Abortion Laws in Ecuador


Is abortion legal in Ecuador?

According to article 150 of the Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador, the interruption of pregnancy is not punishable in certain situations. This is the case as long as it is carried out by a health professional, with the consent of the woman in any of the following cases:

  • If it has been practiced to avoid a danger to the life of the woman and this danger cannot be avoided by other means.
  • If it has been practiced to avoid a danger to the health of the pregnant woman and this danger cannot be avoided by other means.
  • If the pregnancy is the result of rape of a woman suffering from mental disabilities.

The Ministry of Public Health has issued two access guides to abortion in Ecuador. One is the Spontaneous Abortion Guide, which establishes the norms for treating any type of obstetric complication due to abortion; establishing as good practices the keeping of the confidentiality of health information, the treatment with dignity of women and the use of non-invasive methods to perform an abortion.

The other Guide is that of Therapeutic Abortion, which establishes the procedure to access non-punishable abortion, emphasizing that in Ecuador there is a broad concept of health, and that the regulations guarantee comprehensive care of it in its various mental, social and physical dimensions. This guide also establishes that there is no degree of probability / severity of damage to access these causes, and that they must be guaranteed whenever there is a risk to the health or life of the woman.


What are the abortion services available in Ecuador?

To access a legal abortion in Ecuador, a request can be made in the public or private health services, which have the obligation to analyze the case and resolve it in 6 days.

The methods available to perform an abortion are:

  • Medical abortion with misoprostol
  • Manual vacuum aspiration (MVA)
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Dilation and evacuation (D&E)

If you require advice to access a legal abortion, you can contact SURKUNA (telephone 0999928032). They will help you with the forms, steps to follow and in case of denial of abortion with free legal actions.

There are also feminist accompaniment networks. You can contact Las Comadres Abortion Support Network (telephone 0998883339).


Who can provide a safe abortion in Ecuador?

According to legal regulations, any trained health professional can provide a non-punishable abortion. Both in public and private health facilities.

These professionals may be: those involved in sexual and reproductive health care, general practitioners, family practitioners, obstetrician-gynecologists, anesthesiologists, emergency physicians, obstetricians, nurses, and professionals of care teams at all levels.

There are also feminist support networks and other safe services.


Where can I go to access a safe abortion?

You can visit any health service of the public system (health centers, hospitals) where they cannot refuse to perform a therapeutic abortion and attend an abortion in progress, incomplete, deferred or due to any gynecological-obstetric complication.

However, if they do not give you information or if they deny you the service, you can contact Surkuna who will give you legal advice in this regard (telephone 0999928032). Another way to access a safe abortion, but also a feminist one, is through Las Comadres Abortion Support Network, which you can call at the following number: 099-888-3339.


How much does an abortion cost?

For legal abortion in any of the two recognized cases, abortion is a free procedure that is guaranteed by the National Health System. However, private doctors also offer the service at a price that can vary between 250 to 2000 dollars.

The cost of having an abortion also differs according to the method used. If it is through medication with the use of misoprostol, it varies between $ 12 dollars (0.50 cents for each pill, official price of sale with a prescription) to $ 500 on average, due to the clandestine business.

Surgical abortions (MVA, curettage) can cost between $ 60 and $ 3,000 depending on where they are performed (clinics / hospitals / private practices) and the training of the staff who offer them.

Another factor is gestational time: abortions in the first trimester (first 12 weeks) are usually more accessible than in advanced pregnancies.


What are the legal and safe medications available?

The misoprostol that is commercialized in Ecuador is 200mcg, Pfizer’s Cytotec brand. It is the only one registered in the table of basic medicines in the country.

Can I buy abortion pills at a pharmacy in Ecuador?

Misoprostol tablets are available in pharmacies by presenting a prescription. However, it is often difficult to buy them, even with a prescription, due to the stigma and business that has been generated around abortion. Without a prescription, it is usually very complicated and expensive to get them, and there is no guarantee that they will be original and valid.

Many misoprostol sellers also do not know the proper protocols for using the drug and misinform women about it.


What do abortion pills look like in Ecuador?

Misoprostol has a small hexagonal shape. It usually comes in a silver blister and its box is white with blue.

Cytotec abortion pills in Ecuador


Can I buy abortion pills online in Ecuador?

Yes, through national or international websites. However, it is important to verify that the site is reliable and to consult the way to use the drug in feminist networks such as Las Comadres, or with accredited health organizations such as WHO, PAHO, or FIGO. You can even review the Clinical Practice Guide for therapeutic abortion that establishes the method of using misoprostol alone.


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

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  • 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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