Decriminalising abortion encourages access to safe abortion and proper post-abortion care. It does not mean that the law would no longer regulate abortion, but that no one would be punished for providing or having an abortion, and the law provides a positive framework to ensure access to safe abortion.
RADHIKA SAXENA AND PRABINA BAJRACHARYA
MAY 28, 2023
“FIFTEEN-year-old Sita (name changed), who got pregnant due to rape, ended her pregnancy by consuming medical pills her father obtained from a local pharmacist. Sita’s district court statement noted that she sought an abortion to safeguard her and her family’s reputation. The court convicted Sita of illegal abortion and sentenced her based on her admission.” – Center for Reproductive Rights & Forum for Women, Law and Development, Decriminalization of Abortion in Nepal: Imperative to Uphold Women’s Rights, 2021
The ability to make and exercise decisions about one’s body, sexuality and reproduction is at the core of gender, economic and social justice. Under international human rights law, States are obliged to respect, protect and fulfil rights related to sexual and reproductive health, including the rights to life, health, privacy, information, freedom from ill-treatment, non-discrimination and equality. States are also required to guarantee access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and care, including abortion services.