Committee on the Rights of the Child Intent on Promoting Abortion
Posted onSeptember 25, 2014
By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
(a) Collect disaggregated data on the number of deaths among pregnant girls and adolescents and undertake a study on the scope and root causes of these deaths;
- The Committee welcomes the consolidation of the National Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and the new protocol on adolescent health. It also notes the programmes undertaken to prevent and deal with unplanned teenage pregnancies. However, the Committee is deeply concerned that the State party has one of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancies in the region and that many of them result in maternal deaths. It is also concerned about the lack of access to safe abortion procedures due to a restrictive law on abortion and the lack of information on the actual impact of the programmes to reduce these pregnancies.
- In the light of its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(b) Review its legislation on abortion and provide for additional exceptions in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, when the pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the adolescents and when abortion is in the best interests of the pregnant adolescent so as to prevent her from resorting to unsafe abortion. The State party should ensure in law and in practice that the views of the child always be heard and respected in abortion decisions.
(c) Increase efforts to reduce maternal mortality among adolescents by implementing the existing protocol and providing adequate sexual and reproductive health services, including emergency contraception and ante-natal, delivery, post-natal and post-abortion services. In this endeavor, the State party is encouraged to consider the OHCHR’s technical guidance on the application of a rights based approach to the implementation of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity (A/HRC/21/22). The State party is also encouraged to seek technical assistance from UNICEF.