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    Default Abortion legalized in specific circumstances || Mauritius news

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    Amendments to the Penal Code will be soon brought before the parliament to legalize abortion in certain cases, particularly in rape cases. However Attorney General Yatin Varma warns: the government does not seek to encourage abortion.

    Yesterday, at the National Assembly, the Cabinet agreed on the introduction of a Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill to amend the Penal Code in order to allow abortion in four specific circumstances, namely:
    1) if the continuation of the pregnancy endangers the life of the pregnant woman;

    2) if the pregnancy may cause harm in a serious and permanent manner on the physical or mental health of the latter,

    3) and if experts detect an anomaly, a malformation or a serious physical problem in the fetus, and finally

    4) if the pregnant woman was raped and has not exceeded her 14th week of pregnancy, even in the case of a girl under 16 years, provided that these incidents have been reported to the police or a doctor.

    The Attorney General Yatin Varma believed that yesterday was a historic day. “The government has taken a courageous decision. We know that there have always been long debates on this issue, and we respect the religious perspective. But we have considered the local context, we have consulted with other jurisdictions where abortion is legal, like in France or Italy,” he argued. The legal counsel of the Government says that the bill is already prepared and will be presented shortly. “We have taken every precaution in order to prevent any kind of abuse,” said Yatin Varma. Nevertheless, the Attorney General wishes to point out that “the government is, in no way, encouraging abortion, that is why we have limited its practice.”

    Concerning abortion, Article 23 (1) of the Criminal Code states: “Whoever, by food, beverages, drugs, violence, or otherwise, will have caused the miscarriage of a pregnant woman, or has provided ways to, whether she has consented or not, “should be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of less than ten years (Editor’s note: three to ten years). The second paragraph of the article lays down “the same punishment against women who made themselves aborted or who have consented to the use of the means listed or administered for that purpose, if abortion was followed.”
    ...being a human...

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