Irish Case Shows Need for Clarity in Abortion Legislation Worldwide

Photo of woman with abortion protest sign in Mozambique

Last week, the world’s attention was captured by Savita Halappanavar, a young woman who died in an Irish hospital after being denied a voluntary abortion. In hearing her story, it is difficult not to see parallels between Savita’s case and the fates of so many unnamed women in parts of the world where the continued need for legal access to safe abortion services is so great.

In Ireland, voluntary abortions currently are permitted only to save the life of the mother. However, there is no legislation clarifying exactly when and under what circumstances doctors are permitted to provide this service. It was in the context of this confusion where Savita, in the midst of a miscarriage, asked for and was denied the abortion that might have saved her life.

In Mozambique, women face a similar challenge. The current penal code, a remnant of colonial rule, prohibits the provision of abortion services regardless of circumstances. In the 1980s the Mozambican Ministry of Health passed a decree stating abortions could be performed in central-level hospitals to save the mother’s life, but did not revise the old penal code to reflect this. These conflicting regulations, similar to those in Ireland, mean women and their providers are often unclear about when abortion services are permitted, and where they can be received. As a result, many women in Mozambique seek illegal, unsafe abortions from untrained providers. Although it is difficult to measure the toll this takes on women and girls specifically in Mozambique, estimates for all of sub-Saharan Africa suggest 14 percent of all maternal deaths are due to complications from these unsafe abortions.

Last year in Mozambique, Pathfinder International led the establishment of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights, comprised of more than a dozen civil society groups. The coalition currently is working to revise the Mozambican penal code to not only expand access to safe abortion services, but also to provide greater clarity as to when, where, and how women can receive these services. It is critical that, in light of Savita’s tragedy, similar action is taken in Ireland and other countries where laws remain unclear—ensuring not only broader access to these necessary services, but also that there is never a hesitation to provide services because of legal confusion.

Julia Monaghan is Pathfinder's Capacity Building Specialist. She recently returned from several months in Pathfinder's Mozambique office.

Country: Mozambique
Focus Area: Abortion

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

It's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide. Instagram followers
jams123 September 22, 2014
I are able to say. You most absolutely have built this blog website into something special. You clearly know what you are working watch game of thrones online
jack89 September 20, 2014
Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. skin tightening cream
Aaa September 20, 2014
Harga Oppo 2 Jutaan Banyak pecinta gadget mulai bergeser ke smartphone Octa-core atau prosesor 8-core. Kinerja menjadi alasan Advan Quad Core Vandroid bahwa alasan utama mengapa banyak orang yang beralih ke CPU 8 otak di Indonesia sendiri memiliki banyak vendor yang menawarkan ini. Rata-rata adalah produk yang dibuat oleh produsen lokal. HP Lenovo 1 Jutaan apakah dibuat oleh produsen lokal ? Harga Laptop Core i3 ini sangat murah gan. Advan android 700 ribuan sertakan juga hp blackberry 1 jutaan.
Nokia X2 Dual Core Android Tinggal artifisial Mediatek chipset octa inti yang menjadi andalan produsen lokal karena chipset Mediatek buatan untuk mengurangi biaya produksi secara signifikan. Advan S5J Android OS Jelly Bean Meskipun tampaknya ada tapi Mediatek tidak bisa menilai karena mereka telah berhasil menjadi yang pertama di dunia untuk memproduksi chipset Octa-core Benar. Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini 2 Jutaan merupakan pilihan terbaik dan juga HP Blackberry 1 Jutaan maupun laptop bekas 2 jutaan dan laptop acer 4 jutaan
Dibandingkan dengan Advan Vandroid S5D Smartnote 5 Inch chipset kinerja kurikulum inti Mediatek implan tidak jauh berbeda karena chipset Octa core buatan Samsung, adalah kombinasi dari Smartfren Andromax1 Jutaan Android OS dua potong Octa Core Processor dan. bekerja bergantian Tidak seperti buah buatan Chipse Midiatek berjalan secara simultan pada satu prosesor. Sony Ericsson Xperia 1 Jutaan. jelas sangat berbeda dengan Laptop Advan
sele September 19, 2014
I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. Hopefully you'll continue sharing your knowledge safety guidelines
jack89 September 19, 2014
This material was well done. I have been looking for just this type of web page.Thank you for this information. Relationship Quotes
Relationship Quotes September 18, 2014
I bean bags are a great way to show your point and the furniture and chairs are very comfortable in the home. buy Boca Raton links
jack89 September 18, 2014
These are some great tools that i definitely use for SEO work. This is a great list to use in the future.. Muchy męskie
ALI September 18, 2014
very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You're an expert in this topic. Buy backlinks
jack89 September 16, 2014
This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well.. Time difference calculator
Aaa September 16, 2014
Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here... osteopaths & back pain
ALI September 15, 2014
Thanks for your blog and I wish you to learn many more languages. You're a great inspiration. SEO
jack89 September 13, 2014
In 2006, Portland State University became the first Salmon-Safe certified campus, followed by University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia Community College (2008) and Walla Walla Community College (2009). Salmon-Safe later this fall will announce the certification of another leading Northwest university. the truth about cellulite pdf
Departments of StateGucci September 13, 2014
For the high success these are needed. This is the time for young generation. barcelona seo
jams123 September 12, 2014
Nexon koin was your exclusive selection about changing tough funds around legal funds comparable pertaining to site expending. Their Karma Sport Card might by no means run out although NX will probably keep going so that you can agree to his. free karma koin codes
Free karmakoins September 12, 2014
when abortion services are permitted, and where they can be received. As a result, many women in Mozambique seek illegal, unsafe abortions from untrained providers. http://www.b144.co.il/B144_sip/members/401C041340766C5449100416.aspx
Name September 11, 2014
I still scored the more points than I ever have in a season for GS. I think you would be hard pressed to find somebody with the same consistency I have had over the years vine vera reviews
jack89 September 11, 2014
I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? investing gold
Aaa September 10, 2014
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. bouncy castles perth
Aaa September 10, 2014
I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? what time,
ALI September 9, 2014
Scroll to top