Grounds on which abortion is permitted
To save the life of the woman Yes*
To preserve physical health No
To preserve mental health No
Rape or incest No
Foetal impairment No
Economic or social reasons No
Available on request No
A therapeutic abortion requires the woman's consent and consultation with medical professionals. The abortion must be performed within the first trimester.
* The abortion law does not expressly allow abortions to be performed to save the life of the woman, but the general principles of criminal legislation allow abortions to be performed for this reason on the ground of necessity.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CONTEXT
Government view of fertility level: Too high
Government intervention concerning fertility level: No intervention
Government policy on contraceptive use: Direct support provided
Percentage of currently married women using
modern contraception (aged 15-49): ..
Total fertility rate (1995-2000): 6.8
Age-specific fertility rate (per 1,000 women aged 15-19; 1995-2000): 25
Government has expressed particular concern about:
Morbidity and mortality resulting from induced abortion Yes
Complications of childbearing and childbirth Yes
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births; 1990):
Middle Africa 950
Female life expectancy at birth (1995-2000): 48
Prior to the independence of Angola in 1975, abortion legislation in this country was the same as that of Portugal, which was restrictive. No stated exceptions existed to the general prohibition on the performance of abortions, although the general principles of criminal legislation allowed abortions to be performed to save the life of a pregnant woman on the grounds of necessity. Transgression of the law was also harshly punished.
After independence, Angola retained this abortion law with its harsh punishments. An abortion performed without the consent of the pregnant woman is punishable by imprisonment for a period of two to eight years; an abortion performed with the consent of the woman is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years. A woman who induces her own abortion is subject to the same penalty. If the abortion was performed to conceal the pregnant woman's dishonour, the maximum penalty is reduced to two years. If the abortion results in the death of the woman or serious injury to her, the penalty is increased by one third.
Despite the restrictive nature of Angola's abortion law, it is reported that under special circumstances, abortions are performed on broad health as well as juridical grounds in government facilities.
Although still experiencing economic and social pressures resulting from its long-lasting civil war and a severely weakened infrastructure, the Government of Angola is committed to providing family planning services as a preventive and health promotion measure. Family planning services were introduced in the Government's maternal and child health services in 1986. They are available free of charge in government clinics.
The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. For additional sources
, see list of references.