Beninese have, since Thursday, October 21, 2021, the right to perform abortion. This follows its legalization by the National Assembly of the country and the government figures according to which this act caused nearly 200 victims each year. They would die of complications from an unsafe abortion.
At the request of pregnant woman, voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) "may be authorized" for up to twelve weeks "when the pregnancy is likely to aggravate or cause a situation of material, educational, professional or other distress. moral ", now has the law on sexual health and reproduction, an amendment to which was passed overnight.
"This measure alleviates the sorrows of many women who, faced with the distress of an unwanted pregnancy, find themselves forced to put their lives on the line by practices of termination of pregnancy in unsafe conditions", declared the Beninese Minister of Health, Benjamin Hounkpatin, during a press point in Cotonou.
"Several families continue to mourn the loss of a child, a wife, a mother who tragically left after a complicated abortion. These wounds are irreparable. Yet we can well avoid this tragedy that is playing out under our eyes, "added the minister.
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Abortion was previously prohibited in Benin except in exceptional circumstances, such as when the pregnancy was the consequence of rape or an incestuous relationship, or in case of risk to the life of the woman .
The measure triggered an outcry from part of Benin society and in particular from the Episcopal Conference of Benin, which in a statement the day before, affirmed that "the legalization of abortion is the culture of death".
"The act that is taken must be seen as a public health measure whose sole objective is to save human lives", said the minister during his press briefing.
Source: France 24