Wednesday , January 17 2018
Home / Motherland News / Angola: 200 march in protest for abortion rights
Content for Mobile Africa

Angola: 200 march in protest for abortion rights

Share this...
Share on Facebook2Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

At least 200 demonstrators protested under heavy police surveillance in the Angolan capital Luanda on Saturday against a draft law criminalising all abortions.

The proposed new penal code has been sharply criticised, including by Isabel dos Santos, reported to be the richest woman in Africa and the daughter of veteran President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The mostly female protesters chanted “Freedom for women”, “Prison will not solve anything” and “Let us decide”, before dispersing after about two hours.

Public protests are rare in Angola and can often be targeted by Angola’s security forces, but the peaceful march was allowed by authorities.

The draft penal code, currently before parliament, punishes anyone who has an abortion or performs one with up to 10 years in jail.

“The government or lawmakers have no right to decide whether we must have a child or not,” Lauranda Gouveia, a marcher, said.

“If this law is passed, women who get pregnant after rape will have the choice of trauma, prison or possible death after a clandestine abortion,” added Sizaltia Cutaia, of the local Open Society activism group.

The draft code was strengthened after lobbying by church leaders and has triggered public debate.

Isabel dos Santos this week used her Instagram social media account to denounce the “criminalisation of women”.

Dom Manuel Imbamba, spokesman for the Episcopal Conference of Angola, said that it supported the anti-abortion law, saying “life cannot be negotiated or trivialised.”

The ruling MPLA party on Thursday said that a vote in parliament next week had been postponed.

Angola, which had been ruled by President dos Santos since 1979, is updating its 1886 penal code dating back to the Portuguese colonial era.

Share this...
Share on Facebook2Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0
Brand Envoy

Check Also

President Mnangagwa turns to social media to engage Zimbabweans

Share this...1010Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa used his newly reactivated social media accounts on Facebook …