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

MADAGASCAR – The national debate on abortion law reform has resumed

Mireille Rabenoro, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Madagascar, reports that the Commission has organised a conference to resume the national debate on abortion law reform. In 2017, in a bill on family planning, a clause that would have allowed health workers to provide abortions legally was voted down, even though the rest of the bill was passed. The failure to change the law did not stop Malagasi women with unwanted pregnancies from … Continued

NIGERIA – Many girls do not even know sex can make them pregnant

At the recent National Conference on Inclusivity, Equality & Diversity in University Education, hosted by the University of Lagos, a speaker from the Society for Family Health said that Nigeria would move closer to achieving major targets in the Sustainable Development Goals by assuring adolescent girls access to health and critical social services. The Deputy Project Director of Adolescents 360, Fifi Ogbondeminu, supported this and talked about promoting social inclusiveness and reducing unplanned pregnancies and … Continued

POLAND – Polish bill undermines children’s safety and right to information

The Polish parliament was to discuss a so-called “Stop Paedophilia” bill (which is not about paedophilia at all) on 16 October 2019. The bill, supported by the governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, aims to criminalise sex educators, who are threatened with three or even five years in prison for teaching about sexual and reproductive health, human sexuality, healthy relationships, intimate life and prevention of violence. The authors and publishers of books or magazines … Continued

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