On the 28th September 2021 Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/IDS and Health Promotion in a coalition with Health Development Intiative, Ihorere Munyarwanda Organization and Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights Development supported by Amplify Change have organized a National celebration of the International Safe Abortion Day in Ruhango District under the theme “Safe abortion is essential Health Care: Make unsafe Abortion History”
Rwanda has made remarkable efforts in improving the health of women by reforming restrictive laws on access to safe abortion. In addition, the Government of Rwanda has reaffirmed its commitment to promote and respect sexual reproductive rights by ratifying various regional and international human rights instruments that protect women’s right including the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on Rights of Women in Africa known as Maputo Protocol. This ultimately led to the revision of the penal laws and adoption of the Law
nº68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offences and penalties in general to enable full access to
Ruhango Provincial Hospital is recognized as one of the progressive hospitals that offer safe abortion services, Its representative mentioned that among 40 women that has request safe abortion services, 12 are below 18 years old.
He called up on participants to increase awareness about allowed grounds for Abortion as stated by the Ministerial order determining conditions to be satisfied by a medical doctor to perform abortion in Rwanda, These include:
1. The pregnant person is a child;
2. The person requesting for abortion became pregnant as a result of rape;
3. The person requesting for abortion became pregnant after being subjected to a forced marriage;
4. The person requesting for abortion became pregnant as a result of incest committed with a person to the second degree of kinship;
5. The pregnancy puts at risk the health of the pregnant person or of the foetus.
During the current pandemic, International Safe Abortion Day is a timely reminder that access to legal and safe abortion is fundamental to every person’s right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.
The Celebration assembled in a an interactive approach Public institutions, Development Partners, Private Sector, CSOs, members of the network and SRHR supporters and women’s groups, health professional associations, law and human rights organizations, academia, sexual rights groups, CSOs working on disability rights and everyone who supports the right to decide over women bodies and lives will gather to celebrate the achievements of prevention of maternal mortality.
It is important that we combine our efforts to raise awareness about the Rwandan Ministerial order determining conditions to be satisfied by a medical doctor to perform an abortion because Access to modern contraception and comprehensive abortion care are crucial to avoid an increase in unintended pregnancies and subsequent unsafe abortions.