Abortion in Vanuatu

Abortion in Vanuatu is severely restricted by criminal law.[1] Since 1981, abortions have been illegal in Vanuatu, unless medical authorities cite preservation of maternal health, with up to two years imprisonment for any woman who induces an abortion.[1] Abortion is illegal in cases of rape, incest, and threats to fetal health.[2]

Self-induced abortions

The Vanuatu Family Health Association reports various methods women use for self-induced abortions, including the use of local leaves or bark from a tree.[2] Abortions like this that are outside of the medical system endanger the lives of women, as even an immediate visit to a nearby hospital or clinic may be futile if that medical facility does not have the equipment to repair any damage.[2]


  1. 1 2 Abortion Policies: Oman to Zimbabwe. United Nations Publications. 2001. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 Graue, Catherine (20 June 2014). "New study to research Vanuatu's illegal abortions with fears rates are increasing". ABC News. Retrieved 23 November 2014.

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