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
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 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: