Abortion Laws by Country

Africa | Ghana

Abortion Laws in Ghana

Is abortion legal in Ghana?

Ghanaian law permits abortion under the following circumstances:

  • To save the life of the woman
  • To preserve her mental and physical health
  • In the case of rape and/or incest
  • If there is a risk of fetal impairment
  • In the case of defilement of a mentally handicapped woman

Despite a progressive abortion law, access to safe abortion services is still limited due to stigma, provider bias, privacy concerns and high costs.

What are the different abortion services available in Ghana?

  • Medical Abortion (MA) – Abortion with pills (Misoprostol, Mifepristone, Cytotec)
  • Surgical Abortion
    • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
    • Dilation & Curettage (D&C)

Who can perform legal abortions in Ghana?

  • The law states that and abortion can only be performed by providers who are trained and registered by the Ghana Health Service, the Nurses and Midwives Council or the Medical and Dental Council. This includes Doctors, Midwives and Nurses.
  • In addition, some community health care workers have also been trained and registered to perform abortions.

Where can I go for safe abortion services in Ghana?

  • Safe abortions can be performed at registered public and private health facilities and at certain NGO supported clinics.

Note: Please try to ensure your chosen provider is registered and trained to perform an abortion.

What is the cost of a safe abortion in Ghana?

The costs of safe abortions differ by facility (private or public) and provider depending on the method used (medical or surgical abortion). The costs can range between USD 5.00 - USD 30.00. Generally a medical abortion costs significantly less than a surgical procedure.

What abortion pills are available in Ghana?

  • A combination of Misoprostol and Mifepristone is available under the brand name Medabon.
  • Misoprostol alone is available under the brand name Cytotec.

Can I buy abortion pills at a pharmacy in Ghana?

  • Misoprostol (Cytotec) and/or the combination of Misoprostol and Mifepristone (Medabon) can be bought from pharmacies; however, an accompanying prescription may be required.
  • Prices will vary between pharmacies.

Note: Many pharmacists do sell the pills without a prescription, however they do not often provide proper instructions on eligibility, dosage and usage for a medical abortion. Please refer to the following page on our website for comprehensive instructions on how to use the pill: https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/howto/

Who can I contact for additional abortion information and support in Ghana?

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References:

  • 1. “Overview of the Law and Availability of Abortion Services in Ghana.” Ghana Medical Journal, National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790853/
  • 2. “Abortion in Ghana.” Guttmacher Institute. https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/abortion-ghana
  • 3. “Cost-effectiveness analysis of unsafe abortion and alternative first-trimester pregnancy termination strategies in Nigeria and Ghana.” African Journal of Reproductive Health, ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49763986_Cost-effectiveness_analysis_of_unsafe_abortion_and_alternative_first-trimester_pregnancy_termination_strategies_in_Nigeria_and_Ghana
  • 4. “Abortions in Ghana: experiences of university students. Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, Health Science Journal. http://www.hsj.gr/medicine/abortions-in-ghana-experiences-of-university-students.php?aid=2616