Abortion Laws in Bangladesh
Is abortion legal in Bangladesh?
Induced abortions are illegal in Bangladesh except if the woman’s life is in danger as stated in the country’s Penal Code of 1860. However, since 1979, a procedure known as Menstrual Regulation (MR) has been sanctioned by the government. MR uses Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) or a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone to ‘induce a late period’ thus allowing the removal of the contents of the uterus before a positive pregnancy test is administered. MR allows women to discreetly terminate an early pregnancy under the guise of contraceptive failure and a missed period.
What are the different abortion services available in Bangladesh?
- Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
- Mifepristone ( Mifeprist, Mifetab, Mifecon, Mifeston, Mifegest, MIF, Mprix, Mifovent, Mediprist, MTY)
- Misoprostol (Miclofenac, Ultrafen-plus, Erdon Super, Misoclo, Profenac plus, Misofen, Arthrofen, Cytomis and Dix Extra)
In addition to these MR is also available:
- MR through manual vacuum aspiration is permitted until 10-12 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.
- MR using the combination of misoprostol and mifepristone is permitted until 9 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.
*Note: Procedures after these timelines are considered abortion cases.
Who can perform abortion services in Bangladesh?
Trained providers can legally provide abortions only if the woman’s life is in danger.
Menstrual regulation can be performed by doctors and paramedics known as Family Welfare Visitors.
Where can I go for abortion services in Bangladesh?
The services are provided free of cost at primary, secondary and tertiary level public health facilities, private family planning clinics and specific NGOs.
How much does an abortion service cost in Bangladesh?
Medical Regulation is available free of charge. Misoprostol alone and the combination of misoprostol and mifepristone (indicated for menstrual regulation) can be bought from many pharmacists.
Who can I contact for additional information and support in Bangladesh?
- Marie Stopes Bangladesh
House # 6/2, block F
Kazi Nazrul Islam Road
Lalmatia Housing Estate
- Naribandhob hotline: 088-01853-892424 (for safe Menstrual Regulation)
- Population Services and Training Center (PSTC)
- Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Program (RHSTEP)
- Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB)
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- “Menstrual Regulation and Unsafe Abortion in Bangladesh.” Guttmacher Institute, https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/menstrual-regulation-unsafe-abortion-bangladesh
- “Access to and Quality of Menstrual Regulation and Postabortion Care in Bangladesh: Evidence from a Survey of Health Facilities, 2014.” Guttmacher Institute, https://www.guttmacher.org/report/menstrual-regulation-postabortion-care-bangladesh
- “How Bangladesh Made Abortion Safer.” The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/opinion/rohingya-bangladesh-abortion.html