Reproductive expert commends Rwanda provisions for abortion

Rwanda’s move to make exemptions under which abortion can be carried out is a good practice that should be emulated by other countries, a global reproductive health expert has said.

Rwanda’s move to make exemptions under which abortion can be carried out is a good practice that should be emulated by other countries, a global reproductive health expert has said.

Dr Nuriye Hodoglugil, a medical director with Venture Strategies Innovations, a US-based organisation involved in improving women health, was in the country last week to attend the annual scientific conference by the Rwanda Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RSOG).

In an interview on the sidelines of the meeting, Hodoglugil said the abortion exemptions incorporated in the 2012 Penal Code have helped reduce maternal mortality rates in the country.

Legally, abortion in Rwanda is prohibited and punished by law.

However, Article 165 of the Penal Code indicates that there is no criminal liability for a woman who procures abortion and a medical doctor who helps a woman to abort if one of the following conditions is met: When a woman has conceived  as a result of rape, forced marriage, incest and when the pregnancy seriously jeopardises the health of the unborn baby or that of the pregnant woman.

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