Rare protest in Angola as 200 march for abortion rights

2017-03-18 21:33
Hundreds of Angolans hold placards and shout slogans as they march to protest against a draft law that would criminalise all in Luanda, Angola. (AFP)

Hundreds of Angolans hold placards and shout slogans as they march to protest against a draft law that would criminalise all in Luanda, Angola. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Luanda - 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, told AFP.

"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, told AFP 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.

Read more on:    angola  |  abortion  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?

 
 

Paws

How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.