Western Australia decriminalises abortion

The reforms were backed by WA’s majority Labor Government, with some cross-party support.
western australia decriminalises abortion

Western Australia has decriminalised abortion.

It comes after WA Parliament passed legislation in September.

The reforms were backed by WA’s majority Labor Government, with some cross-party support.

WA was the last remaining Australian jurisdiction to decriminalise abortion.

What’s changed?

The changes mean abortion now falls under WA’s existing health legislation, instead of the Criminal Code.

From today, registered practitioners can perform abortions up to 23 weeks’ gestation with none of the previous limitations, like a requirement that two professionals be present.

Practitioners who need to perform abortions after 23 weeks must consult with at least one other medical professional and have the patients’ informed consent.

Other changes

Western Australia decriminalising abortion means doctors are no longer required to offer counselling to their patients before performing an abortion.

It is not illegal for a health provider to object to performing an abortion.

However, those providers will now be required to help patients access the procedure elsewhere.


Abortion has now been decriminalised in every state and territory.

Gestational limits on abortions (i.e. how many weeks before the procedure requires additional approval) vary.

There’s no gestational limit for abortions in the ACT, however, the territory’s abortion clinic is not equipped to perform abortions beyond 16 weeks.

Abortions up to 16 weeks were made free in the ACT last year.

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