Termination of Pregnancy


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Useful Management Information

  • In an emergency situation, medical and clinical staff cannot conscientiously object to providing care
    following a failed early medical termination. All Hospital and Health Services will provide services to
    women who present for emergency care.
  • A Registered medical practitioner may perform a lawful termination on a woman who is:
    • up to a gestational limit of 22+0 weeks, for any reason
    • 22+1 weeks of gestation or more if two medical practitioners agree that, in all the circumstances, the
      termination should be performed.
  • Termination of pregnancy is a time sensitive service and that delays impact on the woman or pregnant
    persons options.
    • An early medical termination that can normally happen at home and is available under the
      supervision of a GP up to 9 weeks (63 days) gestation
    • From 9 weeks gestation the woman or pregnant person will need to be admitted to hospital to have a
  • Legal requirements if a medical practitioner conscientiously objects to provide termination of pregnancy
    • The Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 recognises that registered health practitioners have, and
      may exercise, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. There is a requirement in the
      Act for a registered healthcare practitioners to inform the woman of their conscientious objection
      status and refer the woman in a timely manner to alternate, accessible and willing registered
      healthcare practitioners who can provide the required service.
      Routine termination of pregnancy is not available at Gold Coast Health.
  • Local Hospital and Health Services provide a limited number of appointments for terminations. Priority
    appointments for terminations will be given to women with complex health care needs and no ability to
    have a termination in the private sector where most terminations are performed.
  • Statewide Termination of pregnancy clinical guidelines states under the Clinical Standards that:
    • Ideally, offer an assessment appointment within 5 days of referral
    • Ideally provide termination within 2 weeks of the decision to proceed being agreed
  • Offer referral to other services as appropriate, especially where risk factors are identified (e.g. young women, women with physical or intellectual disabilities, mental illness, rape or sexual assault, domestic violence, fertility issues and cultural beliefs/values).
  • Where a young woman is sixteen years of age or under, greater consideration of an independent and appropriate counsellor/support person being available and engaged should be considered.
  • Consider primary health screening or advice. i.e. Cervical Screening, Sexual Health Check, Rubella titre, domestic and family violence or sexual violence, smoking cessation advice.
  • Counsel about pregnancy options and contraceptive advice.
  • Consider providing advice that in an emergency situation, medical and clinical staff cannot conscientiously object to providing care following a failed early medical termination. All Hospital and Health Services will provide services to women who present for emergency care.

Clinical resources

Patient resources

Minimum Referral Criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?
Category 1 (appointment within 30 calendar days)
  • Any patient requesting a termination of pregnancy. For optimum care, an assessment appointment should be offered within 5 days of referral.

NB: Full termination of pregnancy services may not be offered by individual
hospitals. Referral may well be accompanied by a telephone call to the local
Hospital and Health Service to establish local guidelines. This could include
discussion with the responsible clinician or delegate. Request for termination service
22+1 weeks have additional complexities and should be discussed with the
responsible clinician.

Category 2 (appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • No category 2 criteria
Category 3 (appointment within 365 calendar days)
  • No category 3 criteria
  • If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes the patient requires specialist review, a clinical override may be requested:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
  • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service.

Essential Referral Information

  • Summary of relevant circumstances leading to the request for termination of pregnancy
  • Medical, surgical, obstetric and psychosocial history
  • Menstrual history and last menstrual period (LMP) date (if available)
  • Confirm the diagnosis and gestation of intra-uterine live pregnancy by ultrasound*

*Where access is limited in regional/rural centres consider referral prior to ultrasound

Additional Referral Information

  • BMI
  • Blood group and type
  • Routine antenatal bloods: FBC, rubella antibody, hepatitis B serology, hepatitis C serology, HIV serology, syphilis serology
  • HPV vaccination history
  • STI screen result – endocervical swab or low vaginal SELF SWAB. Also screen for chlamydia +/- gonorrhoea NAA, T vaginalis, M genitalium (highly desirable)
  • STI screen might not be available before referral but is an essential part of the management.
  • History of smoking and alcohol and drug use
  • If pregnancy >11 weeks, Down syndrome screening results – screen at 11 to 14 weeks: fetal ultrasound + serum βhCG + serum PAPP-A (results required if completed, not necessary if thinking of Termination of Pregnancy)
Last updated 15 November 2023

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Send to: Gold Coast Health Service District

Internal Referrals

Gynaecology (E-Blueslips)
Colposcopy (E-Blueslips)


(07) 5687 4497


Booking and Referral Centre
Gold Coast University Hospital
1 Hospital Boulevard
Southport QLD 4215


1300 559 083

Related HealthPathways

No directly related pathways found

Service Availability

Dr Graeme Walker
Medical Director Gynaecology


Gold Coast University Hospital
Robina Hospital

If you would like to send a named referral, please address it to the specialist listed above, who will allocate a suitably qualified specialist to see the patient. Alternatively, you can view a full list of our specialists.

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