Countries Abortion Profile

Thailand

1. Law related to Abortion

Brief history of the law

The abortion law was based on European model (19th century) introduced by European advisor to the King Rama V. Prior to this introduction there was no abortion law.

The last amendment was in 1957 where the article 305 was added.(This article allows PHISICIANS to carry out abortion with the consent of the patient only from “HEALTH” indication and from pregnancy arising from specified sexual crimes )i.e. article 272, 273, 282, 283, 284 in the criminal code law).

Analysis of it being restrictive if at all

The health care provider, the medical schools,  the police and the society as a whole still consider the law being “Restrictive”. Different agency makes different interpretation.

Lately the Thai Medical Council,  the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health has redefined the term “HEALTH” to cover MENTAL as well as PHYSICAL aspect.

Short summary of conditions within the law : 

  • To save the life of the woman – yes.  
  • To preserve physical health – yes.  
  • To preserve mental health – yes. 
  • Rape or incest – yes. 
  • Foetal impairment – yes. 
  • Economic or social reasons – no. 
  • Available on request – no.  

2. Policy

Practise: (Providers trained, willing, enabling ) :

The main abortion service providers are private NGO, GP clinics, private hospitals  and gynaecologists in private clinics and hospitals.  Charges are variable and often exploitative. It is completely unregulated and statistics are unavailable.

The WHRRF is a non profit NGO with the aim of bringing increase access of safe abortion to Thai women through training research and advocacy in collaboration with the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health and the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

3. Second Trimester Abortion

4. Practice

5. Reproductive Health Perspective

Signatory to ICPD, CEDAW: Yes, no conditions.

6. Abortion Statistics

7. Public sector

1st Trimester : Yes

2nd Trimester : Yes

Cost: varies : up to US$ 100

8. Private sector

Abortion services available at private sectors

1st Trimester – yes.

2nd Trimester – rarely yes 

Cost- varies from US$60 to US$ 500 depending on gestation size.

9. Methods used

D&C, EVA, MVA

2nd Trimester mostly with Misoprostol.

10. Provider level allowed for surgical and medical abortion

Only Ob Gyn and physicians are permitted by law.

11. Abortion related morbidity mortality statistics

300 : 100,000 abortions.

12. Manufacture and/or availability through import of abortion equipment (MVA syringes, EVA equipment)

All available no restricted of import.

13. Manufacture/ import of Mifepristone, Misoprostol

Misoprostol is imported and registered for non-obstetric. Mifepristone is not  licensed.

14. Facility and provider certification norms in brief

Both inpatient and ambulatory facilities are adequate.

15. Information available in national service delivery standards

N/A.

16. Informal / illegal providers – if present who are they

They are quacks, traditional birth attendants.  Midwife, nurses are not allowed to provider abortion by the law.

17. Population urban/ rural: Demography of the country, with an analysis of availability of abortion services ratio to population

N/A.

18. Role of government

Supportive and amending the medical regulation for termination of pregnancy.

Provides adequate funding to run training and service delivery programmes.

The Department of Health trains physicians and nurses on “Prevention of Unsafe Abortion Pre and Post Abortion Counseling and Care and Use of MVA” and supply MVA to public health hospitals with inadequate funding.

19. Role of religion/ religious leaders

20. Local Ob Gyn societies

Supportive.

21. Current status and potential of research

The first Nationwide survey was conducted in 1999 (see attached survey).

There is not accurate annual statistics.      

22. Awareness amongst community members

23. Role of member organization/ individual

The Department of Health has collaborated with the Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights Foundation of Thailand and the Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in launching programs/activities to reduce unsafe abortion in the country including training on surgical abortion technique using Manual Vacuum Aspirator and medical abortion.