December 22, 2014 — Mozambique on Thursday passed a law that eases abortion restrictions, allowing women access to the procedure under certain circumstances, AFP/Yahoo! News reports.
Previously, abortion was illegal in the country except to save a woman's life or preserve her health. Clandestine abortions are a major contributor to maternal deaths in the country, according to AFP/Yahoo! News.
According to the AFP/Yahoo! News, abortion will be permitted through 12 weeks of pregnancy in certain circumstances, with the limit extended to 16 weeks in cases of rape.
The revised law also states that abortions may only be performed by qualified practitioners at designated health centers.
According to AFP/Yahoo! News, reproductive rights advocates have been heavily lobbying to liberalize Mozambique's abortion laws for a decade. Many other African nations have restrictive abortion laws, leading women to turn to unsafe, clandestine procedures (AFP/Yahoo! News, 12/19).