n South African Journal on Human Rights - Access to safe abortion as a human right in the African region : lessons from emerging jurisprudence of UN treaty-monitoring bodies

Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



Each year, unsafe abortion causes the death of thousands of women, rendering them seriously ill and disabling many more in the African region. Highly restrictive abortion law is a major causative factor. Among United Nations (UN) treaty-monitoring bodies, there is a growing, albeit incremental, recognition of access to safe abortion services as a human right. Against the backdrop of abortion regimes that impede access to safe abortion in the African region, this article takes critical stock of the contribution that UN treaty-monitoring bodies are making towards the development of jurisprudence that conceives access to abortion as a human right. Its main focus is on critically appraising three decisions made by UN treaty-monitoring bodies, namely, ; ; and under Optional Protocols and drawing lessons for the African region.

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