safely and privately, without fear or harassment.