Abortion in El Salvador

El Salvador is one of the five countries in the world that prohibits abortion under any circumstance. This is because in 1999, a constitutional reform was ratified that defines the fetus as a person from the moment of conception. In El Salvador, abortion is not only criminalized, there is also persecution and criminalization of those who face obstetric emergencies or out-of-hospital births.


Is abortion legal in El Salvador?

No. Currently, abortion is not permitted under any circumstances. In 1998, the exceptions in the Penal Code were removed, and abortion in all its forms became a crime.


What are the abortion services available in El Salvador?

Due to this criminalization, it is not possible to legally access the abortion procedure or medications through the public health system, except in cases of pregnancy complications, as there is a risk of being reported. Despite this, in some private hospitals, access can be “safe” or without the risk of being reported; however, the prices are not affordable for many women who need it.

On the internet, there are sites that offer the medication clandestinely, but the vast majority of them are not reliable or safe, so they can endanger the safety and lives of those who use it.


Who can provide a safe abortion in El Salvador?

Private doctors who perform the service clandestinely.


Where can I go for abortion services in El Salvador?

When needed and if financial resources are available, some private clinics may provide the service as long as it is due to a complication in the pregnancy (although by law, this is not allowed).


What is the cost of a safe abortion in El Salvador?

In a hospital and through private doctors, an abortion costs around USD 700–USD 1,500.


Which abortion pills are available in El Salvador?

Misoprostol is used in some private hospitals and clinics, but it is a highly controlled product. It can only be purchased with a medical prescription and a proven medical history.

Where can I buy abortion pills in El Salvador?

You cannot get misoprostol without a prescription; however, there are places where they sell it illegally (online), but there is a risk that if the provider is not reliable, they may be expired, or they may not give the full doses, or even, that they deliver any other type of medication. It is also possible that these sites lead you to encounters with anti-rights groups.


What do abortion pills look like in El Salvador?

The most common brand of the abortion pill Misoprostol is Cytotec.


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

Because abortion is criminalized, it is not possible to obtain public information. However, it is possible to contact international nonprofit organizations as:

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