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To Keep or Repeal Namibia’s Law on Abortion?

Under Namibia’s Abortion and Sterilization Act of 1975, abortions are illegal for women and girls, except in cases involving incest, rape, or where the mother or child’s life is in danger. The southern African nation has recently seen protests from both anti-abortion activists and abortion rights advocates. Thousands of Namibians have signed a petition calling for a reform of the abortion law. The petition, posted in June by Beauty Boois, a Namibian feminist and psychologist, currently has more than 61,000 signatures in support of legalizing abortion. The petition was signed by multiple organizations and womens’ groups including Out-Right Namibia, the Young Feminist Movement of Namibia, and Power Pad Girls. Some Namibians in the diaspora also joined the protests online, showing solidarity by using the hashtag #LegalizeAbortionNA. Other African countries, including Mozambique and Ethiopia, have relaxed abortion laws that allow girls under the age of 18 to seek abortions, and pregnancies of up to 16 weeks to be terminated