24 February 2017

Angola: Minister Plays Down Controversy Over Abortion

Luanda — The Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Rui Mangueira, said on Thursday in Luanda that the issue of abortion in the bill that approves the Penal Code should not be fracturing because the text guarantees, in fact, the right to life.

Speaking to the press, on the sidelines of the 4th Extraordinary Plenary Meeting of the 5th Legislative Session of the 3rd Legislature, the minister said that the big issues that could be considered fracturing were taken into consideration.

He said that the bill, generally approved by MPs, meets the great ideas and opinions of citizens.

According to the official, abortion is banned in Angola and constitutes a crime punishable by a sentence of 4 to 10 years in prison.

"There are causes for exclusion of illegality and here we have to consider the interests at stake, when the mother's life is at risk, or some other situation related to the physical integrity of the mother herself", he said.

Rui Mangueira understated the suggestion of the UNITA Parliamentary Group to hold a referendum to discuss the issue of abortion.

"I do not know if such a question deserves a referendum. During the consultations, most people have turned against the decriminalization of abortion and that is what is included in the proposal", he said.

On the other hand, the minister said that he was satisfied with Parliament, because there was unanimous support from the MPs regarding the broad guidelines of this code.

The new Bill, a legislative initiative of the President of the Republic, establishes three months imprisonment as a minimum sentence and 25 years as a maximum penalty.

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