Abortion in Guyana

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Abortion in Guyana is legal during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, but it is illegal after eight weeks except in cases of endangering the maternal or fetal health. Throughout much of the 20th century, it was officially illegal but rarely were laws against abortion ever enforced. In 1995, legislation was passed which made abortion legal as long as it was done within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy and done with the consent of the pregnant woman and by a licensed medical practitioner.[1]

Between 8 and 12 weeks from conception, abortion is only legal if the pending childbirth would result in health risks for the woman or the fetus, or if the pregnancy occurred despite the use of contraceptives. Between 12 and 16 weeks, an abortion can still be legally performed, but only if the health of the woman or fetus is in danger. After 16 weeks, it is only possible to perform an abortion in the case of severe health-related circumstances.[1]

In 2006, the Guyanese government theoretically cleared the way for public hospitals to "perform abortions." In actuality, the public hospitals only complete abortions which have already been partially undertaken by pregnant women.[2] They began doing so in 2008.

The Guyanese government continues to look for ways to lower the number of abortions in Guyana.[2]

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