SAM: Medical abortion is legalized in Lithuania

As practice shows, medical termination of pregnancy is a much safer alternative that helps to avoid the risks of complications associated with surgical operations. In addition, this is another important step in order to ensure women’s right to choose and the right to receive modern and high-quality reproductive health care services, the SAM statement indicates.

“The legalization of medical abortion as an alternative to surgery was a long-awaited decision. This procedure is safer because no medical intervention is performed, and the risk of complications is incomparably lower. A woman does not need to be hospitalized, does not need anesthesia and surgery. A pregnancy is terminated in an environment acceptable to the woman, usually it happens at home,” the representative of the Lithuanian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, med. Dr. Vytautas Klimas.

According to the head of the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, Esmeralda Kuliešytė, this decision is a huge step forward in the realization of a woman’s reproductive rights, as she will be able to choose a way of terminating a pregnancy that is less traumatic.

“Other European women have been using this option for more than 30 years, and the experience of other countries shows that medical abortion competes with surgical abortion. Here in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, almost all pregnancy terminations are medical. We talked to foreign partners in Latvia, Denmark, Moldova – none of them mentioned problems related to medical termination of pregnancy. This means that this method works, and it works well,” emphasizes the head of the Family Planning and Sexual Health Association.

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A medical termination of pregnancy, which is similar to a naturally occurring miscarriage, will be able to be chosen up to 9 weeks of pregnancy, after completing the necessary tests, counseling and under the supervision of a doctor. A woman will be able to consume medicines purchased according to a prescribed prescription at a convenient time and in a comfortable environment, for example at home. A doctor’s care will also be provided after the medication is taken and the fetus is removed.

SAM points out that the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund will pay for termination of pregnancy (doctor’s consultation and care) only for medical indications, for example, if the mother or the fetus has a disease that endangers the life of one of them. If there are no medical indications, but the woman wishes to terminate the pregnancy herself, she must pay for this procedure herself.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declares medical termination of pregnancy as an effective and safe alternative to surgical termination of pregnancy. This service has already been legalized in 45 countries around 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 States etc.

SAM points out that it has already received calls from non-governmental organizations, members of the Seimas and ordinary citizens to legalize medical termination of pregnancy.

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

Earlier on Friday, the Minister of Health Arūnas Dulkys announced that he is going on vacation for several weeks.

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