Sweden gives Mozambique $5.2m for safe abortion

The Mozambican government has received $5.2 million from Sweden for a programme aimed at accessing safe abortion, VOA Radio reported.

According to the report, the programme aims at furnishing women with information about abortion, its access, precautions to take and means of contraception.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines an unsafe abortion as the termination of an unwanted pregnancy either by "persons lacking the necessary skills or an environment lacking minimal medical standards, or both".

Weeks of pregnancy

The Mozambican programme will benefit Nampula, Zambézia and Maputo provinces.

Mozambique decriminalised abortion in 2014 and permits it until the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In extraordinary circumstances, such as rape or threats to the mother's life, abortion can be permitted until the 16th week of pregnancy.

Maternal deaths

According to local authorities, Mozambique has revised its penal code to allow some abortions in an attempt to lower maternal deaths during pregnancy and childbirth.

The WHO said in 2015 that about 11 per cent of all maternal deaths in Mozambique were caused by unsafe abortions.

The Swedish help is particularly handy, considering the recent US President Donald Trump's anti-abortion executive order.

Family planning

The executive order has been deemed to have far-reaching consequences for women’s reproductive health access worldwide.

It prohibits giving American funds to international NGOs involved in a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion.

The US spends about $600 million a year on international assistance for family planning and reproductive health programmes, making it possible for 27 million women and couples to access contraceptive services and supplies.

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