Abortion in Botswana

Botswana flag

Strict legislation still limits access to abortions upon request in Botswana, but the service are still available for women who fall under certain conditions. Both surgical and medical abortions are available at government-approved facilities. [1]

Is Abortion Legal in Botswana?

Abortions in Botswana are legal in so far as the pregnancy can risk the mental or physical health of the pregnant person, if the abortion will save their life or if the pregnancy itself is a result of rape or incest.

What Types of Abortion are Available in Botswana

The following abortion methods available in Botswana:

  • Abortion with pills (MA)
  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
  • Electric Vacuum Aspiration (EVA)
  • Dilation and Curettage (D&C)*

*D&C is an outdated abortion method and should be replaced by MVA when possible. [2]

What is the abortion rate in Botswana? How Many Women Have Abortions?


In-Clinic Abortion

What are the Different Types of In-Clinic Abortion Procedures Available in Botswana?

  • Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) – less than 12 weeks
  • Electric Vacuum Aspiration (EVA) – less than 12 weeks
  • Dilation and Curettage (D&C)*- less than 12 weeks

*D&C is an outdated aboriton method and should be replaced by MVA when possible. [2]

Is Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) safe?

MVA is a very safe method of abortion for pregnancies in the first trimester, and/or early second trimester all the way up to 14 weeks of gestation. MVA is 99% effective. [3]

You can get more information on the MVA procedure here

Where Can I get a Manual Vacum Aspiration (MVA) Abortion in Botswana?

Abortion services are available at both private and public health institutions that have been approved by Botswana’s Ministry of Health. However, the service is difficult to access as many medical practitioners refuse to perform abortions for fear of being penalized. [4]

How Much Does Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) Cost in Botswana?

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Are There Any Side Effects of Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)?

The most common side effect is cramping during the procedure. Often this cramping will improve quickly afterward, but some women may experience cramping on and off for a few days or weeks. Most women will experience bleeding and cramping during and after MVA, these symptoms will gradually improve in the following days after the procedure.

Abortion with Pills (Medical Abortion)

Are the Abortion Pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) Available in Botswana?

Both Mifepristone and Misoprostol are available at approved medical facilities. They can also be purchased at pharmacies with an approved doctor’s prescription.

How Late Into a Pregnancy Can the Abortion Pills Be Used?

The abortion pills can be used within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

You can get more information on the medical abortion protocol using Mifepristone and Misoprostol or using Misoprostol only.

Do I Need a Prescription for Mifepristone? Misoprostol?

A prescription from a doctor is required for Mifepristone and Misoprostol in Botswana.

What Brands of Abortion Pill Are Popular in Botswana?

The two most popular brands in Botswana are Cytotec and MisoFem. [5]


How Much Do the Abortion Pills Cost in Botswana?

Between $20 USD and $60 USD

Who Can I Contact for More Information on Abortion in Botswana?

You can get in touch with safe2choose’s counselors by email at info@safe2choose.org or by livechat.

You can also reach out to Women on Web or Women Help Women.



by the safe2choose team and supporting experts at carafem, based on the 2019 recommendations by Ipas, and the 2012 recommendations by the WHO.

safe2choose is an online counseling and informational plateform that supports women who want a safe abortion, and when needed, refers them to trusted, trained and pro-choice healthcare providers.

carafem provides convenient and professional abortion care and family planning so people can control the number and spacing of their children.

Ipas is the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care.

WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health

[1] Global Abortion Policies Database. Country profile: Botswana: https://abortion-policies.srhr.org/country/botswana/

[2] WHO. Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. Second edition. Retrieved from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/70914/9789241548434_eng.pd%20f?sequence=1

[3] Ipas. Clinical Updates in Reproductive Health. 2019. Retrieved from: https://ipas.azureedge.net/files/CURHE19-april-ClinicalUpdatesInReproductiveHealth.pdf

[4] Reproductive Health and the Question of Abortion in Botswana: A Review. Retrived from: https://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/2634/1/Perceptions_of_Abortion_in_Contemporary_Urban_Botswana.pdf

[5] IPPF. Medical Abortion Commodities Database. Retrieved from: https://www.medab.org/advanced-search-multiple-results?country=334&commodity=all&brand=all#multiple-search-result