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Frequently Asked Questions

NZ law says you can self-refer at any age for an abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. After that you would need to see a health practitioner (who then needs to consult another health practitioner) and both would need to deem the abortion ‘clinically appropriate in the circumstances’.

Medical abortion is commonly known as ‘the abortion pill’. It can be done up to 9 weeks of pregnancy.

The 1st medicine that is given at the abortion clinic is called mifepristone. This blocks the hormone needed for the baby (embryo) to stay alive and breaks down the lining of the uterus (womb).

The 2nd medicine (usually given 1-2 days later) opens the cervix and causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby (embryo).

See here for more detailed information about medical abortion or feel free to chat with one of our supporters via our confidential online chat or call 0800 773424.

Surgical abortion is a surgical procedure done at a specialised clinic or hospital. It is commonly known as ‘suction abortion’.

See here for more information about surgical abortion, or feel free to chat with one of our supporters via our confidential online chat or call 0800 773424.

Late term surgical abortion can be done in some places between 13-18 weeks. It sometimes involves 2 appointments especially for the later ones, the 1st where osmotic dilators are inserted into the vagina to soften and dilate the cervix  and the 2nd when the surgery takes place.

For any pregnancy after 18 weeks, a late term medical abortion is performed. This involves use of a medicine to induce labour and to bring about delivery of baby. This can take a few days. If pregnancy is between 18-22 weeks the baby may be born alive and could live for 1 or 2 hours.

From 22 weeks you need to agree to foeticide (an injection of medicine into baby’s heart to stop it beating) to ensure baby is dead before the labour and delivery.

For more detailed information on late term abortion feel free to contact one of our supporters via our website chat or call 0800 773 424.

Early medical abortion: 9 out of 10 women say they experience significant pain.

Surgical abortion: Most done under local anaesthetic, but usually discomfort/pain can still be felt.

Late medical abortion: Definitely significant pain due to labour and delivery of baby.

Due to the ever-changing nature of abortion providers, we don’t provide information on where or who does abortions, as this varies so much per location.

However, we can give you information on the abortion process and what to expect.

Everybody reacts differently following an abortion. Some women initially feel relief, while others experience emotions that greatly affect them, such as sadness, regret, guilt, anxiety, depression, and grief to name a few. It’s hard to go through the process of abortion without it affecting you in some way emotionally so it’s good to be aware of this and prepared for how you may feel.

See here for more information about emotional impacts

It’s important to seek help if you are struggling emotionally following an abortion. We offer a course called  "‘Living in Colour" or you could access counselling though your GP or abortion provider.

The answer to both these questions is no. It is completely her choice. She is the one who will need to deal with the consequences of whatever choice she makes, so she gets to decide. But it is really important for you talk to her and tell her how you are feeling and to find out detailed information on all her options and discuss the decision together.

The most important thing is that you don’t pressure her into a decision she doesn’t want to make.

Most adoptions in NZ are now open adoptions. This means that birth parents and adoptive parents can maintain an ongoing relationship.

You would need to make contact with ‘Adoption Services’ (part of Oranga Tamariki) as soon as you can, if you are thinking of the possibility of adoption. You would meet with a Social Worker who would guide you through the process of adoption. You would be asked what type of family you would like your baby to go to, and be given some profiles of adoptive couples to look through and choose from. Or you could choose someone you know who is unable to have children, and gift your baby to them. At any point of time before the consent is signed (no earlier than 12 days after the birth) you can change your mind and keep your baby. More details

If this is something you would be interested in considering, one of our supporters would be happy to walk through this process with you.

Pregnancy FAQs
How can I find out if I'm pregnant?

To find out if you're pregnant or not, you could do a urine pregnancy test or get a blood test from your doctor.

A urine test will usually show a result from the day your period is missed, onwards. They can be bought from a supermarket or pharmacy or we offer free pregnancy testing at our centres in Kaikohe, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin.  Find a  location near me

Some of the common signs of pregnancy are missed period, tiredness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, especially in the morning, but can be anytime of the day or night, breast tenderness. You may get all or none of these symptoms. Every pregnancy is different. More about pregnancy symptoms

It can be a shock and very overwhelming to find out you are pregnant, especially if you are not expecting it. The best thing to do at first, is nothing! Allow your feelings to settle and investigate all your options thoroughly before making a decision which is life-changing.

If you are thinking abortion, an early medical abortion can be done up to 9 weeks of pregnancy, and a surgical abortion up to 15 weeks in most places and 18 weeks in some. So you do have options and don’t need to rush your decision.

New Zealand law allows for an abortion for any reason without a referral up to 20 weeks, and then up to full term if a Health Practitioner (with a second health practitioner in agreement) deems the abortion clinically appropriate.

You do have a choice and you do have options, so feel free to contact us to work through each option.

We usually advise that the first thing to do, is nothing! When you have just found out something big like an unplanned pregnancy, you might have feelings of panic and fear. You need to take time to let those feelings settle, so you can make a calm, well thought decision. You might have heard the saying “Don’t make a permanent decision on a temporary emotion”

We often want to stop what is happening and go back to how things were. That is understandable, fear of the unknown or fear of change often wants to put a stop to things.

Fear can strip us of our courage, confidence and strength but we are often stronger than we think.

It is important to recognise when fear is talking and driving our decisions. Take a moment to think about this. Then remind yourself of what you have already conquered in life. You are often stronger and more capable than you realise or give yourself credit for.

Our supporters would love to come alongside you and support you if you are feeling fearful or overwhelmed. We understand that an unplanned pregnancy is scary and don’t want you to feel alone.

Being fully informed of all your options and their benefits/consequences can empower you to make an informed and well thought out decision.

By the time your period is 1 week overdue you are considered to be 5 weeks pregnant. The baby (embryo) has implanted in the uterus and the heart begins to beat. For more information on how baby develops throughout different stages of pregnancy please refer to ‘baby development’.

If you are a  non-resident it depends upon the type of visa you are on, as to whether your costs are covered.
Generally, if you are on a 2-3 year (or more) work visa or you are a NZ resident or your partner is on a 2-3 year (or more) work visa or is a resident and you have a partnership visa,  then your costs would be covered for maternity care or abortion.
However each case can be different. If you’re unsure please call (0800 773424) or to go onto our chat and one of our supporters can help you, or direct you to where you can find out the answer to your questions. 

The most important thing is to find out good information on all your options. One of our supporters would be happy to talk you through these.

If lack of finance or support are the reasons you feel you cannot go ahead with the pregnancy, we would be very happy to help in practical ways by providing you with baby gear, clothing, practical help (or direct you to someone else who can, if you don’t live in the area of one of our centres).

You may feel like this is the wrong time to have a baby, that you’ll have one later on, when you are more settled. The only thing with this, is that having a baby is something that we often don’t have any control over. It might work out fine, but it might not. 1 in 100 women only get pregnant once in their life, so a hard question to ask yourself would be “If this was the only baby I had, what decision would I make?”

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