Abortion in Peru


Is abortion legal in Peru?

Abortion is legal in Peru since 1924 but only when continuing the pregnancy could cause serious harm to the health or risk of death of the pregnant woman, it is called “therapeutic abortion”.

Therapeutic abortion can only be performed before 22 weeks and is regulated by Ministerial Resolution No. 486-2014 within the framework of Article 119 of the Penal Code, which states: “Abortion performed by a doctor with the consent of the pregnant woman or her legal representative, if she has one, is not punishable when it is the only means to save the life of the pregnant woman or to avoid a serious and permanent harm to her health.”


What are the abortion services available in Peru?

  • Medication abortion, using the misoprostol pills
  • Surgical abortion, which can be of two types:
    • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
    • Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

Note: Of the three methods presented, D&C is the most invasive and carries the most risks and days of recovery. International organizations do not recommend it unless it is the only possible option.


Who can provide a safe abortion in Peru?

In the case of legal abortion, only doctors, in both public and private hospitals, are authorized to perform the procedure.

It is important to mention that the context of clandestinity, caused by illegality, exposes women to supposed health professionals offering to perform abortions in unsanitary conditions that undoubtedly put at risk the lives of those seeking a safe abortion.


Where can I go for abortion services in Peru?

In Peru, safe abortions can be accessed in hospitals when therapeutic abortion applies, and with doctors in private clinics, but this is done illegally and clandestinely.

Support can be sought from public health services and private clinics in cases of therapeutic abortion, incomplete abortion, or ongoing abortion. The category of health centers that can perform legal abortions (therapeutic abortion) is II-E, meaning public hospitals and clinics dedicated to specialized care. For post-abortion care, categories 1-4, which include medical posts, polyclinics, medical centers, and health centers with hospitalization beds, should be equipped to provide timely care to individuals presenting with ongoing or incomplete abortions. Despite the legality of care in these situations, there are still many barriers.

Additionally, there are groups, organizations, and feminist networks that provide free information on safe abortion and support women who decide to have a clandestine abortion.


What is the cost of a safe abortion in Peru?

Therapeutic abortion in hospitals in Peru costs around 700 soles or more, although it may be covered by the comprehensive health insurance.

In private clinics or health centers (which can perform legal or clandestine abortions with the surgical method), prices vary widely depending on the socioeconomic level of the users they serve and the number of weeks of pregnancy. They can range from approximately $600–$3,000 (PEN).

Medical abortion (with misoprostol) has a price of approximately $2.50 (PEN) per pill. However, in the clandestine market, the price is inflated according to the socioeconomic level of the clientele and can cost $100–$350 (PEN).


Which abortion pills are available in Peru?

In Peru, misoprostol is the only available medication for abortion-related purposes, sold under various brand names such as Mystol, Cytotec, Cytofine, and Misoprolen. Although these medications are officially produced for treating gastric issues, they are also used off-label for obstetric purposes.

The use of mifepristone is not legally permitted or regulated within the country. On the black market, there are instances of counterfeit mifepristone being sold by unscrupulous vendors.

Where can I buy abortion pills in Peru?

While misoprostol is available in pharmacies, it is supposed to be sold only with a prescription. Despite this, it is relatively easy to acquire on the black market, often at inflated prices.

Abortion pills are also sold online, but the sites selling them are not always reputable or trustworthy. Prices are often inflated, and there are risks of fraud, such as not receiving the product at all, being sold counterfeit medications (like fake mifepristone), and receiving incorrect guidance that deviates from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe abortion protocols.


What do abortion pills sold in Peru look like?

Misoprostol pills are generally small, white, and hexagonal in shape. Regardless of the brand, they come in metallic foil packaging, and the expiration date should always be visible.


Digital image of a single Misoprolen tablet in individual packaging, displaying distinctive markings and branding typical in Peru.

Pack view of a Misoprolen tablet, showcasing the back side, displaying distinctive markings and branding typical in Peru.

Pack view of a Misoprolen tablet, showcasing the front side, displaying distinctive markings and branding typical in Peru.


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

For post-abortion care, you can go to the nearest health center, hospital, or clinic.

You are entitled to timely and appropriate care, without threats or mistreatment. If you receive hostile treatment or are denied care, you can file a complaint in the establishment’s complaint book and also report to entities such as SUSALUD and INDECOPI.

If, after an abortion, you wish to start using contraceptives, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) offers “Family Planning” services for free at public clinics and hospitals. Anyone over the age of 14 can request information and contraceptives by presenting their ID card. If you are under 14, you will need to be accompanied by a guardian. Some of the contraceptives that can be accessed for free include male condoms, female condoms, intrauterine devices (IUDs), 3-month injections, subdermal implants, contraceptive pills, tubal ligation, and vasectomy.


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