Abortion is a well-established, safe health care procedure. Most regions in Aotearoa New Zealand have local abortion services. DECIDE's early medical abortion (EMA) by phone service is now available.
If you want to get an abortion, you can:
- Contact an abortion provider in your area directly, without the need for a referral from your doctor.
- Contact us (DECIDE - the National Abortion Telehealth Service) and we can help find a provider near you.
- Speak to your nurse or doctor or Family Planning and ask for details of a local abortion provider. If your doctor, nurse or midwife objects to abortion they must still refer you to another health practitioner.
DECIDE's early medical abortion (EMA) by phone service
If you can't or don't want to visit a clinic, contact us directly from anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand and, if clinically appropriate, we can arrange an early medical abortion over the phone for you.
Step-by-step guide to getting an abortion
1. Confirm you are pregnant
First, confirm that you are pregnant. You can do this by taking a pregnancy test at a Family Planning clinic, through a nurse or doctor, or buy a pregnancy test kit at supermarkets or pharmacies.
2. Decide what you would like to do
Once you're sure you're pregnant (a positive pregnancy test), you'll need to think about your pregnancy options and decide what to do. You can:
- Continue the pregnancy and be a parent.
- Continue the pregnancy and choose adoption, fostering, whāngai or find an option appropriate to you and your whānau.
- End the pregnancy by having an abortion.
Check out this useful list of things to think about if you have an unintended pregnancy.
If you're considering abortion, see considering abortion.
If you want to talk to a counsellor about pregnancy options, contact your local abortion provider, and ask for pregnancy options counselling.
3. Pause! I have no idea what I want to do or who to talk to
At any stage, from taking a pregnancy test, to finding out you're pregnant, to considering abortion, it's OK if you have no idea what to do or where to start.
Know that you're not alone.
Make an appointment at Family Planning or with your GP or health practitioner to talk about your options as early as possible in your pregnancy. If you're at school, the school nurse or counsellor could also help.
There are also other places to get support.
If you're thinking about an abortion but aren't sure, you can contact your local abortion provider and ask for pregnancy options counselling. This means you can talk to a professional counsellor before you make a decision. This will be free for most New Zealand citizens and residents.
Or, you can talk to us (the National Abortion Telehealth Service).
4. I've decided to have an abortion
Decisions around abortion are personal, and you need to feel comfortable with your decision. Here are some things to think about as you consider your treatment options:
- It’s about you - Think about what an abortion will mean for you (How do I feel? Will I need time off work? Who can I get to look after my children? Do I have the support I need to get an abortion?)
- Act quickly – Abortion is a very safe procedure but if possible, seek an abortion as early as possible.
- Know about your rights – Read about your rights.
- Know your options – Read about abortion types.
- Know what to expect – Read about what to expect.
- Know about possible emotional/physical side effects and risks – Read about what to expect.
- Discuss your decision with people you trust – Or, talk to a professional counsellor which can be organised through an abortion provider.
- Find out how easy it is to access abortion services in your area – Most regions in New Zealand provide abortion services, but you may have to travel to access the service.
- Find out about support for your cultural needs – Read about respect for tikanga Māori.
- Find out if the clinic provides disability access, if needed. Accessibility information is provided under each abortion provider's listing in the Find a provider section.
- Know about cost – Most abortion services are free for most NZ citizens/residents. Read about cost.
- Understand that you're not alone – There is support available to you. You'll be able to talk to unbiased and non-judgmental professional counsellors, nurses, doctors and midwives before and after your abortion.
5. Contact an abortion provider
Know what you want? You can contact an abortion provider in your area yourself and ask for an appointment.
If you're unsure if there's an abortion provider in your region, or one that's easy for you to get to, talk to us.
Or, you can speak to Family Planning or your GP or health practitioner and ask for details of a local abortion provider.
6. Have counselling, if you want
You do not need to have counselling to get an abortion but you can ask for counselling at any stage of the abortion process. You can get:
- Pre-decision counselling (talk about your pregnancy options).
- Pre-abortion counselling (talk before you have an abortion).
- Couple and whānau counselling (talk together, before and after an abortion).
- Post-abortion counselling (talk after an abortion).
Abortion counselling is free for most New Zealand citizens and residents and can be organised through an abortion provider.
Check if you're eligible for publicly funded health services in New Zealand.
Non-New Zealand residents will have to pay for abortion counselling. Prices for non-residents vary depending on the provider.
At any stage, if you're thinking about an abortion, it's OK if you don't know what to do or where to start. We understand and we can help.