Africa: Dobbs V Jackson Judgment in U.S. May Stifle Women’s Reproductive Rights As Far Afield As Africa

Recognition of a right to abortion is often the first step towards creating an enabling environment for women to access abortions but in some countries in east and southern Africa, argue the authors, the outcome of the US case may put brakes on little sparks of hope that emerged in recent years.

The right to abortion has been catapulted into the spotlight by Dobbs v Jackson, the landmark judgment of the United States (US) Supreme Court that overturned Roe v Wade — a 50-year-old precedent of that court that first recognised the constitutional right to abortion in the US.

The recognition of a right to abortion can often be the first step toward creating an enabling environment for women and girls to access abortions but in some countries in eastern and southern Africa, women and girls continue to face barriers to accessing abortion.

With the US Supreme Court finding that the right to liberty in the US Constitution did not include the right to abortion, we consider the legal protection of the right to abortion in countries closer to home. South Africa with arguably the most liberal abortion rights on the continent where access is nevertheless still a problem, Namibia…

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