Abortion Laws in Ghana
Abortion is legal in Ghana in accordance to the “1985 Ghanaian law which permits abortion in cases of rape; incest or the in the case of defilement of a mentally handicapped woman; if the life or health of the woman is in danger; or if there is risk of fetal abnormality.i “The abortion pills can be accessed at any registered government or private hospital, health centre, clinic or NGO based reproductive health centres such as Marie Stopes and Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana. Surgical abortions are also available in Ghana. The abortion pills generally costs between GHS50 and GHS150.”ii
Is abortion legal in Ghana?
Abortion is Legal in Ghana under the following circumstances:
- To save the life of the woman
- To preserve her mental and physical health
- In the case of rape and/or incest
- If there is a risk of fetal impairment
- In the case of defilement of a mentally handicapped woman
Despite a progressive abortion law, access to safe abortion services is still limited due to stigma, provider bias, privacy concerns and high costs.iii
What are the different abortion services available in Ghana?
Ghana provides both medical and surgical abortion services. For medical abortion (MA), a combination of two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol is used. Surgical procedures that are available in Ghana are Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) and Dilation and Curettage (D&C).iv
Post abortion care is legal and available in Ghana as defined by the Standards and Protocols for the Prevention and Management of Unsafe Abortionv
Who can perform legal abortions in Ghana?
In Ghana, an abortion can be performed by:
- Providers who are trained and registered by the Ghana Health Service, the Nurses and Midwives Council or the Medical and Dental Council. These include Doctors, Midwives and Nurses.
- In addition, some community health care workers have also been trained and registered to perform abortions.vi
Where can I go for legal abortion services in Ghana?
Safe and legal abortions can be performed in Ghana can be performed at registered public and private health facilities and at certain NGO supported clinics.
Note: Please try to ensure your chosen provider is registered and trained to perform an abortion.
What is the cost of a safe abortion in Ghana?
The costs of safe abortions differ by facility (private or public), provider and the method used (medical or surgical abortion). The price of medical abortion pills is around GHS50 -GHS150. The costs of medical abortion in a medical facility can range between GHS 260 and GHS 360 while a surgical abortion can be accessed at a cost between GHS 320 and 360 GHS. Generally a medical abortion costs significantly less than a surgical procedure.
Which abortion pills are available in Ghana?
There are two types of abortion pills available in Ghana
- A combination of Misoprostol and Mifepristone is available under the brand names MM Combi Kit and Mariprist
- Misoprostol alone is available under the brand name Cytotec
Where can I buy abortion pills in Ghana?
Misoprostol (Cytotec) and/or the combination of Misoprostol and Mifepristone are not legally permitted to sold in pharmacies in Ghana; however, many of them still do it. This means that there are a lot of unapproved medical abortion pills on the market, and the prices will vary between pharmacies. Note: Many pharmacists do sell the pills without a prescription; however they do not often provide proper instructions on eligibility, dosage and usage for a medical abortion. Please refer to the following page on our website for comprehensive instructions on how to use the pill: https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/howto/
What do abortion pills look like in Ghana?
The most common brand name for abortion pills in Ghana is MM Combi Kit.
This is what the MM Combi Kit abortion pill looks like:
This is what the Mifabon combipack abortion pill looks like:
This is what the Mariprist combipack abortion pill looks like:
Who can I contact for additional abortion information and support in Ghana?
- Marie Stopes Ghana – provides pregnancy crisis management, contraception and family
planning services. https://mariestopes.org.gh/
Call now (confidential and toll free): 0800 20 85 85
Whatsapp number: 0556489090
- Willows International – provides information on family planning and comprehensive
abortion care, including referrals.
Contact number: +233 30 278 0711
- Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) – Provides comprehensive Sexual
and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and services.
Contact numbers: +233-302-310369 / 306104 / 310454
Facebook: : https://web.facebook.com/pg/PPAGh/about/?ref=page_internal
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- i “Abortion in Ghana.” Guttmacher Institute https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/abortion-ghana
- ii “Abortion in Ghana” Guttmacher Institute: In Brief 2010 series no, 2. https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/ib-abortion-in-ghana.pdf
- iii “Overview of the Law and Availability of Abortion Services in Ghana.” Ghana Medical Journal, National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1790853/
- iv “Cost-effectiveness analysis of unsafe abortion and alternative first-trimester pregnancy termination strategies in Nigeria and Ghana.” African Journal of Reproductive Health, Research Gate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49763986_Cost-effectiveness_analysis_of_unsafe_abortion_and_alternative_first-trimester_pregnancy_termination_strategies_in_Nigeria_and_Ghana
- v “Globalization and transitions in abortion care in Ghana.” Aniteye, P., Mayhew, S. BMC Health Serv Res 19, 185 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4010-8
- vi “Abortions in Ghana: experiences of university students. Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, Health Science Journal. http://www.hsj.gr/medicine/abortions-in-ghana-experiences-of-university-students.php?aid=2616