Grounds on which abortion is permitted:
To save the life of the woman Yes
To preserve physical health Yes
To preserve mental health Yes
Rape or incest No
Foetal impairment No
Economic or social reasons No
Available on request No
The concept of health within the context of the abortion provisions in the Penal Code of Guinea is not
clearly defined. The written consent of two other physicians, in addition to the physician performing the
abortion, is required. One of these physicians must be chosen from the court list of experts.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CONTEXT
Government view on fertility level: Too high
Government intervention concerning fertility level: To lower
Government policy on contraceptive use: Direct support provided
Percentage of currently married women using
modern contraception (aged 15-49, 1992/93): 1
Total fertility rate (1995-2000): 5.5
Age-specific fertility rate (per 1,000 women aged 15-19, 1995-2000): 193
Government has expressed particular concern about:
Morbidity and mortality resulting from induced abortion Yes
Complications of childbearing and childbirth Yes
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live births, 1990):
National 1 600
Western Africa 1 020
Female life expectancy at birth (1995-2000): 47.0
Source: The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. For additional sources, see list of references. 37
Although Guinea was the first French colony to refuse, in 1958, to be integrated into the French African Community and to choose instead immediate independence, the country inherited the legal framework of the former colonial authority, including the colonial abortion law.
Abortion legislation is based on article 317 of the Napoleonic Code of 1810, amended by the French Law-decree of 1939, and by legislation enacted after independence, Decree No. 313/PRG of 30 October 1965 (the Criminal Code). Abortion is legal only if performed to preserve the life or health of the pregnant woman.
Any person inducing or attempting to induce an illegal abortion on a pregnant or supposedly pregnant woman is liable to imprisonment for a term ranging from one to two years and/or payment of a fine of CFAF 4,000-40,000. If the person regularly performs abortions, the penalty is increased to from one to three years’ imprisonment and/or payment of a fine of CFAF 4,000-60,000. Medical or paramedical personnel can, in addition, be suspended from the exercise of their profession for a period ranging from a minimum of five years to life. A woman inducing or attempting to induce her own miscarriage or allowing someone to do so is liable to imprisonment for a term ranging from 16 days to a year and payment of a fine of from CFAF 3,600-15,000.
Induced abortion by means of herbal preparations has been noted among unmarried women. Illegal abortion is believed to be one of the causes of high maternal mortality ratios, although little information is available. A survey, conducted at Conakry in 1990 and excluding non-resident women, estimated the maternal mortality ratio at 564 per 100,000 live births. About 25 per cent of those deaths were caused by complications arising from abortion. Of the women who died at a medical facility following an abortion, 80 per cent had had an induced abortion.
Although the Government of Guinea considers the fertility rate to be too high, a strong pronatalist sentiment still exists among certain segments of the population. Constraints to family planning include male resistance in some traditional communities. Moreover, because of a poor communications infrastructure, some remote communities have limited access to family planning services. Contraceptive prevalence is still low in Guinea. According to the 1992 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), only 30 per cent of women of reproductive age in urban areas knew of at least one modern family planning method. Fewer than 100 out of 378 health centres in the country offer family planning services. In its reply to the Eighth Inquiry, the Government reported that it hoped to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate (all methods) from 2 per cent to 10 per cent by 2010.
Although a Population and Development Unit was established in 1984 within the Ministry of Planning, and a National Population Policy was promulgated in 1992, the Ministry of Health is currently drafting guidelines for the integration of family planning in maternal health services.
Source: The Population Policy Data Bank maintained by the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. For additional sources, see list of references. 38