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Not at all! Figures show that in Belgium about one in five women has an abortion at some point in her life. Nevertheless, Belgium – together with the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany – has the smallest number of abortions in the world. (< 10/1000 women aged 15-44). In 2019, when the most recent official figures were published, the figure for registered abortions was 18,027. The frequency of abortions carried out is also linked to the female fertility curve: the figures are highest in the group aged 20-29. The average age is 29.
If your health insurance is up to date, you will pay €4,5 for the entire procedure at the centre. If you are not affiliated or your affiliation is not up to date, you will in principle pay the total amount of €561 yourself; €226 at the first consultation and €335 on the day the treatment starts.
If this is difficult or impossible for you, we will look for possible solutions together with you. After all, we believe that every woman should be able to find help.
Yes, the waiting period is mandatory. An abortion cannot be performed immediately, even if you are completely sure of your decision and explicitly ask for it. The law states that a period of at least six days must be observed between the initial consultation and the treatment. This is the mandatory waiting period.
The waiting period can only be shortened due to an urgent medical emergency, but not if you are going on holiday, for example.
The law speaks of a minimum mandatory waiting period of 6 days, but you may need more time to reach a decision. That’s not a problem. You have time to do this as long as you stay below the 12-week limit. An ultrasound will reveal when this is.
It is normal to continue to lose blood for some time after aspiration or the medical treatment. Sometimes this takes a week, but it can also last until the next menstruation. The blood may often contain clots, thick pieces of blood. You do not have to worry about it. But is the bleeding very heavy (4 pads an hour and for at least 3 hours in a row)? Or do you have a fever of more than 38°? Then we recommend you contact the abortion centre or your GP.
Usually, you will have your period again within four to six weeks after an abortion. This applies both to treatment with suction aspiration and to treatment with medication. After the treatment and until your next period, you may experience irregular blood loss. Your periods may also deviate from the ‘normal’ pattern in the beginning. If you use the pill, bleeding usually starts after the first strip. Your first period is often different from what you are used to: it may be much heavier or longer, or much less and shorter. The first period is no indication of what your subsequent periods will be like.
Privacy and discretion are key at LUNA. It is not completely anonymous because you have to show your identity card when you are at the abortion centre. The LUNA centres have an agreement with the NIHDI to make sure the greatest care is taken to safeguard your anonymity also with the health insurance funds. A consultation or treatment is never specified in your reimbursement statement, nor in your online medical record.
Of course, all the LUNA employees are subject to professional secrecy. They are not allowed to inform your parents, partner, family, etc. of your visit to a LUNA centre, your request for an abortion or any treatment.
The same applies for minors. Your parents do not have to know, nor give their consent. Even if you are a youngster on your parents’ insurance, the health insurance funds guarantee your anonymity.
If you want to pay all the costs yourself and do not want the intervention of the health insurance fund, that is also possible.
At the end of the treatment, you will be given a letter to give to your GP or gynaecologist. It is up to you whether you actually give this letter to your doctor.
No, you do not need to see your GP or gynaecologist before making an appointment at a LUNA centre. As soon as you see a positive result on your pregnancy test, you can make a first appointment. If you come to LUNA after a check-up by your GP or gynaecologist, please bring the referral letter of your family doctor or gynaecologist with you to the first consultation.
No, as a minor, you do not need parental consent to terminate the pregnancy. The law states that you decide for yourself, regardless of your age.
Yes, you may bring your partner or another trusted person to the centre, both during the initial consultation and during treatment.
Do you come to the abortion centre for a preliminary examination or treatment? If so, we can provide you with a certificate of illness or absence from work or school. This is a standard certificate that all doctors use. It does not say that you have been to LUNA or why. This is part of professional secrecy.
If you have an appointment for an aspiration, please bring the following items with you:
The administration of the local anaesthetic during suction aspiration is generally not felt, while the widening of the cervix usually causes a slight period-like pain. When the uterine cavity is emptied, the uterus contracts, which can be compared to quite painful menstrual cramps.
In case of medical treatment, you may experience cramps after taking the prostaglandins. Here, too, the experience may vary greatly. Some women hardly feel the contraction of their uterus, others feel slight to severe cramps. The care providers will be happy to advise you on which painkillers to take.
Abortion is safe. In Belgium, the treatment is carried out in legally recognised centres such as the LUNA centres. Complications can occur during any medical treatment, but experience has shown that such complications are rare and can be dealt with rapidly.
The staff of the LUNA centres will explain the procedure to you. They will tell you who you can get in touch with afterwards if you feel worried.
The duration of the treatment depends on the chosen method. If you opt for a suction aspiration, you will stay (depending on how you feel) about one to three hours at the centre. The treatment itself takes a maximum of 15 minutes.
If you opt for the medical treatment, you will come in to take the Mifepristone pill. Allow about an hour for this. One or two days after that you start phase 2 at home with the prostaglandins.
After a pregnancy term of 12 weeks (or 14 weeks after the last menstruation), abortion is only possible in Belgium if the pregnancy is a serious threat to the woman’s health or if it has been established that the child will have an extremely serious and incurable defect.
An abortion later than 12 weeks after the last menstruation without these reasons is not allowed in Belgium. In countries like the Netherlands and Great Britain, it is. If you are in such a situation, you can go to the LUNA centres for a consultation, information and possible referral to a clinic abroad.