ALGERIA – Abortion has not been legalised in Algeria

According to the Algerian Association for Family Planning, there are 8,000 cases of abortion recorded each year in Algeria, of which 200-300 are clandestine. Algeria has remained one of the most restrictive countries in the region as regards abortion. The Penal Code articles 304 to 310, dated 1966 and 1982, criminalise everything from ‘inciting’ someone to have an abortion, e.g. through discourse, posters, publicity, public meetings, groups, or illustrations. Punishment is by various fines and/or … Continued

MOROCCO – Health Minister removes misoprostol from pharmacies for six months and a safe abortion advocate is arrested soon after

Mr M Anass Doukkali, current deputy of the Party of Progress and Socialism in Morocco, has been Minister of Health in Morocco since 22 January 2018. He has a background in chemistry and physics, employment, hospital administration and transition to democracy, but no apparent history of knowledge on women’s health issues. On the Ministry’s website a new policy on use of medications has been announced based on “health, development and human rights”. But “les droits … Continued

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Ivoire Soir.net publishes an exclusive story: text of a draft bill on sexual and reproductive health, including abortion

Background Under the Penal Code of Côte d’Ivoire, Law No. 81-640, 31 July 1981, abortion is prohibited except to save the life of the pregnant woman, if it is seriously endangered. Although this implies that it is an emergency situation, the attending physician must consult two additional physicians, who must certify that her life can only be saved by a surgical/therapeutic abortion. If only one other physician resides in the local area, the attending physician … Continued

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Legal access to abortion expands

There has been an historic shift in abortion policy in the DRC, made possible by the country’s constitution, which states that international treaties ratified by the government shall supersede national laws once those treaties are published in the nation’s legal gazette. The DRC ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (known as the Maputo Protocol) in 2008. Because Article 14 of this protocol … Continued

BURKINA FASO – Interview with Mariam Nonguerma/Zorome, President of the Burkinabe Association of Midwives

The extent of illegal abortion in Burkina is terrible because of the disastrous consequences of these abortions, including haemorrhage, sepsis, uterine perforation and even death. Sometimes girls come to our health centres from disastrous situations, bleeding. But when they present themselves, they do not confess that it is due to an induced abortion. And it is only following examination that one realises it was an abortion induced clandestinely. So, we do not distinguish between the … Continued

MALAWI – Efforts supported by UNICEF to reduce teenage pregnancy in rural Thyolo District in order to reduce stillbirths and newborn deaths

In May 2018, “Rachel” was a Standard 5 pregnant school drop-out. At the age of 15, she is already facing pregnancy complications befitting the age of her mother. It is over three months now since she walked into the maternity ward at Thyolo District Hospital to await her labour. When she arrived, the nurses told her that she would only deliver through caesarean section. The subsequent experience vindicated her fright. Fear haunts her. Discharge of … Continued

NAMIBIA – Consultation on policy to reduce teen pregnancy reveals criticism because it isn’t working

In May 2018, five months into the school calendar year, the Oshana and Ohangwena regions have recorded 232 pregnancies, some in girls as young as age 14. The parliamentary standing committee on gender equality, social development and family affairs released these figures during consultative meetings held in the region, where they sought input from pupils, teachers, parents and other community members on teenage pregnancies. This took place after Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Elma Dienda had … Continued

ETHIOPIA – The new Michu Clinic, Adama Hospital Medical College, Adama

In one room, a line of young women – accompanied by men and in some cases their mothers – await vaccinations for their newborns. In two more rooms down the terrace, midwives provide post-natal care to women who have just given birth. And in a nearby recovery room, six women rest in comfortable beds following safe second trimester abortions. This is another normal day at the recently-opened Michu (which means ‘comfort’ in Amharic) Clinic at … Continued

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