Te whakatahe (te aukati hapūtanga) Abortion (termination of pregnancy)

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.

Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa (external link)

You can work out how many weeks pregnant you are using a pregnancy calculator.

Am I pregnant? — DECIDE (external link)

Considering your options

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

  • 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 (family)
  • end the pregnancy by having an abortion.

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

There are many health professionals you can talk to, including:

If you are at school, the school nurse or counsellor could also help.

You can also get counselling from your local abortion provider. 

Find an abortion provider — DECIDE (external link)

Types of abortion

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

  • medical abortion — this involves taking pills to end your pregnancy
  • surgical abortion — this involves a minor operation.

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

  • how far along you are in your pregnancy
  • your medical history
  • access to support and emergency medical care.

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

People having a medical abortion take 2 different types of medication — mifepristone and misoprostol. There have been claims that medical abortion can be safely reversed by taking a dose of progesterone after a person has taken the first abortion medication, mifepristone. These claims are not based on any reputable scientific evidence.

RANZCOG, the leading body of obstetrics and gynaecology and women's health in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, do not support the use of progesterone to reverse an abortion. 

No reputable evidence for 'abortion reversal' — RANZCOG (external link)

For further support and advice about abortion services, you can visit the national abortion telehealth service DECIDE or contact your abortion provider.

Abortion types — DECIDE (external link)

Where to get an abortion

If you want to get an abortion, you can contact these places.


Call DECIDE on 0800 332 433

They can help you find a provider near you. If you are less than 10 weeks pregnant, they may be able to arrange an abortion over the phone.

Early medical abortion by phone — DECIDE (external link)

Your local abortion provider

You can contact a local abortion provider directly, without the need for a referral from your healthcare provider.

Find an abortion provider — DECIDE (external link)

Your healthcare provider or Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa

Speak to your healthcare provider or Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa and ask for details of a local abortion provider. If your doctor, nurse or midwife objects to abortion, they must refer you to another health practitioner.

Cost of an abortion

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:

  • you are not a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • you are not on a minimum 2 year working visa.

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.

Abortion and your rights — DECIDE (external link)

Clinical review

This content was written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. It has been adapted for Health Information and Services.

Clinical advisers — HealthInfo (external link)