The overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States has sent shock waves around the world; stripping women, trans and non-binary people with uteruses in the US of their bodily rights and stirring unhealthy debate and stigma about abortions.
Below are some legal points to understanding your abortion rights in NSW.
- Up to 22 weeks’ gestation, the choice to have an abortion is the patient’s decision – a doctor must provide information about counselling if they assess that the patient needs and is interested in this.
- After 22 weeks, it is the decision of two specialist medical practitioners – they need to decide whether an abortion is appropriate in all the circumstances and must consider medical, physical, psychological and social circumstances. The law also states that they may seek advice from a multidisciplinary hospital committee if they want. They must also provide information about counselling to the patient.
- Where an abortion is necessary to save a pregnant person’s life, the above restrictions do not apply.
- Practitioners who conscientiously object to abortion are legally obliged to provide you with information on a practitioner who doesn’t conscientiously object to abortion, or to transfer care to another health service provider at which the abortion can be performed.
If you require support or information about an abortion, please don’t hesitate to contact our casework service.
More information and resources
If you would like further information on abortion in New South Wales, read our article on Contraception, abortion, and giving birth.
You can also contact your GP, visit NSW Health or Pregnancy Choices Helpline. If you are interested in abortion counselling, find more information about counselling before or after an abortion. For sexual health and contraception information for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people, visit Transhub.
To access the Pregnancy Choices Helpline through the National Relay Service (for deaf people):
- Call 133 677 for Teletypewriter (TTY)
- Text 0423 677 767 for SMS relay.
This information is current as at July 2022 and where it includes legal information is intended as a guide to the law as it applies to people who live in or are affected by the law as it applies in NSW. It does not constitute legal advice.