Namibia seeks to protect children and mothers from risky abortions through new law. Young mothers should give their newborn to the state instead of terminating the pregnancy in advance, local media reported over the weekend.
Until now, giving birth to children immediately after birth was forbidden in the South African country. "We want to discourage women from abandoning their children and give them the opportunity to openly admit that they don't want to have their baby," a spokeswoman for the family ministry in Windhoek is quoted as saying.
According to the bill, mothers who give their babies to facilities would not be charged in the future. To pregnant women, officials recommended: "Carry the child to term and the government will take care of it."
Reactions mainly positive
According to the reports, activists welcomed the move. As in Namibia, abortions are a controversial ie in many African countries. Mostly abortions are allowed only after sexual abuse or in life-threatening situations.
This leads to many women having so-called "back-alley abortions" performed by untrained personnel.