A draft revision of the Penal Code is currently under the Rwandan parliament’s scrutiny. In the section on abortion, it proposes removing the requirement of a court order before being allowed an abortion on the ground of rape or incest. Currently, anyone seeking an abortion on this ground is expected to provide a doctor a court order recognising that the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest or forced marriage. Adolescents seeking abortion will … Continued
…The Global Gag Rule has taken US domestic threats against family planning onto the worldwide stage. In the context of these threats, Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) brought together 76 MSFC members from eight countries and 12 medical schools in Africa for our first African Regional Meeting. MSFC has been supporting chapters in Africa since 2009… [We] felt it was imperative to bring together our African members in order to provide educational support and … Continued
The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) is the main legal instrument for the protection of the rights of women and girls in Africa and the most comprehensive on women’s rights globally. Rwanda signed and ratified the Protocol in 2004 but placed a reservation on Article 14.2.C, which stipulates that countries should “protect the reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion … Continued
On 9 December 2016, an Extraordinary Cabinet meeting chaired by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, has pardoned 62 girls and women imprisoned for abortions when they were under the age of 16. Justice Minister, Johnston Busingye, explained to the New Times that the President was exercising his constitutional right under the prerogative of mercy.
A 13-year-old girl’s request for access to legal abortion following rape, in a case filed by her mother, was denied by the first court who heard the request. The abortion was later allowed on appeal in a judgement handed down on 30 October 2015. This is what happened according to the official English translation of the proceedings, redacted to preserve her privacy:
In Rwanda, children born of women who were raped during the 1994 genocide are often rejected by the community and receive no specific aid. Their mothers, who are also stigmatized, are often their only support in what one of them calls “a life without life”.