Abortion in Brazil


Is abortion legal in Brazil?

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

  • In cases of rape (sex with anyone under the age of 14 is automatically defined as rape)
  • In order to save the woman’s life
  • When the fetus suffers from a congenital brain disorder – anencephaly

There are no legal restrictions on the number of weeks of the pregnancy when accessing a legal abortion, but after 20 weeks of gestation it can be very difficult to find a qualified service to offer the necessary procedure.

Anyone who performs an abortion for reasons not listed above can face up to three years in prison. In 2013, a new law was passed that no longer requires women to file a police report to prove they were raped in order to access legal abortion services. In addition, the law also covers marital rape, thus allowing women who have been raped by their husbands to have access to a legal abortion. Removing the condom during sexual intercourse without the consent of the people involved in the act is also considered rape and gives access to legal abortion.

In 2023, the Brazilian justice system prohibited health professionals from denouncing and testifying in legal proceedings against people who underwent illegal abortions. These professionals are obliged to respect professional secrecy and cannot reveal information about patients.


What are the different abortion services available in Brazil?

  • Medical Abortion (MA)
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
  • Dilation & Evacuation (D&E)
  • Dilation & Curettage (D&C)
  • Electric Aspiration

Note: Curettage 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 Brazil?

Any doctor with adequate training can perform the procedure, as long as they are linked to a legal abortion service. However, as abortion pills are restricted to hospitals and few hospitals are registered with the Ministry of Health as a legal abortion service, many people end up having difficulties accessing the legal abortion services or are forced to travel long distances.


Where can I go for abortion services in Brazil?

Legal abortion services are only available in public health institutions. There is no restriction in the law for opening private legal abortion clinics, but so far all legal abortion services are in public hospitals.

Note: Safe abortion services should be available in a wide range of health facilities, although a public list of licensed abortion facilities is available here, the actual number of facilities providing the service is unknown. In addition, Brazilian law allows health professionals to oppose the performance of an abortion on moral and religious grounds.


What is the cost of a safe abortion in Brazil?

  • Abortion pills can cost anywhere between USD 20 – 60 per pill.
  • Surgical abortion procedures can cost between USD 1,000 – 3,000.

Which abortion pills are available in Brazil?

Misoprostol is only available for exclusive use in hospitals. The sale of Misoprostol in pharmacies is forbidden. This abortion pill can be found for sale on the internet, mostly under the brand name Cytotec, although there are many other brands available in the country. In public hospitals, the brand mostly used is Prostokos.

The registration of Mifepristone has not yet been approved by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, although it can be found for sale on the internet and in feminist networks. It is generally found under the name of RU.

Where can I buy abortion pills in Brazil?

Abortion pills cannot be legally bought at the pharmacy.

Although they can be found on the internet, there are many fake sellers online. It is very common for people to buy pills on the internet, pay for them and never receive them.


What do abortion pills look like in Brazil?

Although Misoprostol can be found in different brands, sizes and shapes, the most common brand is Cytotec 200mcg. They are small, white, hexagonal shaped pills and they will have “searle” and/or “1461” printed on them. You can find more information here.

Mifepristone or RU is harder to find in Brazil. While it can be found in a variety of sizes and shapes, it is usually the size and shape of a regular pill and is slightly darker in color than Misoprostol. You can find more information here.

What are the post-abortion care services available in Brazil?

Anyone (regardless of age or legal status) has the right to seek public or private health service for information and access to contraception and post-abortion care.

In the case of post-abortion care, although it is forbidden for health professionals to denounce patients for an illegal abortion, it is unfortunately very common for people who arrive at a hospital with an abortion in process or with post-abortion complications, to be harassed and to suffer obstetric violence.

Therefore, it is important to always have someone you trust with you to help guarantee your rights and safety.

If you suffer or witness any violence in the health service, you can go to the institution’s ombudsman and NUDEM – Specialized Nucleus for the Defense and Promotion of Women’s Rights in your region to file a complaint.

Health professionals who report patients to the police for illegal abortion may be prosecuted and lose their professional registration for breach of professional secrecy.


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

Coletivo Feminista Sexualidade e Saúde:

Brazilian organization that does not provide abortions, but offers guidance on harm reduction and post-abortion care.

Website: http://mulheres.org.br/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColetivoFeminista/
Phone number: +55 11 3812-8681

Projeto Vivas

Brazilian organization of activists that support people who need an abortion within legal conditions in Brazil or who wish to travel to access a legal abortion outside the country.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/projeto.vivas/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D
WhatsApp: +55 11 9 4056-2757

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