Everyone has a legal right to abortion in Sweden. There is no age limit for having an abortion and it’s always the pregnant person’s individual right to decide if they want to have an abortion or not.
Abortions are performed until the 18th week of pregnancy but can in some cases be done until the 22nd week of pregnancy.
According to Swedish abortion law, it’s the right of the pregnant person to decide on abortion.
When are abortions performed?
You are entitled to have an abortion until the 18th week of pregnancy, without having to explain your reasons. After the 18th week you need permission from Socialstyrelsen – the National Board of Health and Welfare, to have an abortion. Such permission requires special reasons (e.g. health risks for the mother). Socialstyrelsen can’t give permission for pregnancies beyond week 22.
Where to turn?
Abortions are always performed at hospitals or gynaecological clinics. You can contact the hospital or clinic directly and book an appointment. But you can also turn to a youth clinic, health centre or gynaecological clinic for advice and help to book an appointment. Book an appointment as soon as possible as it can sometimes be long waiting times.
You are always offered support and assistance before and after the abortion. This support offers counseling regarding all aspects of the the abortion and your decision and life situation. The partner is also welcome to participate.
Medical or Clinical
Sweden conducts medical as well as clinical abortions. Medical abortions (with abortion pills) are primarily conducted on early pregnancies up to the 9th week. Clinical abortions are used on later pregnancies from week 12 to 22 of pregnancy.
The procedure costs between 350 – 700 SEK. Young people under 18 years of age generally do not pay for abortions.
Who has the right to know?
The medical staff at the clinic are bound by professional secrecy and are not allowed to tell anyone about your visit to the clinic.
What if I am underage?
The staff at the abortion clinic are bound by confidentiality and may not tell anyone about your visit. However, if you are under 18, the staff usually suggests that you tell an adult that you are going to have an abortion as it is usually good to have some support both before and after the abortion.
If you can not tell anyone at home that you are having an abortion, you can talk to another adult that you trust, such as a relative, a school therapist or school nurse. The closer you are to 18 years old, the less do adults responsible for you have the right to know about your health issues.
And it is important to remember that anyone who works in health care has a strict duty of confidentiality.
Having an abortion should not mean that you are put in danger. However, sometimes, healthcare professionals need to contact someone who is responsible for you, for example, if you are in a situation where you may be seriously ill or in a dangerous situation. They may also need to make a notification to the Social Services for assistance.
Can I have an abortion if I don’t have a Swedish personal number?
As of 2008, people from other countries, who do not have a Swedish personal number, have the right to come to Sweden and perform a legal abortion without having to give specific reasons for doing so.
However, the subsidiesed health care does not apply if you do not have a Swedish personal number. This means that you will have to pay the entire cost of the abortion yourself. How much it costs varies, so contact abortion clinics in the area where you are staying and talk to them directly.
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