A WIMMERA women's health advocacy group says more abortion options are needed.
Wimmera residents have to travel to either Ballarat, Warrnambool, Bendigo or Melbourne for surgical abortions, while medical abortions are available at clinics in Horsham and Ararat.
Family Planning Victoria says about one-in-three Australian women will have an abortion in their lifetime.
Women's Health Grampians chief executive Marianne Hendron said the organisation was working to improve reproductive and sexual health services for women in the region.
A 2017 study between the organisation and the University of Melbourne found service gaps in the Wimmera, Grampians and Pyrenees regions for women with unintended pregnancies.
General practitioners were invited to participate in a survey as part of the study with 23 GPs providing feedback.
The study found that 38 per cent of the GPs surveyed indicated they referred patients to a colleague due to a "conscientious objection to abortion".
"The problem with GPs that conscientiously object in regional areas is that women have very little options to be referred to," Ms Hendron said.
No GP indicated they always discussed tele-health medical abortion options with a client, while 27 per cent said they always discussed medical abortion options.
Ms Hendron said the organisation aimed to ensure women in rural areas had access to the same services as women in metropolitan areas.
"Our work has identified a lot of gaps. Since the 2017 study we have been working with GPs, primary health care providers and hospitals in the region to try to address those gaps. There has certainly been progress," she said.
"Since March, medical abortions have been offered out of a clinic in Horsham which was a great breakthrough."
See the full study below
Ms Hendron recommended Wimmera residents used the 1800 My Options hotline, on 1800 696 784, or the My Options website to see where their closest sexual health services were.
"There isn't widespread access to abortion services in the Wimmera and across the whole Grampians region. There is very limited access and that could partly be because some providers don't publicise what services are on offer for a range of reasons," she said.
"What we're hoping to see is more providers to offer a full suite of services - in particular medical abortions, which is a very accessible service for women in metropolitan areas. It's something that's relatively less complex, time consuming and invasive than surgical abortions.
"Services like that are especially good for women who feel like they aren't able to travel for surgical abortions. Being able to deal with just your GP or a medical provider over the course of a few days, receive the medication you need and be supported is something that ought to be available to women in the region."
Youth Law Australia says people under the age of 18 are eligible to receive abortions, however the same laws about seeing a doctor without parent or guardian permission applied.
Some medical centres may require people under the age of 14 to have parent or guardian permission for procedures.
What sexual health services are available in the Wimmera?
Wimmera Health Care Group runs a free women's clinic from the Wimmera Medical Centre on Read Street, Horsham.
The group's medical services director Professor Alan Wolff said the clinic provided education and advice on a range of sexual health issues.
"Our women's health nurse is available to support all women with every medical need and can make sure that, if required, they are referred to the right service," he said.
"The clinic provides a comprehensive range of services for women's health. There are established pathways to support all needs."
Professor Wolff said the clinic was open Thursdays between 8.30am and 5pm. He said people could make appointment by calling 5381 9062.
Ballarat Community Health primary care general manager Darlene Henning-Marshall said the service ran a free sexual health clinic in Ararat one day a week.
However, she said there was still a lack of sexual health services in the region.
"While there are abortion options available in Horsham and Ararat, more work still needs to be done to provide options for the whole region," she said.
"There's a need to ensure women have the best access possible for their sexual health needs."
What are the differences between surgical and medical abortions?
Surgical abortion is a day-surgery procedure that may be used to terminate a pregnancy at various stages of gestation.
They are most often performed in the first trimester up to 14 weeks gestation. Abortion is legal on request up to 24 weeks in Victoria, and is legal beyond 24 weeks with the approval of two doctors.
Manual vacuum aspiration or suction curettage are the most commonly used procedures in a surgical abortion.
Medical abortion is a method of terminating a pregnancy up to nine weeks gestation using medication rather than surgery.
Women in Victoria under eight weeks pregnant are eligible for a tele-abortion, or medical abortion over the phone.
Medical abortion is a two-stage process. The first stage involves taking a tablet which blocks the hormone necessary for the pregnancy to continue. This is followed 24 to 48 hours later by a second medication which causes the contents of the uterus to be expelled.
Medical abortion is a low risk non-surgical option for early termination with a high success rate, up to 98 per cent, Marie Stopes Australia says.
Where can I seek help?
To find what sexual health services are near you, call the 1800 My Options hotline on 1800 696 784 or visit its website at 1800myoptions.org.au.
If you or someone you know needs support regarding abortion services, contact Marie Stopes Australia's aftercare service on 1300 315 664, Family Planning Victoria on 1800 013 952 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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