Target: Rwandan President Paul Kagame
Goal: Allow access to safe abortions for Rwandan women
Almost 20% of Rwandan women will be treated for complications from an unsafe abortion, which can cause injuries ranging from loss of fertility, to death from hemorrhaging. Now, a bill has been approved by the Rwandan legislature that will increase abortion rights to allow the termination of a pregnancy in cases of incest, rape, forced marriage, or if the woman’s health is threatened by the pregnancy. While this bill will give women more freedom over their reproductive rights, it still doesn’t give most Rwandan women access to safe abortions.
The new bill will require a court order and approval by two doctors before a woman can procure an abortion. Most women in Rwanda only have access to trained health care providers, not courts or doctors. However, trained nurses and midwives are just as capable as doctors in providing safe abortions and care. If the proposed bill, currently with Rwandan president Paul Kagame, removes the preconditions and allows trained health care providers to perform abortions, it will ensure that a woman’s right to reproductive and sexual health is respected.
By signing the petition below, you are asking President Kagame to remove the preconditions, as well as allow health care providers to perform safe abortions for women in rural areas who don’t have access to doctors or courts. Ask President Kagame to liberalize Rwandan abortion laws and allow Rwandan women greater freedom in their reproduction rights.
The current proposed bill that will allow safe abortions for women in cases of rape, incest, forced marriage, or a threat to the woman’s health is a great victory for Rwandan women’s reproductive rights. However, much more can be done to promote women’s reproductive and sexual health. Most Rwandan women have limited access to courts for a court order or doctors who can provide safe abortions. Studies have shown that trained health care providers and midwives can still provide safe abortions.
By removing the preconditions from the bill that require a court order and approval from two doctors before a woman can procure an abortion, you can provide greater access to safe reproductive care. And, by allowing trained health care providers and midwives to perform abortions, more women in rural areas will have access to safe abortions. By liberalizing abortion laws, you will be promoting women’s rights and joining other countries such as Ethiopia and Nepal in supporting women’s rights to sexual and reproductive care.
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