We are big believers in having all the information you need to make the right decisions for your life, so we've put together this piece on how to get an abortion in Hong Kong.
Just like local advocates wearefk, we like to talk openly about sexual wellbeing and everything that entails. And with the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade – the constitutional right to abortion in the US – the topic of abortion has especially been on the hearts and minds of people around the world. For women who find themselves with unwanted or unplanned pregnancies here in Hong Kong, the road to termination may be simpler than in some other countries, but the journey is never straightforward. That being said, there are a few avenues to consider. If you’re wondering how to get an abortion in Hong Kong, read on. While you’re here, we’ve also got a full list of tried-and-tested counsellors here who can help talk through your options.
How to get an abortion in Hong Kong
Unlike in many countries where terminating a pregnancy can be straightforward, getting an abortion in Hong Kong is a bit more complicated. Not only are there multiple doctors who need to be consulted, but the procedure can only be performed at certain locations. In fact, currently, only 19 public and private hospitals across the territory can legally offer this service to women.
It’s important to note that, under Hong Kong law, terminations can only be performed if:
- Continuation of pregnancy would involve risk to the life, physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; and
- The child to be born would be severely handicapped as a result of physical or mental abnormality.
Also, two doctors, one of which will be the one performing the procedure, need to sign off on the procedure (using Government forms 1 and 3), which means you will need a referral from a gynaecologist at either FPAHK, The Department of Health (Maternal and Child Health Centres), or from a private doctor.
What’s the difference between a medical and a surgical abortion?
There are two ways to legally terminate a pregnancy in Hong Kong: medical or surgical. With a medical abortion, drugs are used to stimulate contraction, meaning you won’t have to have a clinical procedure. Many people who undergo a medical termination note that they suffer from abdominal cramping after the procedure.
For a surgical abortion, you will receive local or monitored anaesthesia while the procedure is undertaken by the doctor. While this is slightly more invasive than the medical option, there is usually less bleeding afterwards.
Where to get an abortion in Hong Kong
1. Family Planning Association Hong Kong
One of the most affordable options for many (costing around $5,000) is Family Planning Association Hong Kong (FPAHK). This clinic offers both medical and surgical abortions for pregnancies up to 10 weeks. They also arrange counselling services in advance of the procedure.
At your first visit, you can expect to undergo a urine pregnancy test and to have some medical details collected by the nurse. You will chat about the reasons for your decision and if you decide to go ahead, a subsequent appointment with the doctor will be arranged. That’s when you’ll need to have a brief physical and pelvic examination.
The doctor will help you make the decision as to which termination option is right for you based on gestational period, allergies to medications, and general health. If you are not able to receive the procedure at FPAHK for some reason, the doctor will refer you to one of the public hospitals.
Find out more at Family Planning Association Hong Kong.
2. Public hospitals
Costing around $1,000, the cheapest place to get an abortion in Hong Kong is through the public hospital system. But, unfortunately, it could take a long time too, so expect to wait for two to three months to get the procedure completed and that’s not even taking into account advance appointments.
Both in the public and private systems, abortions can only be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, unless the women’s life is at risk.
See the full list of Maternal and Child Health Centres at public hospitals.
3. Private hospitals
If you have private health insurance, then getting an abortion at private hospitals in Hong Kong is definitely the speediest option. You will be able to quickly schedule a termination at hospitals such as Hong Kong Sanatorium or Gleneagles. The cost ranges between $20,000 and $30,000, but full coverage may not be available on all plans, so you will need to check with your provider.
While most terminations are completed successfully with few problems, as with all medical procedures, there are risks. Be sure to see your doctor if you suffer from ongoing fever, increased vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain after having an abortion.