For thousands of women around the world, the criminalization of reproductive health services for women and girls remains a leading cause of maternal deaths. In Malawi, a woman can be jailed for up to seven years for terminating her pregnancy—even if her pregnancy was a result of sexual abuse or would harm her health, or in cases of a lethal fetal abnormality. The Malawi criminal law—one of the strictest in the world—leads to the deaths of desperate women and girls who use unsafe and clandestine measures to terminate a pregnancy, such as drinking poison or using bicycle spokes or other sharp objects.

The International Women’s Human Rights Clinic has worked with Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Educational Trust—Malawi (WLSA Malawi) to fight for women’s and girls’ rights to life, health, privacy, equality, and dignity. Learn more about the harms of Malawi’s complete abortion criminalization and women’s rights under international human rights treaties by watching the Clinic’s webinar on this subject and reading the human rights report and proposed legislative bill for changing the law on termination of pregnancy.

Report & Proposed Legislation



Why Abortion Criminalisation Results in Women and Girls Dying and Suffering Serious Health Injuries