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
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.