Practice nurse provision of early medical abortion in general practice: opportunities and limitations

Aust J Prim Health. 2021 Dec;27(6):427-430. doi: 10.1071/PY20304.


Approximately one in three Australian women with an unintended pregnancy will have an abortion, yet significant barriers remain to ensure the delivery of equitable and timely medical abortion services, including lack of trained providers, high out-of-pocket costs, abortion stigma, conscientious objection and large geographical distance to services. Practice nurses can be suitably trained to provide early medical abortion in general practice; however, there remain several key limitations to the implementation of nurse-led models of care. This forum article discusses these limitations, including issues concerning legislation, funding models, lack of access to medical abortion training, practice structure and systems, and makes recommendations as to how increased access to medical abortion in Australia can be achieved.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Australia
  • Female
  • General Practice*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy