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What is abortion?

Abortion is a method to end a pregnancy, either for medical reasons or a personal decision of the woman. We speak of safe abortion when there is access to education on sexual and reproductive rights that allows women to abort under proper care. That is, without putting your life at risk.


Is abortion legal?

Yes. Although abortion appears in the Penal Code as a crime, it makes it clear that it can be done as long as it is to care for the health or life of the woman or pregnant person. In the case The People of Puerto Rico v. Pablo Duarte Mendoza, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico interpreted the term health to include both physical and mental health. Therefore, pregnancy terminations are legal in Puerto Rico.


When can a legal abortion be done?

In the first or second trimester of pregnancy.


Does the partner or ex-partner have to consent to the abortion?

No. The decision to abort is unique and individual to the pregnant woman. You do not need the consent of the partner or former partner, whether or not they are married. A person cannot sue a woman who is going to abort "the product of the relationship". 


Who can do an abortion?

In Puerto Rico, only female doctors and medical doctors can perform an abortion.


Can a minor abort?

Yes. A minor can have an abortion in Puerto Rico. You do not need the consent of your parents or guardians. You do have to have the consultation of a doctor and have received the necessary information to make the decision knowingly and voluntarily. Some clinics ask that the minor be accompanied by an adult, but this is not due to a legal requirement, but to internal regulations of these facilities.


Does the health plan have to cover abortion?

The norm is that medical plans do not cover abortions of unwanted pregnancies. As far as the Government is concerned, there are instances in which there is the possibility that the State covers these expenses, as would be the case of a rape or when the pregnancy represents a risk of death for the mother.


The right to confidentiality and informed consent

As with all medical procedures, the person performing the abortion has the right to have their confidentiality protected. To learn more about this right, you can go here. Similarly, a woman who wants to know more about this procedure has the right to know about the process, the risks and the rights that protect her. To learn more about informed consent, see this resource.


The right to change your mind

As a general rule, in abortion clinics the woman is interviewed and counseled as part of the consultation process. This allows you to talk to him about existing alternatives, such as adoption. It also empowers women through education to decide whether or not they really want an abortion. Certainly, women have the right to change their minds and this must be respected without discrimination or coercion.


Where are abortions performed in Puerto Rico?

Most abortion services in Puerto Rico are offered in private clinics, also known as "family planning centers." They can only offer the service if they are duly licensed.


What is the Beijing Declaration?


The 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing Platform for Action) is the most ambitious program on the rights of women and girls in the world. It represents one of the most important roadmaps to achieve a fundamental human right: gender equality, one of the goals included in the 2030 Agenda.


When was the Platform adopted?

To learn about the origins of the Platform, one must go back to the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in September 1995. More than 17,000 participants gathered in the capital of China, Beijing (also known as Pekin). They did it with many differences, but also a common goal: to achieve the empowerment and gender equality of all women, in all corners of the world.


As is often the case in an event of this magnitude, the debates and discussions were heated. However, thanks to the pressure of more than 30,000 activists, the 189 governments present managed to reach a historic compromise: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

12 areas of concern

But ... how were these governments going to measure their commitment to gender equality? To do this, they divided their commitments into several specific areas such as violence, education or health. In total, they defined 12 areas of concern on which to focus their efforts:


  • Women and the environment

  • Women in power and decision-making

  • The girl child

  • Women and the economy

  • Women and poverty

  • Violence against women

  • Human rights of women

  • Education and training of women

  • Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women

  • Women and health

  • Women and the media

  • Women and armed conflict

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