Abortion is legal in Uganda when done to preserve the life or mental or physical health of the pregnant woman, understood to include cases of sexual violence. However, unclear and often confusing abortion laws and policies mean that many people are not aware that abortions can be legally obtained in these circumstances. As a result, many women turn to unsafe, clandestine abortion with devastating consequences. Twenty six percent of maternal deaths in Uganda are attributed to unsafe abortion.
Based on the Center for Reproductive Rights’ comprehensive research on this issue, it is clear that Uganda’s laws and policies are more expansive than most believe, and the current legal and policy framework offers ample opportunities for increasing access to safe abortion services.