Abortion in Belize

The abortion in Belize is restricted by criminal law, but permitted under certain circumstances.


As of 2013, the most recent statistics available on abortion in Belize are from 1996. 1 During that year, 2603 abortions were reported, along with 6678 live births. 5% of the hospitalizations were due to abortions during that year, making it the 4th highest cause of hospitalization. 2 2

Due to legal restrictions against abortion, as well as its significant financial cost, illegal abortions are common in Belize, especially for low-income women. 3 In 1998, an estimated 1 in 7 maternal deaths in Belize were due to unsafe and unsafe abortions. 4

Legal status

Abortion in Belize is governed by sections 108-110 of the Penal Code (promulgated in December 1980). Abortion is considered a crime except when it is performed by a registered doctor under certain conditions. The sentence for aborting an illegal Belize is life imprisonment. 5

Abortion is permitted under the following circumstances: 5

  • To protect the life of the mother.
  • To protect the physical or mental health of the mother or any of the children in your family.
  • If there is substantial risk the child will be severely handicapped.

In addition, the law states that “the actual or reasonably foreseeable environment of the pregnant woman may be taken into account,” suggesting that abortions can be performed for socio-economic reasons. 5 Belize offers no explicit exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. 5


  1. Back to top↑ “Historical Abortion Statistics, Belize” . Johnston’s Archive . 24 March 2013 . Retrieved on February 27, 2015 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Health in the Americas (1998 edition). World Health Organization. P. 82. ISBN  9275115699 . Retrieved on February 27, 2015 .
  3. Back to top↑ «Illegal abortions: rising threat to Belizean women» . Great Belize Television. 6 June 2003 . Retrieved on February 27, 2015 .
  4. Back to top↑ «Government of Belize Must Address Lack of Legal Rights for Informal Relationships, Women’s Anti-Discrimination Committee Told» . United Nations. 14 June 1999 . Retrieved on February 27, 2015 .
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b c d «Abortion Policy: Belize» . The Population Policy Data Bank . Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat . Retrieved on February 27, 2015 .