Region: Africa

When abortion is a crime: Rwanda.

Rwanda reformed its abortion law in 2012, but legal barriers and cultural and religious stigma make it nearly impossible for women to get a safe, legal abortion. Women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies resort to unsafe and illegal abortions—and Rwandan police unjustly harass, arrest, prosecute and imprison hundreds of women and girls on abortion or infanticide-related charges each year. This report, by Ipas and Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights and Development, shares findings from interviews with women, judges, legal defense lawyers, and police officers, and calls on the Rwandan government to take steps to address this ongoing human rights violation.

read more

Making change happen: A review of progressive abortion policy change in Africa

An overview of progressive abortion policy changes and trends in Africa, primarily between 2010-2016. It outlines strategies in regional policy work by Ipas and partners and points to examples of positive policy change, such as national law reform, updated standards and guidelines, commitments by policymakers, and the integration of safe abortion into regional strategies and actions plans on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

read more

Accessing medical and surgical first-trimester abortion services: Women’s experiences and costs from an operations research study in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

This study explored women’s experiences accessing services and estimate costs incurred for first-trimester abortion at four public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Despite the availability of government assistance for children through South Africa’s “child grant,” the affordability of raising a child was a major concern for women. Although theoretically available free of charge in the public sector, women experienced challenges accessing abortion services and incurred costs which may have been burdensome given average local earnings. These potential barriers could be addressed by reducing the number of required visits and improving availability of pregnancy tests and supplies in public facilities.

read more

Gender violence is still a grim reality

...[N]umerous instances have been reported where women have been denied termination of pregnancy services for pregnancies arising out of rape, incest and sexual violence. There is also the rising issue of women and girls being forced by the police to keep the...

read more

Sex health services a right for youth

During last year's national exams, media reported alarming cases of girls who sat the papers in delivery rooms or went into labour in the exam room.These statistics show the need for urgent action and awareness to enable the youth...

read more