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Despite abortion being decriminalised in Victoria, Australia, access remains difficult, especially at later gestations. Institutions (i.e. health services) place restrictions on the availability of late abortions and/or require additional requirements to be satisfied (e.g. Hospital Termination Review Committee approval), as a consequence of local regulation (i.e. policies and processes determined at the institutional level). This paper reports on the results of 27 interviews with Victorian health professionals about late abortion processes and the operation of Termination Review Committees in Victorian health services, which were analysed thematically. The results reveal the operation of an ‘institutional lottery’ whereby patients' experiences in seeking late abortion services were variable and largely shaped by the institution(s) they found themselves in.

Original publication




Journal article


Women's Studies International Forum

Publication Date