ABORTION: Doctors welcome new ministerial order on safe abortion


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ABORTION: Doctors welcome new ministerial order on safe abortion

Yanditswe Apr, 17 2019 12:05 PM


Some members of the general public have been calling for stricter laws against Abortion, instead of making it easier for people to have them.

However, Doctors argue that tightening such laws would only lead to more problems because as it is, 24% of girls and women who were having illegal abortions in bad conditions were ending up dead.

Research shows that some women and girls go to extraordinary measures to get rid of pregnancies, putting their own lives at risk; with one admitting to using household sanitary items like detergent and glycerin to do it.

In August last year a law allowing girls under the age of 18 to have abortions legally if the girl was raped, became pregnant by a close relative or if the pregnancy was found to pose a threat to the mother's life.

The abortion had to first be approved a Court of law within the first 22 weeks of Pregnancy.

Anyone found to have had an abortion pretending to have been raped would be liable to prosecution afterwards.

Now a Ministerial Decree allows abortions to carried out by trained medical personnel without the need for a Court to approve them and Doctors argue that this will help reduce the number of girls and women who were illegally aborting, 24% of whom ended up dying.

There is also the Legal Argument presented on the rights of an unborn child and Lawyers say that aspect of things can be open to interpretation, though the law is clear about what rights a baby still in the womb is entitled to.

Doublage (MAN): Steven Salim Gatari - Lawyer

"You have to ask yourself if an unborn child has legal rights and the answer is, there are rights entitled to human beings that fetus does not have because it is still unborn. However, it still has what we call protection in law, even though you cannot stroll in here pregnant and say you want to claim an inheritance for your unborn child. Legally, that baby that is yet to be born, cannot be considered to have the rights of a human being."

We also spoke to religious leaders who told us that their faith requires that even unborn babies are considered to have the rights of human beings, because that is what they are after all, even though they may still be in their mother's womb and that such children should not be sacrificed to hide the shame of their parents when they engage in promiscuity and other forms of sexual acts outside the sanctity of marriage.

Even though these latest laws on abortion are being introduced in line with the 2003 Maputo Protocol on Women's Rights that Rwanda signed, the members of the General Public we spoke to were all against them, largely siding with Religious Leaders on the matter and stating that abortion is actually murder committed by parents towards their own children, even though they may still be unborn.

In the last 5 years; 24,000 girls and women died of complications related to illegal abortions and up to 1.7 Billion Frw was used to treat females suffering from the physical repercussions of having those types of abortions, even though they did not kill them.

More than 12,000 women have gone to Prison because of illegal abortions and the murders of their children, with 429 having received Presidential Pardons, the latest group during the last month.

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