Towards a decriminalization of abortion in Haiti

Vers une dépénalisation de l'avortement en Haïti

Abortion could become legal in Haiti, detailed Thursday, the minister for the status of women in defending the new penal code, a text which can still be repealed by parliament before its entry into application in 2 years.

“Take the case of a person or a group of persons who violates a woman. She doesn’t know him or those who were raped and she falls pregnant: it should be free, or to keep the child or to abort it, ” said Mary Giselhaine Mompremier.

Long claimed by the feminist organizations, the rights of haitian women voluntarily to terminate a pregnancy is implicitly recognized by the new penal code, which details the penalties if certain conditions are not met.

Any abortion must be carried out with the consent of the woman, in a medical facility and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, under penalty of five to seven years ‘ imprisonment and fines of 50,000 to 100,000 gourdes (from 582 to 1165 canadian dollars).

“There is no offence when the pregnancy results from rape or incest or when the physical or mental health of the woman is in danger,” says the article 328 of the criminal code.

Published by presidential decree, the text of more than 1000 items has been developed over the past two decades in order to modernize the haitian justice, which is made even today, according to a penal code dating back to 1835, largely inspired by the code Napoleon.

The document, signed by the president Jovenel Moses and all the members of his government, causing an outcry within the ranks conservative and religious society.

Denouncing a drift immoral, the critical fustigent mainly the decriminalization of abortion and the fact that the statement homophobic crime becomes an aggravating circumstance.

“Morality is not the law and the law is not moral,” repeated on Thursday at several occasions by the minister for the status of women and the Rights of women.

“When there will be elections and a parliament, this document will be brought to the parliament: if elected officials want to pull them out, they will accrue to parties, if they want to add, they add,” commented Ms. Mompremier.

Abortion remains legally today in Haiti a crime punishable by life in prison.

In reality, abortions are frequent in the country. But because of their clandestine nature, they can lead to significant complications, gynaecological, and even death.

Share Button