On revising its penal code, Angola wanted to re-examine abortion legislation.
In a bill adopted after the first reading by MPs, women choosing to undergo an abortion were likely to face criminal proceedings and a prison sentence of up to ten years except when the mother’s life was in jeopardy or in the case of rape. The bill was subsequently amended and extended to all abortions, which has triggered lively debate in this country (see Angola reforms its abortion law and Angola: draft bill criminalising abortion is postponed indefinitely).
The party in power reinstated legislation in the case of “rape and if the mother’s life is in jeopardy”. The President of the parliamentary group, Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Virgilio de Fontes Perreira, commented as follows: “When the stake involved is the mother’s life (…) her physical integrity, in the case of rape, consideration can be given to lifting the ban on this act”.
MPs should make their final decision on penal code reform on 22 June 2017.