Abortion in Ecuador


Is abortion legal in Ecuador?

According to Article 150 of the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code of Ecuador, the termination of pregnancy performed by a health professional with the consent of the woman is not punishable in 2 cases:

  • Life/Health: If it is carried out to avoid a danger to the life or health of the pregnant woman and if this danger cannot be avoided by other means.
  • Rape: If the pregnancy is the result of rape.

To access a legal abortion in Ecuador for the Life/Health cause, a prior diagnosis is required, and a request must be made in public or private health services, which are obliged to analyze the case and resolve it within 6 days if it is not an urgent case.

On the other hand, to access a legal abortion for the Rape cause, no complaint or medical examination is required. A verbal or written request is sufficient. If the person is a minor, they do not need authorization from their representatives. Health professionals must provide information and guarantee confidentiality. Informed consent will be requested to perform the abortion. If the doctor is a conscientious objector, they must redirect the patient, but the procedure must always be carried out. There is a maximum period of 4 days to process the request for an abortion due to rape.

The Ministry of Public Health has issued 2 guides to access abortion in Ecuador. One is the Guide to Spontaneous Abortion, which establishes the standards for attending to any type of obstetric complication due to abortion, establishing as good practices the confidentiality of health information, dignified treatment, and the use of non-invasive methods of access to abortion.

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


What are the abortion services available in Ecuador?

In Ecuador, the following abortion methods are available:

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

Who can provide a safe abortion in Ecuador?

According to legal regulations in Ecuador, any trained health professional can provide a legal abortion, both in public and private services.

These professionals can include those involved in sexual and reproductive health care, general practitioners, family doctors, gynecologists-obstetricians, anesthesiologists, emergency doctors, midwives, nurses, and professionals from care teams at all levels.

There are also feminist support networks and other safe services available to assist abortion seekers. These networks often provide guidance, support, and information to ensure that abortions are performed safely and in accordance with the law.


Where can I go for abortion services in Ecuador?

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

If you require advice to access a legal abortion in Ecuador, you can contact the organization SURKUNA at phone number 0963630034, who will help you with the forms, steps to follow, and in case of denial of the abortion, with free legal actions. Another organization that provides legal advice and support is CEPAM-Guayaquil, which can be contacted at 0991113526.

There are also feminist support networks. In this case, you can communicate with the abortion support network Las Comadres, at the number 09 9974 4708.


What is the cost of a safe abortion in Ecuador?

In the case of legal abortion under one of the two recognized circumstances, abortion is a free procedure that must be guaranteed by the National Health System. However, private doctors also offer the service at a cost that can vary from USD 250 to USD 1000.

The cost of having an abortion also differs according to the method used. If it is a medical abortion using misoprostol, it varies from USD 12 (50 cents per pill, the official sale price with a prescription) to an average of USD 500 due to the clandestine market.

Surgical abortions (MVA, D&C) can cost between USD 250 and USD 1000 depending on where they are performed (clinics/hospitals/private practices) and the training of the personnel offering them.

Another factor is the gestational age: abortions in the first trimester (first 12 weeks) tend to be more accessible than those in advanced pregnancies.


Which abortion pills are available in Ecuador?

The misoprostol that is marketed in Ecuador is 200mcg, under the brand Cytotec by Pfizer. It is the only one registered in the country’s basic medicines list.

Where can I buy abortion pills in Ecuador?

Misoprostol pills can be obtained at pharmacies by presenting a medical prescription. However, it is often difficult to purchase them even with a prescription, due to the stigma and the 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 are original and valid. Many misoprostol sellers also do not know the proper protocols for using the medication and misinform women about it.

It is possible to purchase abortion pills through websites (both national and international). However, it is important to ensure that the site is reliable and to consult how to use the medication on trustworthy pages such as HowToUseAbortionPill, feminist networks like Las Comadres, or with accredited health organizations like the WHO. You can even review the Clinical Practice Guide for therapeutic abortion that establishes the method of use for misoprostol.


What do the 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


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

As for post-abortion care services available in Ecuador, the Ecuadorian State must guarantee post-abortion care through the following services:

  • Curative care to manage pain and infections by providing the appropriate medicine. As well as immediate attention to any complications that may arise.
  • Preventive care which includes advice on sexual and reproductive health and the provision of quality contraceptives.

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

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