Abortion in Tunisia

The Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy in Tunisia or Induced Abortion in Tunisia is legal in Tunisia from 1973 until 3 months of gestation at the request of the woman. Tunisia is along with Turkey and Bahrain the only Muslim majority countries where induced abortion is legal. 1 2 3

Legal abortion until 3 months of gestation

In Tunisia there are unique conditions compared with other Muslim countries. Abortion is legal and free from 1973 to 3 months of gestation, at the request of the woman and for any reason. Tunisia, has a national family planning program that includes public and free services for the practice of surgical abortion and abortion with quality drugs – employing modern and evidence-based practices. 1

Cultural context

98% of the population of Tunisia is Muslim and is one of the few Muslim countries to adopt interpretations that are considered liberals of Islamic law , or Sharia , with respect to issues related to women and the family. The polygamy was abolished, the minimum age for marriage is 17 years. Women have the right to vote , divorce and work . 1 4

Family Planning

The national family planning program was organized in 1976, three years after the legalization of abortion. 1

Principles of the National Family Planning Program

According to the principles of the national family planning program: 1

  • All the services are free.
  • Services are available throughout the country.
  • Women can freely choose their contraceptive method.
  • Women can choose to have an abortion with freedom.

Implantation of abortion with medicines

The implementation of medication abortion – considered the choice of preference if there are no contraindications – has been rapid and effective and clinical studies have also been carried out to test its efficacy and side effects. The reference drug used has been mifepristone . 1 The usual regimen is mifepristone and misoprostol orally, up to the first 49 days from the start of pregnancy. In Tunisia, it is often the professional midwife who provides the majority of abortion services with prescription drugs; Abortion with medication can be performed up to nine weeks after the start of pregnancy and home use of misoprostol is routine in several settings. Currently, misoprostol is administered sublingually and the oral route is being studied. Medication abortion services are soon offered by the public sector, although they want to be offered in the private sector. They are also offered in hospitals for second-trimester pregnancy termination. 1 5

Number of abortions

In 1996, 19,000 abortions were performed in Tunisia. 6 According to Dr. Selma Hajri , endocrinologist , a researcher in reproductive health and coordinator of the Network African Network for Medical Abortion ( NAMA ) -red affiliated with the International Consortium for Medical Abortion ( ICMA ) until 2010 had been carried out 25,000 medical abortions at 15 Of the 24 regions of Tunisia where it was implemented. It is intended that medical abortion services be extended to other regions by the end of 2011. 1

Number of abortions with medicines

In areas or regions where abortion with medication can reach 60% to 70% of all induced abortions , figures similar to those in European countries where this practice has been introduced and implemented. 7 8 For Dr. Selma Hajri The procedure medical abortion was accepted by women and health professionals in Tunisia not only as a modern and safe method, but also as a means for women to achieve more autonomy and self – determination. 1


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g h i Induced abortion in Tunisia, IPAS, February 1, 2011
  2. Back to top↑ “Clandestine abortion causes tragedies in Morocco”, 10/08/2009, El País
  3. Back to top↑ From abortion in Islam, webislam
  4. Back to top↑ Abortion and Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, IPAS
  5. Back to top↑ Medical methods for abortion in the first trimester, BSR, The WHO Reproductive Health Library
  6. Back to top↑ The Incidence of World-Induced Abortion, Stanley K. Henshaw, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas, in International Perspectives in Family Planning, Special Issue 1999
  7. Back to top↑ Gérvas J. Abortion at home. Health Act. 2010/09/13.
  8. Back to top↑ Spain, to the European tail in pharmacological abortion, Only 4% of the interruptions are done by this method, while in the EU they approach the half, 11/23/2010