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Haiti - FLASH : Abortion could become legal in Haiti
19/07/2020 11:24:57

Haiti - FLASH : Abortion could become legal in Haiti
In Haiti, abortion could be legalized, according to Marie Giselhaine Mompremier Minister for the Status of Women who defends the new penal code which recognizes the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy under certain conditions.

The Minister citing the case of a raped woman as an example "Take the case of a person or a group of people who rapes a woman. She does not know the person (s) who raped her and she becomes pregnant : she must be free to keep the baby or to have an abortion."

The right of Haitian women to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy is implicitly recognized by the new penal code, which details the sanctions incurred if certain conditions are not met "There is no offense if the pregnancy is the product of a rape or incest, or when the physical or mental health of the woman is at stake" stressing that "all abortions must be performed with the woman's consent, in a medical facility and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, under penalty of 5 to 7 years in prison and heavy fines.

The Minister recalls that currently, the practice of abortion in Haiti is prohibited and punishable by life imprisonment but that interventions to terminate pregnancies are unfortunately frequent and clandestine, carried out in very bad conditions, they put too often the health and life of the mother in danger.

Published by presidential decree, this Criminal Code of over 1,000 articles has been developed over the past two decades in order to modernize the largely current penal code inspired by the Napoleon code and which dates from 1835.

Since its publication, this modernized penal code has provoked strong reactions within the conservative and religious ranks of society which denounces an immoral drift which criticizes in particular the decriminalization of abortion. For the Minister for the Status of Women "Morality is not Law and Law is not morality [...] when there are elections and a Parliament, this Criminal Code will be submitted to Parliament, if the elected representatives want, they will remove or add parts [...]"

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