Mozambique legalises abortion

MAPUTO: Mozambique has legalised abortion, making it one of the few countries in Africa to allow women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. President Armando Guebuza on Thursday signed into law a revised penal code bill that eases prohibitions in abortion regulations, a move hailed by health groups.

The new law specifies that abortions will have to be carried out in recognised and designated health centres by qualified practitioners. Termination must be carried out within the first 12 weeks but in case of rape, the period is extended to 16 weeks.

It will also be allowed when the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the health or life of the mother or in case of foetal abnormality. The earlier law outlawing abortion, except in cases where the mother’s life or health is endangered, dates to Portuguese rule in the 19th century