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HealthInfo Aoraki South Canterbury

Abortion (termination of pregnancy)

Te whakatahe (te aukati hapūtanga)

If you are pregnant and do not want to continue with the pregnancy, you have the option of an abortion. This is a well-established, safe healthcare procedure and is a free service for most New Zealand citizens and residents.

Confirming you are pregnant

You need to do a pregnancy test to confirm that you are pregnant. You can buy a test from a pharmacy or supermarket. You can also see your healthcare provider or Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa. You can work out how many weeks pregnant you are using a pregnancy calculator.

Considering your options

When you have confirmed that you are pregnant, you can decide on the best option for you. You can decide to:

It is up to you as the pregnant person to decide if you want to have an abortion. You do not have to tell your partner, whānau or friends that you are having an abortion.

If you decide to have an abortion, it is easier if it is done as early as possible in the pregnancy.

Getting help with your decision

Talk to someone you trust

You may want to talk to someone you trust, such as your partner, a friend or a whānau member.

If you are a young person, it is a good idea to talk to a parent or another trusted adult if you can.

Talk to a health professional

Contact your usual healthcare provider or a Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa Clinic. Or you can speak to a nurse at the National Abortion Telehealth Service (DECIDE) by calling 0800-DECIDE (0800‑332‑433). If you are at school, the school nurse or counsellor could also help.

You can arrange counselling through Timaru Hospital's Social Work Services. Phone (03) 684-3089 and ask for the social work office.

You can also get counselling from your local abortion provider. In South Canterbury this is the Gynaecology Unit at Timaru Hospital. Call (03) 687‑2308.

Types of abortion

There are 2 types of abortion in New Zealand. They are:

The type of procedure available to you may depend on many factors, including:

Up to 9 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, you may be able to have a medical abortion at home.

You can find more detailed information on abortion methods on the DECIDE website.

Where to get an abortion

If you want to get an abortion, you can:


Abortion services are free for most New Zealand citizens and residents.

You might need to pay for an ultrasound scan and prescription fees. Your abortion provider will tell you if there are any costs.

You will likely have to pay for an abortion and any aftercare costs if:

Your rights when accessing abortion services

Accessing an abortion is confidential, no one will be told without your permission.

You do not have to have counselling as part of accessing abortion services. But it must be available and offered to you. Whānau may support you during counselling sessions.

DECIDE has more details about your rights to do with abortion services.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2024.


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