The Maputo Protocol—adopted in 2003—serves as one of Africa’s first comprehensive legal frameworks for the protection of the rights and freedoms of women and girls. Despite progress, challenges remain in its implementation, as nine out of 10 African women of reproductive age live in countries with restrictive abortion laws.

PRB developed this factsheet as a tool for policymakers, medical and legal experts, and advocates to communicate about the benefits of the Protocol, as part of the SAFE ENGAGE Rapid Response mechanism. The factsheet focuses on Article 14 of the Maputo Protocol, which highlights the health and “reproductive rights of women by authorizing medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where the continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the foetus.”  The factsheet uses compelling data and visuals to explain how the Maputo Protocol can reduce unsafe abortion.

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