In Bolivia, abortion is permitted under certain circumstances. According to the Constitutional Court Ruling 0206/2014 (Ombudsman’s Office), legal abortion (ILE) can be accessed when:
The pregnancy is the result of a crime of sexual violence, statutory rape, or incest.
The pregnancy endangers the life or health of the woman.
There are lethal congenital malformations.
In cases of sexual violence, statutory rape or incest, a copy of the claim of rape that has been made to the Police or Prosecutor’s Office or competent authorities must be presented. If the life or health is in danger or there are lethal congenital malformations, a medical report and/or respective reports from the corresponding personnel that support the legal termination of pregnancy will suffice.
What are the abortion services available in Bolivia?
The services for Legal Termination of Pregnancy (ILE) approved under the constitutional ruling SC-0206/2014 are:
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
Instrumental Uterine Curettage (IUC)
Abortion through medication, with misoprostol and mifepristone, or misoprostol alone
Note: Curettage (or IUC) is an invasive method that involves more risk and days of recovery. International organizations do not recommend it unless it is the only possible option.
Who can provide a safe abortion in Bolivia?
Providing that the requirements of the Constitutional Ruling 0206/2014 are met, public and private doctors who are certified can perform the procedure. It’s important that anyone asking for an ILE receives quick and immediate care. The whole process, from requesting the procedure to it taking place, should take no more than 10 days, as per the guidelines from the Ministry of Health.
Also, it’s important to note that if any public or private official, or a medical professional, doesn’t follow the Ruling, you have the right to report them to the Constitutional Tribunal and the Public Ministry. Not following the Ruling can lead to legal consequences for those who don’t comply, as stated in article 179 bis of the Penal Code.
Where can I go to access a safe abortion in Bolivia?
If you need a Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) in Bolivia, you should go to the nearest health center where qualified health teams will ensure the procedure is done correctly. The ILE service can be provided at all three levels of the public health system, but first-level services can only offer this up to the first trimester of pregnancy. Patients in the second trimester will be referred to more specialized services.
Additionally, there are organizations like IPAS Bolivia and private clinics in Bolivia that can assist with the entire process, including providing medication or the necessary instruments.
How much does an abortion cost in Bolivia?
If the abortion treatment involves abortion pills (4 Misoprostol and 1 Mifepristone), it costs $250–$300 (BOB), about USD 40-USD 50. In the informal market, the price can vary depending on the brand and the context. Generally, each pill costs $80–$100 (BOB), about USD 10–USD 15.
For a Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA), the price depends on several factors, including the stage of pregnancy and risk levels. The cost ranges from $700–$3,500 (BOB), about USD 100–USD 500.
Which abortion pills are available in Bolivia?
Misoprostol and Mifepristone are legally available in the country, but only for cases established by the regulations.
Where can I buy abortion pills in Bolivia?
In the case of a Legal Interruption of Pregnancy, doctors can prescribe abortion pills without any problem. Additionally, first, second, and third-level hospitals in the public health system have the necessary medications for a Legal Interruption of Pregnancy.
While these pills are not immediately accessible, they can be obtained through international organizations and institutions such as IPAS Bolivia or feminist or support organizations.
What do abortion pills look like in Boivia?
What post-abortion care services are available in Bolivia?
Bolivian regulations establish that the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) must be performed within 24 hours of being requested and provide post-abortion contraception.
Ministerial Resolution No. 1508 understands post-abortion contraception as “(…) a contraceptive method used after performing a procedure for the interruption of pregnancy and incomplete abortion, after the orientation and the free and informed choice of the user.”
On the other hand, post-abortion care services can be accessed in case of complications from abortion. If the abortion does not fall within the causes for legal interruption of pregnancy, one may be subject to risks of criminalization with deprivation of liberty from two to six years. However, it is important to mention that the person is not obliged to give explanations in the case of an induced abortion in order to receive medical care.
Who can I contact for more information on access to safe abortion in Bolivia?
There is an accompanying telephone line: Free, safe and autonomous abortion line (+59177508219). You can call from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., from anywhere in Bolivia.
CIES Sexual Health – Reproductive Health, is a private clinic that provides information, post-abortion care, guidance and a team of doctors trained to attend to ILE situations: https://www.cies.org.bo/