UN Human Rights Committee Recommendations on Abortion Law & Policy: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana

Family planning clinic in Burkina Faso (photo Burkina 24)

0

UN Human Rights Committee Recommendations on Abortion Law & Policy: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana

27 July 2016

Burkina Faso:  Santé reproductive : Le Burkina invité à éliminer les obstacles d’accès à l’avortement légal
(Reproductive health: Burkina invited to eliminate obstacles to accessing legal abortion)

L’une des recommandations majeures issues de la 117e Session du Comité des droits de l’Homme de l’ONU tenue à Genève et publiées ce 15 juillet 2016, concerne les interruptions volontaires de grossesse et accès aux moyens de contraception au Burkina.

(One of the most important recommendations of the 117th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, published 15 July 2016, concerned abortion and access to the means of contraception in Burkina Faso.)

From the HRC report:

Interruptions volontaires de grossesse et accès aux moyens de contraception
(Voluntary termination of pregnancy and access to contraceptive methods)

19. Le Comité est préoccupé par les conditions contraignantes pour accéder à l’avortement légal en cas de viol ou d’inceste, à savoir l’obtention d’une décision de justice reconnaissant l’infraction et un délai légal de 10 semaines pour pratiquer une interruption volontaire de grossesse. Le Comité note avec préoccupation le recours par les femmes enceintes à des avortements à risque qui mettent en danger leur vie et leur santé en raison des obstacles légaux, de la stigmatisation et du manque d’information. Il est recommandé aux autorités burkinabè d’éliminer les obstacles pour accéder à l’avortement légal qui incitent les femmes à recourir à des avortements à risque qui mettent leur vie et leur santé en danger et de lever l’exigence d’une autorisation préalable du tribunal pour les avortements résultants d’un viol ou d’un inceste.

(The Committee is concerned by the conditions required for accessing a legal abortion in cases of rape or incest, namely obtaining a judge's decision recognizing the offence within the legal limit of 10 weeks of pregnancy. The Committee notes with concern the use by pregnant women of unsafe abortion methods, which endanger their life and health because of legal obstacles, stigma and lack of information. It is recommended to the authorities of Burkina Faso to eliminate the obstacles to accessing legal abortion which encourage women to resort to unsafe abortions that put their lives and health at risk, and to remove the requirement of prior authorization of a court for abortions resulting from rape or incest.)... FULL STORY

****************

Ecuador: Concerns about the criminalisation of abortion in the new Organic Integrated Criminal Code

According to the non-governmental organizations who attended the Committee hearings and presented shadow reports, the State did not answer the experts’ questions on issues such as freedom of expression, human trafficking, and women’s rights, among others. This information must be sent, in writing, by the Ecuadorian State to the Committee.

From the HRC report:

Interrupción voluntaria del embarazo (Voluntary termination of pregnancy)

15. El Comité observa con preocupación que el nuevo Código Orgánico Integral Penal criminaliza la interrupción voluntaria del embarazo, salvo cuando se practique para “evitar un peligro para la vida o salud de la mujer embarazada y si este peligro no puede ser evitado por otros medios” y cuando el embarazo haya sido consecuencia de la violación “en una mujer que padezca discapacidad mental”, lo que habría llevado a muchas mujeres embarazadas a continuar buscando servicios de aborto inseguros que pondrían en peligro su vida y su salud (arts. 3, 6, 7 y 17).

(The Committee notes with concern that the new Organic Integrated Criminal Code criminalises voluntary termination of pregnancy, except when it is to "prevent a danger to the life or health of the pregnant woman and if this danger cannot be avoided by other means" and when the pregnancy has been a consequence of the rape "of a woman who suffers from mental disability", which would lead to many pregnant women to continue to seek unsafe abortion services that endanger their life and health.) FULL STORY

****************

Ghana: Concerns that despite some legal grounds, safe abortion remains largely inaccessible

Voluntary termination of pregnancy

23. The Committee is concerned that, despite the legally available exceptions to the prohibition of abortion, safe abortion remains largely inaccessible due to the stigma associated to voluntary termination of pregnancy in the society and to its relatively high cost and the fact that it is not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme. The Committee is concerned by the percentage of unsafe abortion-related maternal deaths (Arts.3, 6, 7 and 17). FULL STORY

****************

Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion