Abortion Services in New Zealand

Mid Central DHB

Manawatu District, Palmerston North City, Tararua District, Horowhenua District, Kapiti Coast District (Otaki Ward only)

Abortion services in the Mid Central region are accessed through The Women's Clinic in Palmerston North. All women from the region considering abortion will be assessed at The Women's Clinic.

Medical abortion and surgical abortion up to 12 weeks are provided locally by The Women's Clinic. Women who require surgical abortion after 12 weeks will be referred from the clinic to Te Mahoe Unit in Wellington.

Licensed institutions

Palmerston North Hospital

Street Address:

The Women's Clinic

Suite 4, The Palms

445 Ferguson Street

Palmerston North

Postal Address: PO Box 2056, Palmerston North

0800 226 784

Facsimile: (04) 974 4817
Email reception@thewomensclinic.net.nz

Services Provided

Early Medical Abortion

Early medical abortion is available for women up to 9 weeks of pregnancy, who live within an hour's travel of Palmerston North and are living in a home situation where miscarriage is practical.

An appointment is made by telephoning the Women's Clinic. The first consultation is with a nurse who will discuss the situation and provide more information about options. The nurse will also organise some essential blood and swab tests. Ultrasound scanning is performed at the clinic. This is followed by a consultation with the clinic doctor who will complete the assessment.

If an early medical abortion is appropriate the process can start on the same day as the first consultation.

The medications for the abortion (mifepristone and misoprostol) MUST be taken whilst the woman is at the clinic. Usually these will be taken simultaneously but if the patient prefers a space between doses this is an option. She will return home for the miscarriage to occur. This usually happens between 1 and 8 hours after taking the pills. In some cases she will need to return to the clinic within 48 hours for a further dose of medication (misoprostol) if the first dose has failed to cause a miscarriage.


All women who book at The Women's Clinic will be offered counselling with the Social Work Department at Palmerston North Hospital. This service is free of charge to New Zealand residents and offers the opportunity to discuss the social and emotional aspects of the decision to terminate a pregnancy. This counselling session is optional, unless the woman is referred for surgical termination in Te Mahoe Unit, Wellington where prior attendance at counselling is mandatory. Counselling is also available after the termination.



Abortion services are free to all Mid Central DHB residents who are entitled to health care in New Zealand. For non-residents and overseas visitors early medical abortion will cost $950.

Surgical Abortions

As from March 2018 a surgical abortion is available at the Women's Clinic, up to 15 weeks gestation. Mid Central DHB purchases second trimester terminations for women who live in their district, from the Capital & Coast DHB. These are provided in Te Mahoe Unit, Wellington Hospital. These terminations are provided on all legal grounds.


First and second trimester abortion on mental health grounds


Appointments are made through The Women's Clinic, Palmerston North Hospital.

Self-referral is possible or referral can be made by the GP, Sexual Health or Youth Health Clinic.


One certificate may be preferred by a local GP certifying consultant prior to referral but both can be provided by doctors from the Women's Clinic on the day of the appointment.

The procedure

Surgical abortion is performed under local anaesthesia with vacuum aspiration.

See Te Mahoe Unit, Wellington Hospital for surgical abortions after first trimester

Surgical suction curettage under general anaesthetic is provided from 14-19weeks. This is a one-day procedure.

Second trimester medical abortion is provided from 16 to 19 weeks. This is a two-day procedure.


Follow-up is provided by The Women's Clinic which also includes a comprehensive contraception service.


The service is free to eligible women. The cost for women not eligible for public funding is $950.

The DHB provides support for transport costs, petrol vouchers, if Community Service Card holders.

Second trimester abortion - fetal anomaly

Women wishing abortion because of fetal anomaly are assessed in Palmerston North Hospital and termination is provided up to 23+6 weeks.

Methods Used

For pregnancies less than 13 weeks a surgical procedure is provided and over 13 weeks gestation a medical induction using mifepristone and misoprostol is arranged. The process may take several days. Mifegyne® is used for medical induction in this Unit.

Many women will be referred to Maternal Fetal Medicine at Capital and Coast.


There is no cost to residents. Non-residents should enquire the cost before proceeding with the treatment.


Counselling is provided to all women by Medical Social Workers.


Certification is provided in the Unit.

DHB responsibilities

All District Health Boards are required to provide termination of pregnancy services "for those women who meet the criteria provided by the Crimes Act 1961 and the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977". See Ministry of Health. However they may not necessarily provide the services themselves. Accessing accurate, up-to-date and informative details about how individual District Health Boards provide these services, has been extremely difficult. The information provided here is the best that we have been able to obtain for this district to date. We will continue to update the website as we obtain further information.

Last Updated: 1 July 2019