Abortion Laws in El Salvador

El Salvador is one of the five countries in the world that prohibits abortion under any circumstance. This is because in 1999, a constitutional reform was ratified under the concept that defines the fetus as a person from the moment of conception. In El Salvador, abortion is not only ilegal, but there is also a persecution and criminalization to women who need access to it to decide over their own bodies.

Due to this legislation, it is not possible to legally access abortion (with medications or other methods). Despite this, in some private hospitals it can be accessed safely; however the costs are not accessible for women who need it and generally, they are only done if there’s any complications within pregnancy.

The pills can also be found on internet websites who offer the abortion pills in a clandestine way, however, most of them are not trustworthy nor safe, so they can put women's healt at risk.

Is abortion legal in El Salvador?

No. Currently, it is not allowed to perform an abortion under any circumstances in El Salvador since 1999.

Art. 133. Whoever causes an abortion with the consent of the woman or the woman who causes her own abortion or consents to another person to perform it, will be punished with imprisonment for 2 to 8 years.

What are the abortion services available in El Salvador?

Legally, it is not possible to access medications such as Misoprostol and Manual Uterine Aspiration (MVA). However, some private hospitals provide this service, but it is not easily accessible for women due to high economical costs.

Who can provide a safe abortion in El Salvador?

Private hospitals and private clinics by highly discrete means, as long as it involves complications in the pregnancy or the mother's health.

Private doctors that provide services in a clandestine way.

Where can I go to access a safe abortion?

When needed, private hospitals are avaialbe, as long as it is for a pregnancy complication (although by law, this is not allowed).

How much does an abortion cost?

In the hospital and private doctors, around $700 - $1000 USD

What are the legal and safe medications available?

There are no legal drugs.

Misoprostol is used in some hospitals and private clinics, but it is a highly controlled product. It can only be purchased with a medical prescription and a medical history is checked.

Where can I get abortion pills?

You cannot get misoprostol without a prescription, however there are places where they sell them illegally (internet), but there is a risk that they are expired, or that doses are incomplete, or even that what women received are some other type of medicine.

What do abortion pills look like in El Salvador?

The most common brand of abortion pills is misoprostol (Cytotec)

Who can I contact for more information on access to safe abortion in El Salvador?

Because abortion is criminalized, it is not possible to obtain public information. Hpwever, it is possible to contact international nonprofit organizations as:

References

  • Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador. Attention to therapeutic abortion, Quito Clinical Practice Guide: MSP, National Directorate of Normatization - MSP; 2015.Available at: http://salud.gob.ec
  • Ministry of Public Health. Clinical Practice Guide (CPG): Diagnosis and treatment of spontaneous, incomplete, delayed and recurrent abortion. National Directorate for Standardization, 1st Edition, Quito, Ecuador, 2013. Available at: http://salud.gob.ec
  • Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code-COIP, approved on February 10, 2014.

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