RWANDA – HDI marks International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019

The following statement was published by Health Development Initiative (HDI) to mark International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019: “Health Development Initiative advocates for and supports inclusive, health-friendly policies and services for everyone regardless of social, cultural, economic or any other status. We join the world to celebrate the International #SafeAbortion Day. We recognize the removal of legal barriers to safe abortion through the adoption of new penal law and the Ministerial Order determining conditions … Continued

RWANDA – Rwandan president pardons 52 young women in prison for abortion

On 11 October 2019, Rwandan President Paul Kagame signed a decree pardoning 52 young women in prison for abortions, including some convicted for infanticide, on the eve of the International Day of the Girl Child. The statement was issued from a Cabinet meeting chaired by him; it said he was “exercising his power of mercy to give people another chance”. The Rwandan Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye, said the President found it “fitting to give … Continued

RWANDA – Medical Students for Choice promotes knowledge among future health care providers of abortion

Medical Students for Choice is a network of over 10,000 medical students and residents around the world. In Rwanda, a 4th year medical student at the University of Rwanda recalls that since childhood, she has been hearing elders describe abortion as a crime and a taboo, and has shied away whenever the subject comes up among her peers, most of whom she says feel the same. As a result of such experiences, in 2012, a … Continued

RWANDA – Valentine’s case: an intervention in a case about criminalisation of abortion

In April 2019, the President of Rwanda granted a presidential pardon to 367 women and girls jailed for the offences of abortion, complicity in abortion and infanticide. Valentine was one of these women. Women’s Link Worldwide recently presented an amicus in Valentine’s case. She was criminalized after she gave birth because, due to complications during the delivery, the baby died. She was charged with infanticide, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal, thanks … Continued

RWANDA – Details of the Ministerial Order regulating abortion

In October 2018, the Rwandan government removed the requirement of court approval and the second doctor’s permission for a legal abortion. These changes came into effect with Ministerial Order No.002/MoH/2019 on 8 April 2019, which outlines the conditions to be satisfied for a medical doctor to be able to approve and provide abortion care – a major step forward legally. The Ministerial Order No.002/MoH/2019 of 8 April 2019, states: Determining conditions to be satisfied for … Continued

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