Three more Melbourne hospitals will offer surgical abortions, removing some of the stressful barriers women can face in accessing the procedure.
Victorian Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas on Wednesday announced Eastern Health, Peninsula Health and Western Health would offer surgical abortions.
Eastern Health started offering the termination procedure last week, while Peninsula Health and Western Health will follow suit soon.
The state government says expanding access will mean more women can undergo a surgical abortion closer to home instead of travelling into inner city Melbourne, reducing the cost and time of travel.
Victoria decriminalised abortion in 2008 and introduced safe access zones around clinics in 2016.
Ms Thomas said the decriminalisation of abortion had given thousands of Victorian women the opportunity to make the best choice for themselves.
"We are proud to continue expanding these safe and accessible abortion services to all women across the state," she said.
Under Victorian law, a pregnant person can access abortion up to 24 weeks.
Beyond that, a medical practitioner can provide an abortion if another agrees it is appropriate in all the circumstances.
MSI Australia, a national surgical and medical abortion care provider with two Victorian sites, said surgical abortion services were finally extending beyond city hospitals into regional areas.
"This is a crucial step, reminding us that decriminalisation alone doesn't guarantee access," an MSI Australia spokeswoman said.
"Abortion is healthcare, plain and simple. While this progress in Victoria might be overdue, it's a move worth celebrating."
Australian Associated Press