The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Woman Held Over Abortion

The Police in Rulindo District have arrested a 30-year-old woman suspected to have procured own abortion.

'Any person who carries out self-induced abortion shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one year to three years and a fine of Rwf50, 000 to Rwf200,000.'

The resident of Gasekabuye Cell, Cyinzuzi Sector, is alleged to have terminated a seven-month-old faetus, apparently after the would-be father denied responsibility of the pregnancy.

The suspect is currently detained at Murambi Police Station.

Her arrest follows a tip-off from area residents, who notified local authorities in the area. On Monday, at about 1:00pm, an area resident called the sector Executive Secretary, after they saw the suspect in normal conditions and without the pregnancy, police said.

The woman, a mother of two, was later arrested after the Executive Sectary notified Police. Her children have different fathers, sources told this newspaper.

According to authorities, the woman admitted procuring abortion, but said she had no means of taking care of the pregnancy since the person responsible had abandoned her.

Under Article 162 of the new Penal Code, "Any person who carries out self-induced abortion shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of one year to three years and a fine of Rwf50, 000 to Rwf200,000."

However, Supt. Johnson Ntaganda, the Rulindo District Police Commander, said cases of abortion are few in the district, since authorities have in place measures to "deal with even the few cases."

The police officer said poverty should not be a justification for terminating pregnancy since one conceives when she is well aware of her situation.

He called for increased 'Neighbourhood Watch' and sharing information on people involved in criminal acts.

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