Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women: Implications for Access to Abortion at the Regional Level
University of the Orange Free State
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 110, pp. 163-166, 2010
Article 14(2)(c) of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women enjoins States Parties to take appropriate measures "to protect the reproductive rights of women by authorising medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the foetus." This paper considers the implications of Article 14 for access to safe, legal abortion. It is submitted that Article 14 has the potential to impact positively on regional abortion law, policy and practice in three main areas. First, it takes forward the global consensus on combating abortion as a major public health danger. Second, it provides African countries with not just an incentive, but also an imperative for reforming abortion laws in a transparent manner. Third, if implemented in the context of a treaty that centers on the equality and non-discrimination of women, Article 14 has the potential to contribute towards transforming access to abortion from a crime and punishment model to a reproductive health model.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: accessibility, human rights, reproductive health, transparency, unsafe abortion, women's health
JEL Classification: I18, K10, K19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 14, 2012
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