Abortion Laws in Guatemala

In Guatemala, abortion is severely restricted by law and is allowed only in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger (therapeutic abortion). Therapeutic abortion is not punishable, in Article 137 it is explained that “abortion performed by a doctor is not punishable, with the consent of the woman, after a favorable diagnosis from at least one other doctor, if it was performed without the intention of directly seeking the death of the product, of the conception and with the sole purpose of avoiding a properly established danger to the life of the mother, after all scientific and technical means have been exhausted ”.

Although the interruption of therapeutic pregnancy is not penalized, however, there are other causes for which women abort, one of the main ones being rape, as well as economic and emotional difficulties. Due to the generalized stigma around abortion, the practice of abortion is mostly carried out clandestinely, the pills (Misoprostol are not easily accessible and although in some pharmacies they can be bought without a prescription, they are very few and the price is not accessible It ranges between $ 10 and $ 15 each, the mifepristone is not found in Guatemala, in few places surgical abortions are performed clandestinely, but these are not safe or guarantee the fulfillment of women’s rights in addition to the excessive cost.

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Is abortion legal in Guatemala?

In Guatemala, the legal situation of abortion is criminalized.

This is registered in Chapter II of the penal code: It describes that it penalizes from 1 to 3 years if the woman consents and from 3 to 6 years if it is acted without the woman’s consent. Therapeutic abortion is not punishable, in Article 137 it is explained that “abortion performed by a doctor is not punishable, with the consent of the woman, after a favorable diagnosis from at least one other doctor, if it was performed without the intention of directly seeking the death of the product, of the conception and with the sole purpose of avoiding a properly established danger to the life of the mother, after all scientific and technical means have been exhausted ”. Although the interruption of therapeutic pregnancy is not penalized, it is not accessible to all women since it must have a board of at least 3 doctors who authorize it, however, there are other reasons why women abort, one of the main it is rape, as well as financial and emotional hardship.

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What are the abortion services available in Guatemala?

In public health hospitals Manual Endouterine Aspiration (MVA), as long as they comply with the authorization of 3 doctors who show that the woman’s life is at risk.

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Who can provide a safe abortion in Guatemala?

One can go to public hospitals that belong to the Ministry of Public Health and social assistance -MSPAS – for a therapeutic abortion. Only the hospitals that comply with the authorization of the 3 doctors and it is important to mention that these decisions interfere with the political, cultural and religious positioning of the doctors in turn.

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Where can I go to access a safe abortion?

To public health services and private clinics in the event of a diagnosis of therapeutic abortion, incomplete or ongoing abortion, but there are many barriers.

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How much does an abortion cost?

In clandestine clinics, surgical abortions range from Q1500.00 ($ 196) to Q3,000.00 ($ 393.00). There are internet pages that offer illegal sale for drug processes but these are not safe. On several occasions they deceive women by offering them drugs that have expired or do not produce the expected reaction.

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What are the legal and safe medications available?

Only misoprostol but with a prescription for the treatment of gastric diseases.

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Where can I get abortion pills?

You can get misoprostol without a prescription in a few pharmacies. The neighborhood pharmacies have prices about $ 10 each. The use of mifepristone is not allowed or regulated in the country.

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How do abortion pills look like in Guatemala?

The most common brand of abortion pills in Guatemala is CYTOTEC.

Cytotec abortion pills in Guatemala

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