In Guatemala, abortion is severely restricted by law and is only permitted in cases where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, known as “Therapeutic Abortion” (Guatemalan Penal Code, article 137). However, it is not accessible to all women as it requires the authorization of a board of at least three doctors.
Although therapeutic pregnancy termination is not criminalized, there are other reasons why women have abortions, one of the main ones being sexual assault, as well as economic and emotional difficulties. Due to the widespread stigma surrounding abortion, the practice is mostly carried out clandestinely.
What are the abortion services available in Guatemala?
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
Medical abortion, with misoprostol and mifepristone, or misoprostol alone
These services are available in public and private hospitals, provided the “reason” for the procedure falls within the legal indications.
Who can provide a safe abortion in Guatemala?
Medical professionals may proceed with an abortion as long as they have the authorization from a panel of three doctors who confirm that the woman’s life is at risk.
Where can I go for abortion services in Guatemala?
Public hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS)*
Clandestinely, through support networks within the country.
*In private health hospitals, access to Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is at the discretion of each hospital.
What is the cost of a safe abortion in Guatemala?
Surgical abortions range from $1,500 to $3,000 (GTQ), about USD 196–USD 393. In pharmacies, Misoprostol is sold at approximately USD 10 each. There are also web services for self-managed abortions and support networks that can provide services for free or for a donation. There are websites that offer illegal sales for medicinal processes, but these are not safe and often deceive women by offering them expired medications or ones that do not produce the expected reaction.
Which abortion pills are available in Guatemala?
Misoprostol: In pharmacies, mostly with a prescription.
Mifepristone: Over-the-counter sale in pharmacies.
Pharmacists will always exercise caution in the sale of the aforementioned medications, and therefore, they may reserve the right not to sell them.
Where can I buy abortion pills in Guatemala?
In pharmacies, Misoprostol is sold with a prescription, and in a few cases without a prescription. However, there are several support network pages that sell the medication. Mifepristone is available over the counter in pharmacies.
Many support networks sell the medication over the internet, however, not on official pages or pages that openly mention their sale. At these pages, the user may run the risk of entering pages of scammers or expired pills that do not fulfill their functions.
What do the abortion pills look like in Guatemala?
The most common abortion pills in Guatemala are ACE MISO and CYTOTEC. Mifepristone does not have a pharmaceutical house, so it does not have a commercial name.
What are the post-abortion care services available in Guatemala?
According to the “Manual for Comprehensive Post-Abortion Care” from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS), the patient will be provided with assistance based on the model of the manual which includes: Surgical medical treatment, counseling in family planning services, referral to other health services as required. All this within the framework of human rights, which will result in contributing to the reduction of maternal death.
Who can I contact for more information on access to safe abortion in Guatemala?