Women can choose a safer alternative to abortion


2022 08 12


As of 1 January 2023, women that decide to terminate their pregnancy, will be able to do so without surgical intervention – by taking a special medication, prescribed by their doctor. According to practice, medical termination of pregnancy is a much safer alternative, which helps to evade the complications and risk, related to surgical interventions. Moreover, it is yet another important step to ensure the women’s right to choose and receive modern and high-quality reproductive healthcare services.

‘The legalisation of a medical termination of pregnancy as an alternative to surgery was a long-awaited decision. This procedure is safer, as there is no medical intervention, and the risk of complications is significantly lower. Women do not need hospitalisation, anaesthesia and surgery. The pregnancy is terminated in an environment that they feel comfortable in, which is usually at home.’ says Dr Vytautas Klimas, representative of the Lithuanian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

According to Esmeralda Kuliešytė, Head of the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, this decision is an enormous step forward in implementing women’s reproductive rights, as they will be able to choose the method of terminating pregnancy, which is less traumatising.

‘Other women in Europe have been using this opportunity for more than 30 years and the experience of other countries shows that medical abortion beats the surgical one. For example, nearly all abortions in Finland, Sweden and Denmark are done with medication. We talked to our foreign partners in Latvia, Denmark and Moldova, and none of them mentioned any issues, related to medical termination of pregnancy. This means that this method works and it works well.’ emphasized the Head of the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association.

Medical termination of pregnancy, which is similar to a natural miscarriage, can be done up to the 9th week of pregnancy after conducting the necessary testing and with consultations and monitoring of a physician. Women can take the medication prescribed at their own convenience, for example, at home. Physician’s care will also be provided after the medication is taken and the foetus is removed.

Please note that the termination of pregnancy (doctor’s consultations and care) can be covered from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund only in case of medical indications, such as, the mother and the foetus having a condition, which poses threat to one of their lives. In case of no medical indications, women wishing to terminate their pregnancy must pay for the procedure themselves.

World Health Organisation claims medical abortion to be an efficient and safe alternative to surgical intervention. This service has already been legalised in 45 states of the world, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, etc.

The Ministry of Health had been urged to legalise medical abortion by NGOs, members of the Parliament and ordinary citizens.

The producer of medicinal preparations for termination of pregnancy intends to submit documents for their registration in Lithuania already this year.

The updated procedure for the termination of pregnancy is available here.

Press Service, Ministry of Health

(Piktochart photo)

The NHIF invites you:

Your questions are welcome by email [email protected] or phone: local (8 5) 232 2222, international +370 5 232 222