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What is abortion?

Abortion is a medical procedure to end a pregnancy. There are two methods available in Aotearoa New Zealand and both need approval from two certifying doctors to be legal.

What is abortion?

Abortion is a medical procedure to end a pregnancy.

In Aotearoa New Zealand the law says it is legal to have an abortion if two certifying doctors agree that continuing the pregnancy would result in serious danger to a woman’s mental or physical health.

The consultants may also consider:

  • how old you are and/or
  • whether the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (sex with a blood relative or guardian).

If you are more than 20 weeks pregnant, different criteria apply and your doctor will be able to talk with you about this.

There are two methods of abortion. The most common in Aotearoa New Zealand is surgical abortion. The other is early medical abortion (EMA).

It is not legal to import medications into Aotearoa New Zealand or to take any imported medication to cause an abortion.

For information about where these services are available visit the Abortion in New Zealand website. 

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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