Abortion in Ghana

Ghana has liberal abortion laws; nobody is prosecuted for having an abortion, and abortion providers are able to operate freely, as long as they adhere to the requirements of qualified health professionals and meet the minimum standards. There is however still a lot of stigma, mainly due to the country’s religious background. Both surgical and medical abortions are available at government-approved facilities.

Is abortion legal in Ghana?

Abortion in Ghana is legal under the following circumstances: rape, incest, fetal abnormality or disease, “defilement of a female idiot,” or to protect the physical and/or mental health of the woman [1].

What types of abortion are availabe in Ghana?

Both medical and in-clinic abortions are available in Ghana.

What is the abortion rate in Ghana? How many women have abortions?

The national abortion rate is 44 abortions per every 1,000 women [2].

Abortion with pills (Medical Abortion)

Are the abortion pills (Mifepristone and Misoprostol) available in Ghana?

Yes, both Mifepristone and Misoprostol are available in Ghana.

How late into a pregnancy can the abortion pills be used?

The abortion pills can be safely used up to 11 weeks’ gestation [3].

Do I need a prescription for Mifepristone or Misoprostol?

Yes, a prescription is needed for both Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

What brands of abortion pills are popular in Ghana?

The two most popular abortion pill brands are the MM Combikit and Mifabon [4].

How much do abortion pills cost in Ghana?

The cost ranges from 250 to 350 Ghana Cedis.

Who can I contact for more information on abortion in Ghana?

Korle Bu Family Planning Unit: +233 050 158 26 98
Marie Stopes Ghana: +233 0800 2 85 85
Marie Stopes Ghana WhatsApp: +233 556 489 090

In-clinic abortion

What are the different types of in-clinic abortion procedures availble in Ghana?

The following in-clinic procedures are available: Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) and Dilation and Curettage (D&C).

Is 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 [2]. The gestational age limit for MVA often depends on the clinic as well as the health-care provider performing the procedure [5].

A legal MVA is performed by a trained provider in a clinic.

Where can I get a legal MVA abortion in Ghana?

Korle Bu Family Planning unit: +233 050 158 26 98
At most reproductive health/family planning units in hospitals and clinics accross the country.

How much does MVA cost in Ghana?

The cost of an MVA depends on the individual facility but can range from 300 to 1,000 Ghana Cedis.

Are there any side effects with MVA?

The most common side effect associated with MVA is strong cramps experienced during the procedure. Often this cramping will improve quickly afterwards, but some women may experience cramping on and off for a few days or weeks. This side effect is best managed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. [5]

Authors:

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 platform that supports women who want a safe abortion and, when needed, refers them to trusted, trained, and pro-choice health-care 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.


Sources

[1] “The World’s Abortion Laws Map.” Center for Reproductive Rights, reproductiverights.org/worldabortionlaws Accessed September 2020.

[2] “Ghana.” Guttmacher Institute, www.guttmacher.org/geography/sub-saharan-africa/ghana. Accessed September 2020.

[3] “Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems.” WHO, Second edition, apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/70914/9789241548434_eng.pd%20f?sequence=1. Accessed September 2020.

[4] “Medical Abortion Commodities Database.” IPPF, www.medab.org/. Accessed September 2020.

[5] “Clinical Updates in Reproductive Health.” Ipas, 2019, ipas.azureedge.net/files/CURHE19-april-ClinicalUpdatesInReproductiveHealth.pdf. Accessed September 2020.

Last updated on 30/09/2020

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We advise our readers to:

  1. Read our latest blog post on abortion and COVID-19
  2. Follow WHO safety guidelines on COVID-19
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