Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)
Mar 28, 2019
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to safe abortion has historically been limited. Political chaos, a weak health sector, low use of contraception, and restrictive laws—that until recently made it illegal in nearly all cases—have contributed to high rates of abortion across the country. Many of these are unsafe, which contributes to the DRC’s very high maternal mortality rate. However, in March 2018 the Congolese government published the text of the Maputo Protocol in the country’s national legal journal following a concerted advocacy effort by a coalition of women’s rights groups, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations, known as Coalition de Grossesses Non Désirées. Due to the nature of the country’s legal system, this action effectively expanded the categories under which abortion is now legal in DRC.