Legal framework

The legislative and normative framework for the provision of safe abortion services

In the Republic of Moldova, women’s right to safe abortion is guaranteed by law. Any woman older than 16 years of age has the right to end their pregnancy on request up to 12 weeks. Adolescents younger than 16 years of age must obtain permission from a parent or legal guardian (see Law on Reproductive Health, 2012). After 12 weeks up to 21 weeks there exists a list of medical and social indicators established by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in which abortion may be permitted.

Abortion up to 12 weeks pregnancy at the woman’s request was legalized in the Soviet Union in 1955. With a few additions and modifications, the legislative framework has remained in force, without any drastic changes.

In order to assure women’s right to reproductive health, including the provision of quality and accessible abortion care, additional legislation has since been adopted:

  • Law No. 138 from 15.06.2012 regarding reproductive health
    Article 3. Reproductive health services

    … 4. safe abortion…

    Article 5. Reproductive health of women and men
    The State assures that:

    (6) Every woman has access to safe abortion methods, aligned with the normative framework of the MoH

    (11) improving medical-genetic assistance of the population and implementing new prenatal diagnostic technologies to prevent and reduce the level of congenital malformations, and in the case of detecting such malformations during pregnancy, the pregnant woman is assured the possibility to end the pregnancy

    Article 8. Principles of exercising reproductive rights
    Fundamental reproductive health principles include:

    …(4) maintaining confidentiality in questions related to preserving reproductive healt

  • Safe abortion standards were approved by the MoH in Moldova in government order No. 482 on 14 July 2011
  • Regulations for providing abortion is an official document which establishes the normative framework for the activity of medical institutions regarding the provision of abortion services
  • Law No. 263-XVI from 27 October 2005 regarding the rights and the responsibilities of the patient (The Official Monitor of the Republic of Moldova, 2005, no. 176-181, art. 867)
    “Article 9. Ensuring the reproductive rights of the patient
    (1) The patient has the right to choose the safest methods regulated to reproductive health
    (2) Every patient has the right to efficient and risk-free family planning methods
    (3) The patient has the right to information, education and necessary services for a normal sexual life and reproductive health, without discrimination
    (4) The right of the woman to life is most important when a pregnancy presents a major and immediate risk to the life of the mother”
  • Law No. 185-XV from 24 May 2001 regarding the preservation of reproductive health and family planning (The Official Monitor of the Republic of Moldova, 2001, no. 90-92, art. 697):
    “Article 5. The right to freely make decision related to reproduction
    (1) Every patients has the right to make a free decision to the number of children to have and when to have children, be it in or outside of marriage
    (2) The State guarantees non-interference in citizens ability to exercise their right to make free decision related to reproduction

    Article 6. The right to information related to reproductive health and family planning
    Every person has the right to complete and validated information related to the state of their reproductive health and family planning, which is offered by public and private medical institutions possessing the appropriate license to provide such services

    Article 7. The right to benefit from reproductive health services and family planning
    (1) Every person has the right to benefit from reproductive health services and family planning
    (2) Reproductive health services and family planning are provided in public and private health institutions, schools and social assistance in conformity with current legislation.”

  • Law on health promotion No.411-XIII from 28 March 1995 (The Official Monitor of the Republic of Moldova, 1995, no. 34, art 373):
    “Article 32
    (1) Women have the right to make decisions related maternity
    (2) Abortion procedures are provided up to 12 weeks pregnancy in public medical institutions
    (3) The methodology for carry out abortion procedures after 12 weeks pregnancy is established by the MoH”