When abortion is legal
Thursday, February 04, 2010
FROM this week, it is not illegal for a medical practitioner to perform an abortion on a female carrying a child conceived as a result of incest.
And it will also not be illegal to abort a foetus conceived through rape.
These allowances have been made under the new Crime Decree, which came into effect on Monday.
The decree states an abortion by a medical practitioner is not unlawful if the pregnancy is the result of intercourse between parent and child; a brother and sister (including half-brothers and sisters); a grandparent and grandchild; or if it results from the offence of rape.
But the decree states the abortion should be performed by a medical practitioner in good faith, with reasonable care and skill.
The only other time an abortion would be permitted is if a woman's life was at risk with the pregnancy. But it must be carried out by a licensed medical practitioner.
It said if the woman was at least 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the abortion could not be justified unless two medical practitioners agreed that there was a severe medical condition (in either mother or unborn child) that required it. Any such abortion had to be performed in a facility approved by the head of the Health Ministry.
The penalty for abortion under any other circumstance remained at 14 years imprisonment.
The issue of abortion has been politically sensitive, with several major religious organisations against it, while non-governmental women's rights organisations arguing it should be an available choice for the woman.
February 05, 2010
Abortion Now Legal Thanks To Crimes Decree
A sure sign of the ripping away of the heart, soul and moral fabric of Fiji's society because there was no country-wide consultation validating that such a policy had the backing of the populace. One can only assume a one-sided lobby group making this possible.
Unsurprisingly the Catholic Church in Fiji remains mum.