Namibia: Will the 1975 abortion legislation be amended?

By Africanews and AFP
May 29, 2023

When Alejandra Angula discovered she was pregnant, she panicked. She had not unplanned the pregnancy. Dismayed at the lack of options in her home country, Angula flew to neighbouring South Africa and booked into an abortion clinic in Cape Town.

"I was more scared of having a baby and being forced into parenthood than of the procedure," said the 29-year-old IT worker, who asked for her name to be changed for the purposes of this article.


Namibia – Centre launched to advance reproductive health

Van Wyk Amutenya

The Voices for Choice and Rights Coalition (VCRC) launched a Reproductive Justice Centre (RJC) this week, aimed at providing holistic reproductive healthcare services and prioritising the bodily integrity of women, girls and the trans community.

VCRC was established in 2020 to advance the reproductive justice movement in Namibia after a petition was launched, calling for abortion law reform.


Dobbs v Jackson judgment in US may stifle women’s reproductive rights as far afield as Africa

Women have a right to an abortion in South Africa that is protected by the Constitution. Yet of the 3,880 health facilities in South Africa, less than 7% provide access to abortion services, and of the 505 medical facilities specifically designated to provide the service, an estimation of only 197 are currently operational.

By Sibusisiwe Ndlela, Charlemaine Husselmann and Primah Kwagala
21 Aug 2022

Recognition of a right to abortion is often the first step towards creating an enabling environment for women to access abortions but in some countries in east and southern Africa, argue the authors, the outcome of the US case may put brakes on little sparks of hope that emerged in recent years.

The right to abortion has been catapulted into the spotlight by Dobbs v Jackson, the landmark judgment of the United States (US) Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade — a 50-year-old precedent of that court that first recognised the constitutional right to abortion in the US.


Opinion – Abortion on demand in Namibia

Staff Reporter

‘Abortion on demand’ in Namibia has been ignorantly and harmfully connotated as the moral decay of a nation in that individuals who seek this essential health service (on demand), do so because they are irreligious, reckless and uncouth and not because it is a fundamental right and is just another normal reproductive healthcare procedure, which many people overlook with gay abandon. Some have gone as far as calling it premeditated murder, whilst others accuse individuals who seek this health care service of casting a ‘curse’ on the nation (using biblical overtones), as if choosing to terminate a pregnancy at one’s own volition will suddenly compromise the image of Namibia to all the many deities supposedly keeping score on the nation’s puritanical history.

The history of the current ‘Abortion and Sterilization Act No.2 of 1975’ cannot
be understated, as it has already been established that this restrictive law
was inherited 47 years ago from the apartheid administration which had
colonised Namibia.


Namibia – Traditional leaders oppose abortion law reform


TRADITIONAL and community leaders within the Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority on Saturday spoke out against the amendment of Namibia's abortion law, saying this would reduce the country to the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.

They were speaking at a public hearing by the parliamentary standing committee on gender equality, social development and family affairs with regard to reforming the Abortion and Sterilisation Act No. 2 of 1975.


Care and compassion over colonialism: Namibia must protect women and girls seeking abortions

By Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry and Bience Gawanas
21 Oct 2021

Namibia’s parliament is debating reforms to the abortion law that would bring the country in line with international standards on sexual and reproductive health rights. Activists, medical doctors and public health experts are urging lawmakers to ensure that ‘every pregnancy in Namibia should be a wanted pregnancy’.

This past week, we have watched with great interest and hope as Namibia’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs held its first four days of public hearings on whether to reform its Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975.


Parliament invites public to abortion law hearing

15 October 2021 | Local News

Windhoek •

Activists and lawmakers, including Namibia's deputy health minister, have
welcomed the first public parliamentary hearings on legalising abortion since
the country's independence slated for next week.

“My position always has been for people to have open discussions on any topic,
whether its abortion or whatever. Because if people don’t discuss issues and
deliberate on them, how do we take an informed decision?” deputy minister of
health, Esther Muinjangue, said on Friday.


End of US ‘global gag rule’ raises hopes for women’s healthcare at crucial time

‘The gag rule has had a trickle down impact by affecting access to other lifesaving services.’

28 January 2021
Claire Porter Robbins

When the Trump administration reinstated the “global gag rule” in 2017, the
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) lost some $100 million in funding in the following years, impacting a spectrum of healthcare projects in 32 countries and going well beyond the intended goal of preventing abortions.

A health clinic in Haiti’s southern coastal town of Jacmel was one of the first casualties.


Abortion is legal in Namibia, but only if a woman is in danger or has been sexually abused.

Activists are demanding reform.

By Aisha Salaudeen, and Bukola Adebayo, CNN
Thu November 26, 2020

(CNN) What do you do when your country is torn between decriminalizing abortion and maintaining its colonial abortion laws? Start a debate.

That's the idea being put forward by Esther Muinjangue, Namibia's deputy minister of health and social services.


Africa – Abortion is healthcare – and this makes it a human right

Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.

By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020

Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.

States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.