Australian Abortion Access Scorecard

Below is a summary of the current abortion laws across states and territories in Australia. Although access to abortion is decriminalized across all states and territories in Australia but Western Australia, references to the provision of abortion care is still in criminal codes.

This information is intended to give general information about the law. It has been prepared by MSI Australia staff and the content does not, and cannot, constitute legal advice. To the maximum extent permitted by law, MSI Australia and all other contributors to this Scorecard are not responsible for, and do not accept any liability for, any loss, damage or injury, financial or otherwise, suffered by any person acting or relying on information contained in or omitted from this Scorecard. MSI Australia make no claims, guarantees or warranties about the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, quality or suitability for a particular use of this information. It is the responsibility of the user to verify the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, quality or suitability for a particular use of this information.

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Last updated: 15 July 2022

Note for mobile phone users: the table below can be scrolled horizontally to display the data.

Australian Abortion Access Scorecard

Note for mobile phone users: the table below can be scrolled horizontally to display the data.

  ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA
Abortions provided by one doctor

Abortions can be accessed without risk of criminalisation

Doctors can provide abortions without risk of criminalisation

Nurses, Midwives and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers can provide medical abortions without risk of criminalisation

Support people can assist someone to access abortion without risk of criminalisation

Safe Access Zones are legislated

Counselling referrals are optional and not mandated

Abortion access free from judgement and justification

Abortion evidence base is supported with data collection and publication

Conscientious objection is legislated with a referral

Abortion access and equity wish list ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA
Abortion care can be provided by one doctor Green: Legal
Orange: Some pregnancy gestation limits apply, after which two doctors are required
Red: Complex restrictions apply
*Two doctor approvals required past each gestation limit
**Gestation limit low and two doctor approvals required past each gestation limit ***Assessment panel where approval is only likely if the woman/ pregnant person or fetus has a severe medical condition
Yes 22 weeks* 24 weeks* 22 weeks* 22 weeks* 16 weeks** 24 weeks* 20 weeks***
Women and pregnant people can access abortion care without risk of criminalisation
Green: Criminalisation of people accessing abortion has been removed from the Criminal Code
Red: Criminalisation of women and pregnant people exists in the Criminal Code
No mention in the ACT Crimes Act A person who consents to, assists in or performs a termination is not guilty of a crime None A woman who consents to, assists in, or performs a termination on herself does not commit an offence. A person who consents to, assists in, or performs an abortion on themselves does not commit an offence. A woman who consents to, assists in or performs a termination on herself is not guilty of a crime or any other offence None A patient can be criminalised in numerous complex situations
Doctors can provide medical or surgical abortion care without risk of criminalisation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Midwives and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers can provide medical abortion care without risk of criminalisation Can only assist.

Can only assist.
Can only assist. A medical practitioner may direct an authorised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner, midwife, nurse or pharmacist to assist in abortion care Only doctors can provide abortion care. It is a crime for an unqualified person to assist in an abortion. A nurse or a midwife must assist a medical practitioner to perform an abortion in an emergency. A registered nurse can administer or supply drugs but the regulations are complex.
An unlawful abortion performed by anyone other than a medical practitioner is a crime
Support people or doulas can assist someone to access abortion care without risk of criminalisation

Green: Criminalisation of support people or doulas has been removed from the Criminal Code

Red: Criminalisation of support people or doulas exists in the Criminal Code
It is a crime if a person besides a doctor or nurse practitioner supplies or administers a termination drug to another person.

It is also a crime if a person besides a doctor carries out a surgical termination.
No crime is listed.
No crime is listed. It is a crime for an unqualified person to perform, or assist in, a termination. It is a crime for an unqualified person to perform or assist in a termination. Termination by a person other than medical practitioner or pregnant woman is guilty of a crime. A person who is not a qualified person must not perform an abortion on another person. An unlawful abortion performed by anyone other than a medical practitioner is a crime.
Safe Access Zones are legislated 50m SAZ
150m SAZ
150m SAZ
150m SAZ 150m SAZ
150m SAZ
150m SAZ 150m SAZ
Counselling referrals are optional and not mandated Yes Yes-after 22 weeks Yes Yes No-mandated No-mandated Yes No-mandated
Abortion access free from judgement and without needing to provide justification of choice Yes The government opposes abortions based on Gender Biased Sex Selection Yes Yes Abortions must not be performed based on
Gender Biased Sex Selection
Yes Yes When informed consent is provided, no reasons are needed
Abortion evidence base is supported with anonymous data collection and publication to improve health systems and processes No data collection Data collection, but no published data yet.
Data collection No data collection
Data collection No data collection
No data collection
Data collection.
Conscientious objection (CO) is legislated with referral Must inform Must tell patient and give information on how to locate/contact a doctor without CO or transfer to another doctor without CO Must inform and refer in a clinically reasonable time Must inform and refer or transfer care Must inform and refer or provide information on where to access care elsewhere Must provide information on where to access care elsewhere Must inform and refer No one has a duty to perform an abortion