Did you know that, it constitute an offence of abortion for any person to use any drug or harmful thing or any other means with the intention of terminating pregnancy with or without the woman’s consent. Here, it’s immaterial whether or not the woman is pregnant.
ABORTION, contrary to Section 58 of the Criminal Offences Act of Ghana.
Abortion is the act of prematurely terminating a pregnancy by expulsion or removal of conception from the womb of a woman before the period of gestation is over. Technically, the act of terminating a pregnancy.
As it was read earlier, you being pregnant or not becomes irrelevant so far as there was an intent and action to commit the abortion.
A person found guilty of an offence of Abortion can be punished by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
However, there are circumstances under which abortion becomes legal meaning, instances where abortion is permitted by law.
Let’s get to know the instances where abortion is legal:
- When the pregnancy is the result of rape, defilement of a female ‘idiot’ or incest, and the victim or her next of kin or the person standing in ‘loco parentis’ requests for the abortion.
- Where the pregnancy will invoke a risk in the life of the pregnant woman, or injury to her physical or mental health, and she consents to the abortion.
- Where there is substantial risk that, if the child is born, it would suffer from, or later develop a serious physical abnormality or disease.
It is worth mentioning that, the presence of any of the foregoing conditions alone is not enough to legalise abortion they have to do with who carries out the abortion and where it is carried out.
WHO IS PERMITTED TO CAUSE ABORTION?
Abortion can only be legal when it is caused by a registered medical practitioner specializing in gynaecology, or any other related medical practitioner.
WHERE SHOULD ABORTION BE CARRIED OUT?
The medical practitioner permitted by law to carry out abortion must do so either at a
- Government Hospital, or
- A private hospital registered under the Private Hospitals and Maternity Homes Act ( Act 9/58 ), or
- At a place approved for the purpose in a Legislative Instrument (L.I) by the Minister of Justice.
Let’s take some example:
Mabel, a 20 year old lady, misses her period and concludes that she is pregnant. She breaks the news to her boyfriend, Drew.
Drew is unhappy with the development and therefore provides Mabel with a herbal concoction meant to abort the pregnancy.
Mabel accepts and drinks the substance in order to abort the pregnancy.
Both Mabel and Drew have committed abortion. The offence would still hold even if it turns out to be that Mabel was, at that time, not pregnant.
Thanks for your time. Will be warmly answering subsequent questions.