Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, granted a personal amnesty for the release of 50 women jailed for having or assisting with abortions – six of them had been accorded life sentences: the highest punishment courts can announce. The Justice Minister, Johnston Busingye assured that the inmates had all been released on Tuesday.
Historically, abortion was illegal in Rwanda, bearing imprisonment for those complicit in terminating their own or another’s pregnancy. The August, 2018 legislation (cite independent) however allows abortion in extenuating circumstances like incest, non-consensual marriage, rape or serious health issues, upon a consultation with a doctor. However, women’s rights advocates continue to raise concerns.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Sylvia Nsanga, prominent activist claimed, “ there should be more conversation about the penal code that prohibits health professionals such as midwives from providing abortions.”
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