Reproductive Justice

19 de April, 2023

Legal abortion via telehealth: guidelines for healthcare services

The booklet was created in partnership with Rede Médica Pelo Direito de Decidir (Global Doctors for Choice Brasil) and the Center for Comprehensive Care for Victims of Sexual Assault (Nuavidas), affiliated with the Federal University of Uberlândia Hospital (HCU/UFU), Brazil. It provides practical guidelines for services via telehealth, as well as clarifications on legal certainty and other references for the patients.

The publication of this material was motivated by the guidelines of world health authorities regarding the essentials of sexual and reproductive health services, even in the midst of health crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Brazil has proposed using telemedicine and broadly providing information so that women and girls are not left out during difficult times. In addition, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) emphasized that the implementation of telehealth abortion services must be permanent, as scientific evidence affirms its safety and positive impact on the experiences of girls and women.

The material provides legal information on the implementation of the procedure in health services, in accordance with what is stipulated in the telemedicine law and in the technical standards on legal abortion and the use of drugs by the Ministry of Health and Anvisa. There is also an illustrated booklet about the procedure that can be made available to patients by the healthcare staff. 

To ensure that legal abortion services can operate via telehealth is to preserve the rights of adolescents, women, and pregnant people to access a procedure to which they have the right, without unnecessarily exposing them during the pandemic. It also aims to reduce hospitalizations, especially in a period of an overloaded healthcare system.

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