In Madagascar, the Minister of Public Health announced that an estimated 75,000 abortions take place per year in the country, that there is one abortion per ten live births and based on data from East Africa, there are about 575 deaths from complications of unsafe abortion on the Madagascar mainland per year. Complications of unsafe abortion are the second highest cause of maternal deaths registered in the health system, after antenatal and post-partum haemorrhage. In a study at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Gynécologie-Obstétrique Befelatanana in 2012-13, there were 360 cases of complications of unsafe abortion, with a fatality rate of 4.16%. According to another study in this same hospital in 2011-12, the majority of those treated for complications were aged 15-24 years, with the age range being 15-43 years of age. 70% of cases were due to haemorrhage, and 30% due to sepsis. But these data do not reflect the reality outside of hospital clinics, where many women never seek treatment and die of post-abortion complications. These problems are all due to abortions being prohibited in the law, and take place clandestinely, using unsafe, often traditional methods.
In Madagascar, abortion is a crime, punishable by the Penal Code, which has been in place since the colonial period, stemming from the Napoleonic Code of 1810. In December 2017, there was an attempt in Parliament, to decriminalise therapeutic abortion. In vain. But as the presidential election approaches, the association which fights for the legalisation of abortion called Nifin’Akanga, named after an abortifacient plant widely used in Madagascar to induce abortion, has revived the debate. … Continued
(Public meetings about abortion are very rare in Madagascar. At this one, the room was full, especially with women. FP2020 is about the need for contraceptive use but its documents also talk about millions of women and young women exposed to the risk of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions globally. Young people are living their sexuality. More than 500 women and adolescents die each year in Madagascar from unsafe abortions. The meeting agreed they need … Continued
In Madagascar, the issue of abortion was the main subject of a public debate at the University of Antananarivo in July 2017, organised by the National Council of Malagasy Women, an association of women’s rights groups from across the country. The debate was organised in anticipation of the bill allowing the use of family planning, with two clauses on therapeutic abortion, that was tabled for discussion in the Parliament in October 2017, and which was … Continued
During the debate in the Malagasy Parliament on 13 December 2017, referring to the abortion clauses in the new family planning law, Senator Olivier Rakotovazaha said: “Abortion is not consistent with Malagasy culture. Our blessings encourage even young married women to give birth to seven girls and seven boys.” This is a response to the Senator from Richard J Randriamandrato, special advisor to the President of the Malagasy Senate since February 2016, published in L’Express on … Continued
During consideration by the National Assembly of Madagascar of a bill supporting family planning, an amendment to delete Articles 22 and 23, which would have permitted therapeutic abortion, was passed on 13 December 2017. As a result, no grounds for abortion are permitted by the bill, and health professionals are now forbidden to provide an abortion, therapeutic or not, in Madagascar and would be liable to prison and loss of their medical position. This … Continued
There are 75,000 clandestine abortions in Madagascar each year, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health, analysed by the University of Ankatso. Behind these figures, women’s lives are at stake. Abortion is still illegal and criminalised, first imposed under French colonial law.
Madagascar’s Senate was set to debate legislation modernising a family planning law from 1920 that prohibits the promotion of contraception and criminalised abortion, a leftover from the French colonial era. Advocates say the most important part of the new law is the commitment to making access to reproductive health services a universal right, regardless of age. At present there is confusion over the legality of providing contraception to young people; certain interpretations suggest that … Continued