Abortion in Botswana


Is abortion legal in Botswana?

A legal abortion in Botswana is only allowed in the following circumstances:

  • In order to save the woman’s life
  • To prevent permanent impairment of her physical and/or mental health
  • When the fetus is at serious risk of being born with physical or mental deformity
  • In cases of rape or incest

Women who procure an abortion for reasons not listed above can face up to three years in prison. In addition, legal abortion can only be performed within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy and need to receive approval from two physicians.


What are the different abortion services available in Botswana?

  • Medical Abortion (MA)

Who can perform legal abortions in Botswana?

An abortion may only be performed by a trained medical practitioner and requires the approval of two doctors.


Where can I go for legal abortion services in Botswana?

Legal abortion services are available at both public and private health institutions. However, the service is difficult to access as many medical practitioners refuse to perform abortions for fear of being penalized.


What is the cost of a safe abortion in Botswana?

  • Abortion pills can cost anywhere between USD 20 – USD 60 per pill.
  • Surgical abortion procedures vary in cost depending on the institution providing the service.

Which abortion pills are available in Botswana?

  • Misoprostol (Cytotec)

Can I buy abortion pills at a pharmacy in Botswana?

Abortion pills are not sold in pharmacists and those available on the black market can be dangerous.

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