Abortion in Zambia

zambia flag

In Zambia, abortions upon request are illegal, but a stipulation in the law that allows abortions to be requested under socio-economic grounds means many women can access the services up to a gestational age limit of 12 weeks, after which, a doctors approval will be required. [1]

Is Abortion Legal in Zambia?

Abortion is legal based on health or socio-economic grounds

What Types of Abortion are Available in Zambia

The following abortion methods available in Zambia:

  • 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*D&C is an outdated abortion method and should be replaced by MVA when possible.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 Zambia? How Many Women Have Abortions?

38 per 100 women

In-Clinic Abortion

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

  • 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*D&C is an outdated aboriton method and should be replaced by MVA when possible.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 Zambia?

Abortion services are available at both private and public health institutions that have been approved by Zambia’s Ministry of Health. They are also available in teaching hospitals. In order to access one under health or socio-economic grounds, one simply has to go to one of these facilities and state that they are not ready to carry a child to term. [4]

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

250-350 kwacha

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 Zambia?

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 Zambia

What Brands of Abortion Pill Are Popular in Zambia?

The two most popular brands in Zambia are Medabon, Cytotec, MisoClear, Divabo, MisFem and MisoMifefem. [5]


How Much Do the Abortion Pills Cost in Zambia?


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

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: Zambia: https://abortion-policies.srhr.org/country/zambia/

[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] Global Public Health. Cost of abortions in Zambia: A comparison of safe abortion and post abortion care. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288479901_Cost_of_abortions_in_Zambia_A_comparison_of_safe_abortion_and_post_abortion_care

[5] Mann Global Health. Landscape Assessment: Leveraging the role of national distributors to increase access to MA combi-packs in Africa. Retrieved from https://www.rhsupplies.org/uploads/tx_rhscpublications/Landscape_Assessment_Combi-Packs_RHSC_01.pdf