Bangladesh: Abortion Law

 

Abortion Law

Abortion is only permitted to save the life of the woman. 

MR (menstruation regulation) is permitted up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. 

Bangladesh Penal Code (Act XLV, 1860), 6 October 1860.

Section 312.  Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the pregnant woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and, if the woman be quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.  

Explanation—A woman who causes herself to miscarry is within the meaning of this section.  

Section 313.  Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section without the consent of the woman, whether the woman is quick with child or not, shall be punished with transportation for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. 

Section 314.  Whoever, with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child, does any act which causes the death of such woman shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the act is done without the consent of the woman, shall be punished either with transportation for life, or with the punishment above mentioned. 

Explanation—It is not essential to this offence that the offender should know that the act is likely to cause death. 

Section 315.  Whoever, before the birth of any child, does any act with the intention of thereby preventing that child from being born alive or causing it to die after its birth, and does by such act prevent that child from being born alive, or causes it to die after its birth, shall, if the act be not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both. 

Section 316.  Whoever without lawful excuse does any act knowing that he is likely to cause death to a pregnant woman, and does by such act cause the death of a quick unborn child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Misoprostol Availability

Misoprostol is available under the brand names Miclofenac, Ultrafen-plus, Erdon Super, Misoclo, Profenac plus, Misofen, Arthrofen, and Dix Extra.

Facts

  • Annually, more than 12,000 women die due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related causes.
  • The estimated maternal mortality rate (MMR) is about 322 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • About 29% of these deaths are due to hemorrhage.
  • It is estimated that more than 85% of deliveries are conducted at home, and the majority of births are attended by untrained birth attendants, relatives, or neighbors (> 80%) that are not medically trained for delivery. Most of these delivery attendants are unaware of the fatal consequences of any delay in management of obstetric emergencies especially postpartum hemorrhage.  Moreover, emergency obstetric care is neither easily available nor accessible to pregnant women in rural Bangladesh.

 

Information above has been retrieved from the Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability website. For further information, please refer to the center's final report (2011).

References:

Bangladesh penal code: (link)

WHO Maternal Mortality Statistics, link.

The UN country report, link.