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Abortion Laws in Uganda

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Is abortion legal in Uganda?

Abortion is legally restricted in Uganda. Article 22 (2) of the Ugandan Constitution prohibits the deprivation of the life of any person including an unborn child but also states that in some instances a pregnancy can be lawfully terminated. The Penal Code ACT further goes on to describe the punishments for the various categories of sections on abortion. These include attempts to procure abortion, women with intent to procure a miscarriage, and supply of drugs that procure abortion. These are punishable according to law with various sentences. The law however protects individuals who perform a surgical operation in good faith and reasonable care for the preservation of a mother’s life (Section 224). Therefore, Article 22 (2) not only anticipated but also placed an obligation on the Ugandan Parliament to make a law which would clearly stipulate the circumstances under which the termination of a pregnancy would be permitted.

Unfortunately the Parliament has not yet fulfilled this obligation and as such, the Penal Code Act of Uganda, which provides for criminal sanctions to several aspects of abortion, remains the only authority on instances in which abortion can or cannot be permitted.

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What are the different abortion services available?

  • Medical Abortion (MA) - Abortion pill (Misoprostol, Mifepristone)
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
  • Surgical abortion
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Who can perform abortions in Uganda?

  • Obstetrician-gynecologists
  • Medical doctors
  • Trained clinical officers
  • Midwives
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Where can I go for post-abortion care or comprehensive abortion care services in Uganda?

  • General Hospitals and Health Facilities Most general hospitals provide post abortion services for induced and spontaneous abortions in order to treat the complications of unsafe abortions.
  • Marie Stopes Uganda Contraception, post abortion care and pain management, affordable at all Health facilities under Maristopes.
  • Reproductive Health Uganda Contraception, post abortion care and pain management, affordable at all Health facilities under Reproductive Health Uganda.
  • Uganda Reproductive Health Bureu Contraception, post abortion care and pain management, affordable at all Health facilities under URHB. URHB was registered with the mandate to improve the sexual and reproductive health status of young people and children.
  • Naguru Teenage Centre The care provides all elements of comprehensive abortion care, as well as other medical services. This comprises of sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis and treatment, pregnancy testing, antenatal services, menstrual complications, post abortion care, infertility, nutrition and hygiene.
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What is the cost of an abortion in Uganda?

  1. 1. Medical abortion by pill (Misoprostol, Mifepristone) costs averagely 100,000 Ugandan shillings
  2. 2. Services range from $150 for surgical abortion
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What are the legal and safe drugs available in Uganda?

Commonly known to hospitals and pharmacies as:

  1. Misoprostol
  2. Mifepristone
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