Mozambique Expected To Pass Bill Legalizing Abortion In March

“Mozambique’s legislature is expected to pass a bill to legalize abortions in March in an effort to reduce the country’s high rate of unsafe … abortions,” the Christian Science Monitor reports, noting under current law, abortion remains illegal in the country under any circumstances. The bill “would revise the country’s … abortion law and legalize voluntary abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy,” making Mozambique “the ninth African country to liberalize its abortion policy in the last decade,” according to the newspaper.

“According to the Ministry of Health, [illegal abortion accounts] for more than half of visits to obstetric and gynecological services nationwide and more than 5,000 maternal deaths each year,” the news service notes, adding, “Evidence from other countries suggests that legalizing abortion contributes directly to reducing maternal mortality.” “Only by offering legal, controlled, sanitary means of abortion … will we be able to keep women from taking these risks,” Abdul Carimo, who led the legal reform team that drafted the proposed law, said, according to CSM (Gerety, 2/7).