Surgical abortion by dilatation of the cervix and suction curettage is the most common method used in New Zealand for first trimester and some second trimester abortions.
Medical abortion uses pills rather than surgery. It is more like an induction of labour and is commonly used for second trimester pregnancy. Early medical abortion (up to nine weeks) was introduced into New Zealand in 2001 and is currently provided in the following units (Te Mahoe Unit in Wellington, Masterton Hospital in the Wairarapa, Gisborne Hospital, Lyndhurst Cllinic in Christchurch, Dunedin Hospital in the Otago District Health Board, the Auckland Medical Aid Centre (AMAC), the Epsom Day Unit and Surgery on Shakespeare in Auckland).
Risks of abortion
Abortion is a relatively safe procedure, but all methods carry some risk. The risk is dependent on the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion is carried out as well as the procedure used.
The pre-existing health of the woman also impacts upon the risk. Therefore, it is important that women disclose full information about their past and present health when deciding on the procedure.
Pregnancy is divided into three parts, called trimesters;
- The first trimester to conception to 12+ weeks
- The second 13 to 27+ weeks
- The third 28 to 40 weeks.
Last Updated: 9 Februaryl 2013