Women's health

Abortion: informing and supporting the patient

Terri Foran




Around half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended. GPs play an important role in providing sound information and support to women seeking an abortion, as well as aftercare and the management of any complications. A basic knowledge of medical and surgical abortion procedures and abortion laws are therefore essential for all Australian GPs.

Article Extract

Unintended pregnancy accounts for around 50% of pregnancies worldwide. Many women confronted with an unexpected positive pregnancy test will seek information online. However, the information provided by a woman’s own GP can prove invaluable, particularly if she is considering an abortion and the decision is a difficult one. This article discusses some of the issues that women will face in seeking and experiencing abortion and provides information for GPs to help support these patients. It is important to acknowledge that not all GPs will feel comfortable in assisting or be willing to support patients who are considering an abortion. However, regardless of their own personal beliefs, GPs have a professional obligation to ensure ongoing care for their patients considering abortion, and this may involve referral to another practitioner who is willing to assist.