This is what most abortions look like. 5 pills. That’s all.
How is it done?
Abortions are legal in Guyana and safe once done by a trained doctor. Most abortions are done within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
An ultrasound is done to ascertain the gestational term of the pregnancy; this helps the doctor decide which method to use. There are two types: The medical abortion using pills, and surgical abortion using a gentle suction.
In Guyana, the first method is mostly used as it is convenient, easier to be done and comfortable.
After a consultation with the doctor the procedure is ready to begin.
- The first pill is taken at the clinic. The woman simply swallows the pill with a glass of water. She goes about her day normally, takes a good night’s rest and twelve hours later she is ready for the next steps.
- Two pills will be placed between her right cheek and gum, and two pills between her left cheek and gum. Not swallowed.
- As the four pills dissolve, the woman swallows her saliva normally.
- After 20 – 30 mins, water is whisked in the mouth and swallowed.
- 4 to 5 hours later (it varies), the uterus starts to contract like it does during a period.
Within a few hours the abortion is complete.
The other method (called a Manual Vacuum Aspiration – MVA) is a slight suction to empty the contents of the uterus; this is usually done in the clinic after 8 weeks of pregnancy and thus is not as commonly used, but still an available option.
Abortion in Guyana
Abortion in Guyana is legal (has been so since 1995) to any pregnant woman (there are no age restrictions). It is governed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy ACT.
Consent is not needed from a parent, guardian, or sexual partner; just the pregnant woman’s consent.
Did you know that:
- Under 8 weeks (2 months) of pregnancy, a woman does not even have to give a reason. She can simply walk into a family planning clinic and request the service – No questions asked.
- Between 8 to 12 weeks (2 to 3 months) of pregnancy, a woman can have an abortion on the conditions that she has been impregnated due to rape, incest, or failed contraceptives; she can also have an abortion if she is HIV positive, the pregnancy endangers her life and health, or she is mentally unable to care for an infant.
- Between 12 to 16 weeks (3 to 4 months) of pregnancy, two doctors have to agree on any of the conditions above.
- After 16 weeks (4 months) of pregnancy, three doctors need to agree that the pregnancy would cause permanent harm to the woman, or the abortion is necessary to save her life.
No matter what the reason is, abortions are a necessary and essential procedure and in some cases, life saving.
Different women. Different circumstances.
It is very much a woman’s right to have access to this healthcare and to make the decision on whether or not she wants to be pregnant. It is always a woman’s right to make decisions over her own body. No one else’s. She gets to decide if, or when she wants to be pregnant, for who and how many children she wants.
Her body. Her rights.