Madagascar's 'angel makers' flourish in ban on abortion
01 Sep 2019
ANTANANARIVO: Volatiana keeps her secret behind a flimsy wooden gate, tucked along a red brick wall at the back of her vegetable garden in Madagascar's Antananarivo.
"There are around eight foetuses buried here," said the Malagasy mother of six, standing on a narrow patch of land hidden behind a corrugated metal sheet.
How a change in U.S. abortion policy reverberated around the globe
Health-care workers in Madagascar and dozens of other countries have faced new obstacles since Trump signed an order tying U.S. aid to antiabortion rules.
By Max Bearak and Carol Morello
Photo and video by Carolyn Van Houten
Oct. 10, 2018
BETSINGILO, Madagascar — Nana thought for a second, and then shook her head. Donald Trump? No, never heard of him.
Her humble, earthen home and field of cassava are about as far from Washington as it gets. She lives in Madagascar, an impoverished island hundreds of miles off the coast of Africa — and tiny Betsingilo is a week-long trip by bus from the country’s capital.
The distance has not stopped Trump’s foreign policy from affecting people’s lives here.
Madagascar set to update colonial family planning and abortion law…
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Oct 24, 2017
Madagascar’s Senate was set to debate legislation modernising a family planning law from 1920 that prohibits the promotion of contraception and criminalised abortion, a leftover from the French colonial era. Advocates say the most important part of the new law is the commitment to making access to reproductive health services a universal right, regardless of age.
At present there is confusion over the legality of providing contraception to young people; certain interpretations suggest that under-18s require parental permission to use contraception. Lalaina Razafinirinasoa, country director of Marie Stopes International in Madagascar, says one doctor she worked with faced legal action and a fine for providing contraception to an under-age girl after her parents complained. While such cases are rare, a lack of clear guidelines on contraception for young people has created concern among frontline health workers. According to Pierre-Loup Lesage, head of Population Services International in Madagascar, 50% of first pregnancies happen before 18 years old in the country.
If passed as currently written, the new law would also allow abortion when the woman’s life is in danger, with the written approval of two doctors. How many girls and women would that make a difference to, one might ask.
SOURCE: Reuters, by Annie Burns-Pieper, 16 October 2017 ; PHOTO