Abortion Notification System

The Abortion Notification System has been in operation since 1998 and receives information from medical practitioners about all induced abortions performed in Western Australia.

Data governance

The Maternal and Child Health Unit (MCHU) manages the Abortion Notification System. The Assistant Director General, Public Health Division is the data steward and the Manager of the MCHU is the data custodian.

The WA Health Act 1911 (external site) requires that medical practitioners report information about induced abortion they perform. Information to be reported is specified on the Abortions Notifications Form 1 Reg 2 (PDF 91KB).

The Health (Section 335(5)(d) Abortion Notice) Amendment Regulations 2001 (external site) last amended and published 22 October 2001 regulates the use and contents of Form 1.

Data sources

Notifications received from medical practitioners working in public and private services about all induced abortions performed in Western Australia.

Data elements

The data items contained in the WA Abortion Notification System are described with metadata for events from Jan 2001 (external site).

Data coverage

Information is about the pregnancy, reason for induced abortion and procedures used to perform the abortion. Minimal demographic data for Aboriginal status, age and postcode are collected about the woman. Information provided does not enable identification of women who had an induced abortion.

All information provided on Form 1 is added to the Abortion Notification System through data entry.

Inclusions

  • Medical and surgical abortions in hospital settings
  • Medical abortions in outpatient settings
  • Medical abortions conducted remotely
  • Single fetus termination in a multiple pregnancy

Exclusions

  • Nil
Data quality

Cooperative processes (PDF 32KB) between Maternal and Child Health Unit and reporting medical practitioners aim to ensure data quality improvement and measurement.

Data requests

Reports about induced abortions are published regularly.

Aggregate (summarised) data reporting is also available upon request. Aggregation of data will suppress names of medical practitioners and health services and will not report small cell values (less than 5).

Requests for data must be directed to Birth Data.

Data collection changes

A review conducted in 2001 resulted in changes to the collection. The report of the Review of Provision of the Health Act 1911 and the Criminal Code Relating Abortion (PDF 369KB) was published in 2002.

There have been no changes to the collection since 2001. Form 1 had formatting and submission address changed in 2009.

Changes to Form 1 require legislative amendment and may require changes to reporting processes and information systems used by medical practitioners.

Changes to Form 1 must be recommended by the Data Steward and approved as an amendment to Regulations for Form 1 of the WA Health Act 1911.

Requests for changes to the collection must be directed as an email to the Manager, MCHU to Birth Data.

Reference material

The data items contained in the WA Abortion Notification System Data Set Specification (DSS) are described in the Metadata Online Registry (METeOR) for events from Jan 2001 (external site).

User manuals/guides

Guide for completing Form 1 (PDF 159KB) 

Forms

Form 1 (PDF 91KB) is provided to medical practitioners free of charge as a duplicate, no carbon required (NCR) form.

The original (top) copy of the NCR form is provided within 14 days of the abortion being performed.

Self addressed pre-paid envelopes ensure forms are returned to the correct address shown below.

Manager, Maternal and Child Health Unit
Department of Health, WA
Reply Paid 70042 (Delivery to Locked Bag 52)
PERTH BC WA 6849
Marked: PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL

Training and education

For information about how to notify to the Abortion Notification System email Birth Data.

Contact information

Maternal and Child Health Unit
Tel: (08) 9222 2417
Fax: (09) 9222 4408
Email: birthdata@health.wa.gov.au

Produced by

Information Data & Standards