India – Fundamental right: Woman allowed to abort 23-week fetus

Rosy Sequeira
May 29, 2023

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has allowed the medical termination of a 23-week pregnancy (MTP) of a rape survivor, observing that forcing her to continue with it would violate her fundamental rights.

“…forcing the petitioner to continue with the pregnancy would be a serious affront to her fundamental right to exercise reproductive choices, to her bodily integrity and her dignity,” said vacation judges Justices Abhay Ahuja and Milind Sathaye on Friday.


Kenya – Doctors take stand on abortion rights for the survivors of rape

By Gardy Chacha
May 23, 2023

It is important that victims of rape and defilement – who consequently fall pregnant – are accorded medical abortion care by medical practitioners, when and if they make such a request.

This is the position of the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (Kogs) – an organisation of about 500 Kenyan doctors specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology.


Canada – Why Justin Trudeau’s viral response to an anti-abortionist missed the mark

April 25, 2023
Lesley Ann Foster

A viral clip of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from his recent visit to the University of Manitoba circulated rapidly on social media. National and international news outlets celebrated his response to a young, self-acclaimed People’s Party of Canada voter and anti-abortionist.

Trudeau’s defence of a woman’s right to choose involved him appealing to the anti-abortionist’s humanity by using an extreme example of rape.


Outcry in Poland over abortion law

Two Polish hospitals refused to terminate the pregnancy of an underage rape victim. The case has sparked controversy over the country's restrictive legislation, with women's rights activists insisting it must be eased.

Jacek Lepiarz
February 5, 2023

A scandal is raging in Polish politics and in the media, concering the shocking case of a 14-year-old rape victim. The girl, who is from the Podlaskie region in northeastern Poland and has mental disabilities, was raped by her own uncle and became pregnant as a result. She was unaware of her condition, but her aunt noticed it and tried to help her get an abortion.

Although the girl had written confirmation from the public prosecutor that she was pregnant as the result of a crime, which gave her the right to a legal abortion, two hospitals in the region refused to carry out the procedure. The province of Podlaskie on the Belarusian border is a bastion of the right-wing conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS), which has been in power in Poland since 2015.


Polish health minister ‘appalled’ girl, 14, struggled to get abortion after rape

Doctors at several hospitals cited a conscience clause to avoid treating the teenager who has a mental disability

Agence France-Presse in Warsaw
Mon 30 Jan 2023

Poland’s health minister has weighed in on a high-profile rape case, saying it was “unacceptable” that a mentally disabled 14-year-old girl struggled to get a legal abortion.

The case, in which doctors at several hospitals used a conscience clause to avoid carrying out the procedure, has sparked renewed calls to ease the Catholic country’s abortion laws, which are among Europe’s most stringent.


India – Courts may ‘allow abortion beyond 24 weeks’ of pregnancy for sexual assault victims: Delhi HC

Single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma issued guidelines while hearing a petition by a 14-yr-old victim, seeking abortion in the 25th week of her pregnancy.

27 January, 2023

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued guidelines for abortion in cases of sexual assault, noting that a victim cannot be forced to give birth to a child as it would violate her right to live with dignity.

The judgment delivered by a single-judge bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma was uploaded Thursday on the Delhi HC website. The judge observed that crucial time is lost in the process of passing termination orders. It issued a slew of directions to investigating officers in cases of pregnancies exceeding 24 weeks.


Disabled 14-year-old rape victim refused abortion in Poland by hospitals in her province

JAN 25, 2023
Notes from Poland

A 14-year-old disabled girl who became pregnant as a result of rape was refused an abortion by hospitals in her province, forcing her to travel across the country to the capital, Warsaw, to obtain a termination.

While doctors in Poland are allowed to refuse to perform an abortion under a so-called “conscience clause”, hospitals are required to inform patients where they can obtain a legal termination. In this case it appears that did not happen.


Nigeria – Probe abortion report, feminists urge FG

24th January 2023

By  Gbenga Oloniniran

Nigerian feminists have urged the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, to probe the forced abortions report allegedly perpetuated by the military in the northeastern part of Nigeria.

An international news agency, Reuters, had accused the Nigerian Army of running a programme where forceful abortions were carried out on female victims of Boko Haram/Islamic State in West African Province.


Teenage girls turn to rat poison as unsafe abortion ‘epidemic’ spirals

Abortion is illegal in Sierra Leone, forcing women to abort unwanted pregnancies via dangerous practices. The consequences can be fatal

By Tom Collins
13 December 2022

Fanella Bola lay against the perimeter walls of a hospital in Sierra Leone and cried at the thought of going through with her pregnancy. The 17-year-old had been turned away from almost every hospital in the capital city of Freetown, where abortion is illegal. 

As she dried her tears and prepared to trudge home, the schoolgirl was approached by a market woman who said there was another way.


Call to review procedures, laws, that ensure access to legal abortion by rape victims in Sudan

December 11 - 2022

A workshop focusing on legal abortion in Sudan has called for amendments to procedures and laws regarding rape victims’ rights to legal abortion, and suggests a raft of training courses for police, medical professionals, and members of the media, to increase awareness when dealing with victims of gender-based violence (GBV).

The two-day workshop, Legal Abortion Workshop, Reality, Challenges and Prospects, was organised in Khartoum last week by the Sima Centre for Training and Protection of Women and Children’s Rights, within the framework of the international 16-day campaign to combat GBV.