State Obligations to Implement African Abortion Laws

Congratulations to Prof. Charles Ngwena,  whose useful article was recently published in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  An abstract is provided below.  Prof. Ngwena now teaches at the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa. 

State Obligations to Implement African Abortion Laws:
Employing Human Rights in a Changing Legal Landscape

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 119 (2012) 198–202
Full text is online here. 

Women in the African region are overburdened with unsafe abortion. Abortion regimes that fail to translate any given abortion rights into tangible access are partly to blame. Historically, African abortion laws have been highly restrictive. However, the post-independence era has witnessed a change toward liberalizing abortion law, even if incremental for many jurisdictions. Furthermore, Article 14 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa has significantly augmented the regional trend toward liberalization by recognizing abortion as a human right in given circumstances. However, states are failing to implement abortion laws. The jurisprudence that is emerging from the European Court of Human Rights and United Nations treaty bodies is a tool that can be used to render African governments accountable for failure to implement domestic abortion laws.

Full text is online here.

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