The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) has just announced that in a stunning victory for reproductive rights, Nepal’s government has ordered the Nepali Government to enact a comprehensive law guaranteeing that all women have safe and affordable access to abortion services. In 2007, CRR filed a case against the Nepali Government with the Forum for Women, Law, and Development and numerous Nepali women’s and rights groups signed on.
Although the law was liberalized in 2002, innumerable obstacles have kept Nepal’s poorest and rural-dwelling women from accessing safe services. Many women still don’t know abortion is now legal, or have any clue where to go to get safe and affordable services. The rate of maternal death and injury in Nepal are still extremely high, and unsafe abortion is a major contributor to this.
So the Supreme Court has laid down the law, declaring to the whole world that reproductive rights laws on the books aren’t enough — access and the recognition of rights need to happen in real life. Here’s to the improved quality of life for women in Nepal.