RWANDA – Rwanda once again pardons and releases young women jailed for abortion

The first pardon came in 2016, when 62 girls and women were released who had been imprisoned for abortion under the age of 16. Many of them had become pregnant following sexual abuse. Then, the Law of 2018 introduced some reform. It said that any person who self-induces an abortion is committing an offence, and if convicted, is liable to imprisonment for 1–3 years and subject to a fine. However, the law also said criminal … Continued

RWANDA – Stop restrictions on contraceptives for teenagers as teenage pregnancies sweep Rwanda

Mercy M died at the age of 14 from severe infection due to unsafe abortion. Although she attempted to obtain emergency contraceptives to avoid that pregnancy, Mercy was not given the morning-after pills because Rwandan laws say that teenagers need permission from their parents or must be accompanied by their guardians to access reproductive health services. Mercy is just one case in an epidemic of teenage pregnancies sweeping Rwanda. Recent data show that teenage pregnancies … Continued

RWANDA – HDI marks International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019

The following statement was published by Health Development Initiative (HDI) to mark International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019: “Health Development Initiative advocates for and supports inclusive, health-friendly policies and services for everyone regardless of social, cultural, economic or any other status. We join the world to celebrate the International #SafeAbortion Day. We recognize the removal of legal barriers to safe abortion through the adoption of new penal law and the Ministerial Order determining conditions … Continued

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

RWANDA – Medical Students for Choice promotes knowledge among future health care providers of abortion

Medical Students for Choice is a network of over 10,000 medical students and residents around the world. In Rwanda, a 4th year medical student at the University of Rwanda recalls that since childhood, she has been hearing elders describe abortion as a crime and a taboo, and has shied away whenever the subject comes up among her peers, most of whom she says feel the same. As a result of such experiences, in 2012, a … Continued

© 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.

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