Cameroon Legal Abortion

Cameroon Legal Abortion

Only qualified doctors are allowed to perform abortions in Cameroon, and the law states the following: The sample was drawn from 20-year-old women and men who live in randomly selected households in the Cameroonian capital. During the face-to-face interviews, participants – 180 women and 204 men – were asked about their background traits, sexual partners, reproductive history and experiences with abortion. The questionnaire and interview process are designed to promote an open discussion about abortion. The Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Cameroon (SOGOC) celebrated International Safe Abortion Day by dispelling the popular myth that abortion is totally illegal in Cameroon. Dilation and evacuation (D&E) and medical methods (mifepristone and misoprostol; Misoprostol alone) are two recommended methods for abortion in pregnancies over 12 to 14 weeks of age. Safe Abortion Guidelines, Executive Summary, Box 3 – Recommendation. (2) Any person who obtains the abortion of a woman, regardless of her consent, shall be punished by imprisonment for one to five years and a fine of one hundred thousand to two million francs. Cameroonian law only allows induced abortions when the woman`s life is in danger in order to maintain her physical and mental health, and because of rape or incest [26]. Even under these clauses, legal abortion remains cumbersome. For example, the law states that [26]: Regulatory, political and programmatic barriers, one example of which are the requirement for mandatory ultrasound prior to abortion, that impede timely access to and provision of safe abortion care, should be removed. Guidelines on Safe Abortion, Summary, Box 7 – Recommendation. In a newspaper article with the National Daily Cameroon Tribune, Dr.

Filbert Eko, focal point of the ACAC project, discussed the phenomenon of unsafe abortion, which is on the rise in Cameroon. He highlighted the definition of safe abortion as “an abortion performed using a method recommended by the WHO and appropriate to the duration of the pregnancy, and if the person performing the abortion has the necessary skills.” Such abortions can be performed with tablets (medical abortion) or a simple outpatient procedure. On the other hand, an abortion is dangerous if it is performed either by a person who does not have the necessary skills, or in an environment that does not meet minimum medical standards, or both. In the case of pregnancy as a result of rape, abortion is not a criminal offence if it is performed after confirmation of the facts by the Public Prosecutor`s Office. Induced abortion is still common in this part of Cameroon, although it is illegal, except in cases of incest or rape. The law accepts abortion in certain circumstances, such as rape, incest or when the mother`s life is threatened due to pregnancy. Despite this legal provision, women who face such situations continue to have abortions without following the prescribed legal procedures, as they do not know the law and/or perform lengthy procedures to obtain a legal abortion. The majority of women prefer that abortion law remain restricted for religious reasons. However, most women who have had an abortion prefer that they have been legalized. Cameroon`s legal system and health system must function in harmony, perhaps rethinking the law to reduce the legal processes of legal abortion. While women await a revision or rejuvenation of the law, there is a need to involve them more in safe and practical family planning practices that can prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.

In addition, there is a need to raise awareness of existing laws and how a woman who is a victim of rape or incest can have access to a safe and legal abortion. Indication of legal bases; Sanctions for all other abortions The demand for abortion services remains an inevitable reality. Measures to reduce the demand for induced abortions should be encouraged, as well as measures to make this service safer when needed. Improving access to and introduction of interventions to increase the uptake of modern contraceptives remains an important area of action. The sad reality is that even with better contraception, unwanted pregnancies cannot be completely eradicated. Optimal use of contraceptives will certainly reduce the demand for safe abortion services. The development of a safe abortion policy as part of the Ministry of Health`s reproductive health package is of paramount importance. The stigma and restrictive legal status surrounding induced abortions in Cameroon require increased levels of clinical suspicion among sick women of childbearing potential when admitted to health facilities, as they generally show no signs and symptoms of incomplete abortions and may not transmit induced abortion attempts to hospital staff.

The stigma associated with abortion may discourage women from using safe abortion services [35]. Cultural and health institutions may indirectly maintain the stigma surrounding safe abortions [36]. The stigma associated with abortion has the potential to impede access to safe abortion services authorized by law. Coupled with ignorance of the legally acceptable circumstances for requesting abortions from women and sometimes even health care providers, it has been reported that cases have not sought safe (legal) abortion treatment for pregnancies due to rape, sexual coercion and incest [27]. Advocacy efforts to get the government to recognize demands for safe abortion as part of women`s reproductive rights must continue. It is futile, hypocritical and pointless to continue to restrict these services while women in need continue to buy such services “in the shadows” that sometimes cost them their lives. Implementation of currently available, cost-effective and effective evidence-based practice guidelines is possible in Cameroon. The restrictive legal atmosphere does not and should not justify most of the abortion complications and deaths recorded in the country. Hollander D.

Although abortion is severely restricted in Cameroon, it is not uncommon among young urban women. Int Fam Plan Perspect. 2003;29(1):49–50. Overall, 67 per cent of reported abortions (84 per cent of those reported by women and 56 per cent of those reported by men) were performed by a doctor or nurse. A greater proportion of men than women reported that the abortion was performed by a traditional practitioner (14% vs. 8%) or by a friend, relative or the woman herself (21% vs. 8%). Ten percent of the men did not know who had performed the abortion. Sedgh G, Singh S, Shah IH, Ahman E, Henshaw SK, Bankole A. Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008. 2012;379(9816):625–32.

While noting the efforts made by the State party, in collaboration with its international partners, to improve access to reproductive health services, the Committee remains concerned at the high maternal mortality rate and abortion laws that can lead women to have illegal and dangerous abortions, with risks to their lives and health. She was also concerned about the unavailability of abortions in practice, even though the law allowed them, for example in cases of pregnancy as a result of rape. (art. 6). The State party should intensify its efforts to reduce maternal mortality, including by ensuring that women have access to reproductive health services. In this regard, the State party should amend its legislation to effectively assist women in avoiding unwanted pregnancies and to protect them from the use of illegal abortions that could endanger their lives. “The data collected was quantitative and was entered daily into Excel throughout the data collection period.

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