Terminating a pregnancy is a very personal and difficult decision. If you are considering abortion, Healthy Matters is here to help guide you along the way. We have all the information you need on getting an abortion in Hong Kong including your options, what to expect, what it costs, and where to go.
Is abortion legal in Hong Kong?
Having an abortion in Hong Kong is legal if based on one of the following conditions:
1) if continuing the pregnancy will risk the life and debilitate the physical and/or mental health of the woman; or
2) if the child is determined to be severely handicapped as a result of a physical or biochemical abnormality.
Termination of pregnancy can only be legally performed by registered doctors at gazetted hospitals or in The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. Performing an illegal abortion or abortion by oneself or in a doctor’s clinic is liable to fine and imprisonment of both patient and doctor. In order to perform an abortion legally, Hong Kong Government Forms 1 and 3 need to be signed by two registered doctors, one of which should be the doctor performing the procedure (usually a gynecologist). In order to get an abortion, you will therefore need to obtain a referral from a gynecologist: referrals can be obtained from the Family Planning Association, The Department of Health (Maternal and Child Health Centres) or from a private doctor.
What is the time limit for having an abortion in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, termination of pregnancy can only be performed before 24 weeks unless it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. However, each medical provider, the doctor or hospital, may have different time limits. See below for more details.
What are the choices for termination of pregnancy in Hong Kong?
There are two ways to perform an early pregnancy termination; a medical procedure and a surgical procedure. Below are the specifics of each procedure, including the risks and side effects.
Options in Hong Kong
The Procedure: What to Expect
The most common form of medical termination uses two drugs administered over 2 days.
Mifipristone is administered orally either in the doctor’s office or in the hospital outpatient department.
Misoprostol (Cytotec) is then administered vaginally or orally (oral, sublingual or buccal) between 24 and 48 hours later, either in the hospital (Matilda Hospital protocol) or at home.
Abortion usually occurs within 4-6 hours. No anesthesia is required but injection for pain relief may be necessary. No antibiotic prophylaxis is usually required.
The cervix is firstly dilated either medically (pre-operatively) or surgically under anesthesia.
The contents of the uterus are then removed by suction.
Usually performed under general anesthesia but local anesthesia can be used.
Usually done under ultrasound control to reduce incidence of uterine perforation and incomplete abortion.
Antibiotic prophylaxis usually given intra-operatively or post-operatively to reduce incidence of infection and subsequent fertility problems.
Risks & Side Effects: What to Expect
Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion.
An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure fails.
Heavy and prolonged bleeding, infection, fever, digestive system discomfort.
Infection may lead to infertility, however in general medical abortion has not been shown to affect future pregnancies unless complications develop.
Side effects of drugs which include: vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea and allergic reaction.
Adverse drug reactions, complications related to the anesthesia.
Tear of the cervix, bleeding, uterine perforation or rupture.
Infection and adhesion. Infection may lead to infertility, lead to miscarriage or preterm delivery, and difficulty with delivery of the placenta.
Where to get my pregnancy terminated and how much does abortion cost in Hong Kong?
The Family Planning Association (FPA) of Hong Kong is an independent NGO which exists to help women get easy access all forms of contraception and to abortion where deemed appropriate.
How much: Medical or Surgical Termination under local anesthesia: $3,500 (Entitled persons), $4,700 (Non-entitled persons)/ Monitored Anesthetic Care: $1,750
The FPA can only provide termination services for patients who are pregnant up to ten-week’s gestation and have no complicating medical disease or previous uterine surgery (such as a caesarean section).
Address: 41 Mount Kellett Road. The Peak, Hong Kong
How much: $22,000 with a referral from FPA, with no referral $40,000 and up.
Matilda provides termination services for patients who are pregnant up to 14 weeks for surgical termination and up to 7 weeks for a medical termination. For cases between 15 and 24 weeks, termination of pregnancy may be performed for fetal abnormality or serious maternal medical conditions subject to approval by the Medical Superintendant.
How much: First consultation fee $1600-$2000/ Second doctor’s consultation fee: $400
Operation fee: HKD$25,000-$35,000 (Medication, ultrasound, and other laboratory fees are not included).
Termination of pregnancy can be arranged after the consultation with their on-staff doctors. You can arrange to see a doctor after 6 weeks of pregnancy, under Hong Kong’s law termination of pregnancy can only be arranged before 24 weeks.
How much: In order to get costing from this hospital you must make an appointment to see a doctor.
Union provides termination services for patients who are under 20 weeks.
Does insurance cover termination of pregnancy?
According to health insurance advisor AD MediLink, in Hong Kong most insurance plans cover abortion for serious medical conditions. However, the circumstances vary and are done on a case by case basis. You may also be required to provide medical justification. In some cases, you may need to have maternity cover and respect the maternity waiting time for abortion to be covered by your insurance provider. Some plans do not cover abortion under any circumstances including plans where maternity cover is provided.
Contraception is the best way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, you can contact The Hong Kong Family Planning Association, the resources listed above, and your doctor for more information on contraceptive options available.
Looking for health insurance? Want to better understand your current plan or healthcare options in Hong Kong? Contact our partner AD MediLink now at [email protected] or +852 2296 9773 for expert and unbiased advice. Their advisors are uniquely trained on the Hong Kong healthcare system to answer all your questions; on both the public and private sectors.
Reviewed on 4 September 2018 by Dr. Michael Rogers 羅傑士醫生.
Dr. Michael Rogers 羅傑士醫生 received his medical training at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is Honorary Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He worked for more than 24 years in Hong Kong’s public sector before moving to private practice 10 years ago. In the field of obstetrics Dr. Rogers has published widely in international journals on diabetes, preeclampsia and fetal distress. He was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine by the Chinese University of Hong Kong for his work on preeclampsia.
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and not sponsored. It is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.