Nifin’Akanga organized this workshop on 11-13 March 2019 in Antananarivo. The main aim of the workshop was to create a national coalition for the decriminalization of abortion. There were 24 participants from seven localities in Madagascar. The meeting participants signed a charter for the creation of the “Nifin’akanga Network”, a national network whose mission is the total decriminalization of abortion in Madagascar – not only in cases of rape, incest or at-risk pregnancies. Future priorities and follow-up activities that were agreed included the announcement of the new national network, implementation of the network’s activities, the organization of a meeting with governmental and NGO partners, and better access to data on abortion. Participants were also provided with briefcases with tools to use to start workshops and advocacy activities in their localities.
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
Abortion is illegal on Madagascar. Although prosecution is rare, an attempt to decriminalise abortion was pushed back by the parliament in 2017. A 44-year-old woman with six children keeps a secret behind a flimsy wooden gate at the back of her vegetable garden. “There are around eight fetuses buried here,” she said. “With them lies a baby delivered prematurely at seven months.” In each case, she said, when they were removed from her body, she … Continued
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