About this project
In 1999, Women on Waves started as one of the first online databases gathering country by country information on abortion laws, access and pills. Since then a number of valuable databases came along, such as “The World’s Abortion Laws” by the Center for Reproductive Rights or the “Global Abortion Policies Database” by the World Health Organization.
In 2022, Women on Waves teamed up with Women on Web to work on a systematic update and relaunch of the database. This work was generously funded by the UKRI, through the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) New Investigator Grant, and carried out in collaboration with the Department of Geography at the University of Exeter, UK.
The goal today remains the same: To provide a person who has an unwanted pregnancy with useful, practical and easy to understand information on abortion access, laws and policies in their country. Each country profile reflects the legal landscape of abortion while also acknowledging the fact that there are many more factors that influence the actual availability and accessibility of abortion care.
Women on Waves and Women on Web are taking a feminist and pragmatic stance aiming to support women and pregnant people all over the world to access their fundamental right to healthcare. Our general work is centered around telemedical abortion care. While this directory provides information beyond that, you’ll find that it has a focus on abortion with pills nevertheless.
Each country profile begins with displaying the legal landscape of abortion: The laws and policies, such as the legal grounds for abortion and the registration status of abortion pills. The other part of a country profile is based on community contributions and aims to reflect the actual reality of abortion care in the country, as well as tips for abortion access, useful contacts and resources to access safe abortion.
The country’s abortion laws and policies, the drug registration status of the abortion pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol (as registered by the country’s pharmaceutical authority), as well as any regulations around the distribution of abortion pills were collected through an initial desk research. Whenever available, the following sources were used:
- World Health Organization. Global Abortion Policies Database (GAPD).
- Center for Reproductive Rights. The World’s Abortion Laws.
- Gynuity. List of Mifepristone Approvals.
- Gynuity. Map of Misoprostol Approvals.
- REDAAS. Conscientious Objection Map.
- IPPF. European Abortion Policies Atlas.
- The country’s database or list of registered medicines by their Drug Regulatory Authority or Ministry of Health
You will find a specific list of sources used per country on each country’s profile at the bottom of the page. Whenever there was conflicting information between sources we consulted as a team and decided on a case by case basis, balancing accuracy (documented proof through original legal documents) with pragmatic considerations of providing as much useful information as possible. If you have a question about a specific piece of information, do not hesitate to reach out.
Brand names of the abortion pills Mifepristone, Misoprostol and Combipacks were listed when local contacts reported their common use (using this questionnaire) and/or if they appeared on:
- IPPF. Medical Abortion Commodities Database.
- Safe2Choose. Abortion Information per Country.
- How To Use Abortion Pill. Abortion Laws by country.
- The country’s database or list of registered medicines by their Drug Regulatory Authority or Ministry of Health.
That means that many, but not all brand names that are listed in the directory are officially registered in the respective country. This is in the hope of capturing the actual reality of abortion pill distribution.
The community comments, the information on local organizations and resources and cost of abortion pills consist of contributions from local contacts answering a set of questions about the availability of abortion pills and services (using this questionnaire) or as they appear on:
Starting from the relaunch in 2022/23 there will be a systematic update every 5 years, reviewing all data collected on this database, if possible. In the meantime there will be smaller changes and additions carried out every three months. On each country profile you’ll find a “last updated on” -date at the right corner of the page.
The data included in this database is collected to our best knowledge. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information listed. If you see an error, outdated information, have a question or have information to add, please write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the full questionnaire in English, French, Spanish or Arabic.
This is a collective and ongoing project and we appreciate every person joining our efforts to spread accurate and practical information on abortion care.