In spite of sustained advocacy from sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and human rights advocates, and penal code amendments in 1971 and 1989, which opened up more grounds for abortion, access to safe, legal abortion remains heavily restricted in Malaysia. Before these changes, several prosecutions were taken against medical professionals. Since them, only one woman has been prosecuted for abortion – a Nepali migrant worker named Nirmala in 2014, who spent four months in prison and was acquitted on appeal.
This report looks at the abortion law and access to abortion in Malaysia and reviews calls to change the law and access by SRH and human rights advocates. The report ends with a discussion of the cases against medical professionals, prosecutions of women for infanticide and the case of Nirmala.
Image source: Malay Mail