East African Center For Law & Justice

The Issues


Abortion in Ethiopia

Ethiopia like any other country is also struggling with issues concerning abortion. Abortion is illegal in Ethiopia except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, but illegal abortions are easy to obtain and widespread. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), complications arising from illegal abortions are now the second leading causes of death after tuberculosis for young women in Ethiopia.

The death rate from illegal abortions is a staggering 1,209 per 100,000 abortions and estimates show that some 70% of women, who are brought to hospital suffering from serious problems after back street abortions, will die.

A number of factors contribute to the high death rate, including a lack of access to contraception, a very low literacy rate among women (only about 14% of women are literate), and Ethiopia’s poverty level. These problems caused by unsafe abortions are also having an impact on overstrained health services in the country, where health expenditure per person is just about US $1.50 on health care resources annually


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Abortion in Uganda

Abortion is illegal in Uganda except to save the life of the woman. Nevertheless, many women obtain abortions, often under unhygienic conditions, and the practice is quite common: about 300,000 induced abortions occur annually among Ugandan women aged 15-49 and a large proportion of these women require treatment for post-abortion complications.

The Ugandan Ministry of Health is considering the recommendations of a report it commissioned into the safety and legality of abortion. The report proposes legalizing abortion in specific cases such as rape. Illegal abortion in Uganda contributes to a high ratio of maternal mortality

In the male-dominant culture of Uganda, where men control most of the financial resources, men play a critical part in determining whether women receive a safe abortion or appropriate treatment if they experience abortion complications.


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Abortion in Tanzania


The issue of abortion is widespread all over the world. However the level of its effect is varied in different parts of the world.

In Africa pregnancy and childbirth are among the greatest dangers that women face; which is also the continent that has the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality— at least 100 times, those in developed countries. Abortion accounts for a significant part of the death toll.

Focusing on Tanzania, the following research explains; maternal mortality is very high; for every 100,000 births, 950 women die. In the United States, the figure is 11, and it is even lower in other developed countries. But Tanzania’s record is neither the best nor the worst in Africa. Many other countries have similar statistics; quite a few do better and a handful do markedly worse.


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Papal Address to Pontifical Academy for Life


"It is necessary that the whole of Society defend the Right to Life"

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is  translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered Saturday upon receiving in audience those who participated in the 17th general assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

* * *

Esteemed Cardinals,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I receive you with joy on the occasion of the annual assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life. I greet, in particular, the president, Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, and I thank him for his courteous words. I address my cordial welcome to each one of you! 

In the activities of these days you addressed topics of current importance, which question contemporary society profoundly and challenge it to find answers that are appropriate for the good of the human person.

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Activists Say Political Chaos Can Advance Abortion Rights


By Amanda Pawloski

NEW YORK, March 17 (C-FAM) Activists and lawyers shared advice on how to exploit chaotic political situations to advance abortion rights during a recent UN side event. Panelists boasted of their successes in influencing the new constitutions of both Kenya and Nepal to include provisions allowing for legalized abortion.

“Strategic moments can surface in chaos,” said Melissa Upreti, a legal advisor of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR). She advised audience members at the UN Commission on the Status of Women event to seize those moments as opportunities to advance abortion and “reproductive rights.”

Activists at the CRR have swayed abortion policies by filing test cases to push the envelope on abortion laws. As a result of these lawsuits, many governments have adopted policies to ensure that access to “reproductive rights” includes state-funded abortion and contraceptive services.


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