Did You Know:Abortion Laws
…that abortion is illegal in 9 of the 13 countries reviewed in this region?
…that Keeping abortion illegal only drives it underground, resulting in huge numbers of women dying because of lack of access to safe and legal services?
…that though abortion is illegal except to save a woman’s life in Bangladesh, menstrual regulation is a crucial part of the government’s family planning program?
…that in China and India, abortion became legal, not as a reproductive right but as part of the population control agenda? Abortion in India is legal for a woman above the age of 18 years, if sought to save the life, physical, or mental health of the woman, in the case of rape or incest, and in the case of foetal impairment. A woman below 18 years of age must get the written consent of her guardian in order to request an abortion. However, in practice, doctors and practitioners are known to insist on ‘permission’ for the abortion from either the husband or father of the woman, even if she is an adult.
...that abortion is illegal under Section 348 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and under the Penal Code of Myanmar, with the woman and those assisting her being subject to imprisonment and a range of other penalties.
…that in Laos, abortion is illegal except to save the life of the woman, and that this requires the approval of the Ministry of Health? Similarly, according to Articles 256-258 of the Penal Code it is illegal in the Philippines, except to save the woman’s life for which authorization is required based on consultation with a panel of professionals.
…that abortion in Nepal became legal after a long hard battle only in 2002? Before this, the strict enforcement of the highly restrictive earlier law that forbade abortion resulted in women being imprisoned with the result that one in five women prisoners had been jailed for having had an abortion, and many of them were given 20 year long prison sentences.
…that abortion in Pakistan is illegal except for the purpose of saving the woman’s life or preserving her physical or mental health? Abortion is governed by the Penal Code of Pakistan, which includes a revised law passed in 1997. In Malaysia, abortion is illegal. Punishments in both Pakistan and Malaysia are greater if the abortion is performed when the woman ‘is quick with child’ (around the fourth month of pregnancy).
……that under the Penal Code of 1883, abortion in Sri Lanka is a criminal offence except when performed to save the life of the woman? And that unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in Sri Lanka?
…that while abortion in Thailand is illegal, it may be performed in the case of rape or incest, or to save the life or the physical or mental health of the woman?
…that in Vietnam, Decision No. 162 of the Council of Ministers (January 1989) obligates the State to supply birth control devices and public-health services for abortions free of charge to eligible persons who work for the government and to poor persons who register to practice family planning?