MPs in Benin have voted in favor of legalizing abortion in the West African country, where it has already been approved under restricted conditions.
Under the new law, which was passed late Wednesday, women can conceive within the first three months if they are likely to “aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral burdens that are incompatible with the interests of the woman or the unborn child”. Mother’s life “,” was the result of rape or incest “or” the unborn child has a particularly strong affection “.
After a heated debate in parliament in which some legislators vehemently opposed the legalization of abortion Furthermore, the change was finally passed.
Several countries in Africa have abortion bans, including Congo-Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.
” In Benin, almost 200 women die every year as a result of pregnancy complications, “said Health Minister Benjamin Hounkpatin in a statement on Thursday.
” This measure will be a relief for many women who become pregnant unintentionally and are forced to putting their lives at risk with botched abortions. “He added.
The minister said abortion complications are the cause of 20 percent of maternal mortality in the country ese public health threat, the government has taken its responsibility by submitting a piece of legislation passed by lawmakers, “said Hounkpatin.
He said the” unique goal “of the new measure was” to save human lives. ” save “and that” voluntary abortion will remain a last resort “.
The influential Benin Bishops’ Conference said it was” very busy with the proposed law to legalize abortion “.
“Abortion not only destroys the life of the fetus but also that of the mother in many ways,” the religious group said in a statement.
Abortion laws vary widely in the world, but only in a minority of countries has total bans.
Women from Europe, North America and Oceania benefit from the most liberal legislation, in some cases recently enacted.
New Zealand, for example, did not decriminalize abortion until March 2020. Until then, she was sentenced to 14 years in prison.