Cotonou (AFP)

At the request of the pregnant woman, voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVg) "may be authorized" for up to twelve weeks "when the pregnancy is likely to aggravate or cause a situation of material, educational, professional or other distress. moral ", now stipulates the law relating to sexual health and reproduction, an amendment to which was passed overnight.

"This measure alleviates the sorrows of many women who, faced with the distress of an unwanted pregnancy, find themselves forced to put their lives on the line by practices of termination of pregnancy in unsafe conditions", declared the Beninese Minister of Health Benjamin Hounkpatin during a press point in Cotonou.

Nearly 200 women die each year in Benin as a result of complications from an abortion, according to government figures.

"Several families continue to mourn the loss of a child, a wife, a mother who tragically left following a complicated abortion. These wounds are irreparable. Yet we can well avoid this tragedy that is playing out under our eyes. eyes, "added the minister.

Abortion was previously prohibited in Benin except in exceptional circumstances, such as when the pregnancy was the consequence of rape or an incestuous relationship or in the event of a risk to the life of the woman.

The measure triggered an outcry from part of Benin society and in particular from the Episcopal Conference of Benin, which in a statement the day before, affirmed that "the legalization of abortion is the culture of death".

"The act that is taken must be perceived as a public health measure whose sole objective is to save human lives", for his part said the minister during his press briefing.

© 2021 AFP

Keywords: pregnancy, request, benin, termination, woman, health, abortion, women, votes, cotonou, afp, measure, mother, france, ivg