Abortion Laws in Democratic Republic Of Congo (DRC)


Is abortion legal in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Under the Congolese Penal Code (Book II, Articles 165 and 166), abortion is generally prohibited in the DRC.

  • Article 165: ‘Whoever, by food, drink, medicine, violence or any other means aborts a woman, will be punished by a penal servitude from five to fifteen years.
  • Article 166: ”A woman who voluntarily has an abortion, will be punished by a penal servitude of five to ten years.’

The Child Protection Act of 10 January 2009 also punishes abortion under Article 145.

  • Article 145: ‘Any pregnant woman who has caused an abortion will be punished by a penalty of two to five years.’

Although the penal code expressly prohibits the provision of abortion, there remains an exception introduced by Article 32 of the 1970 Ordinance Law, which states that abortion is allowed when the pregnancy puts the health of the mother in danger. However, this exception is rarely complied with by medical practitioners and oftentimes women resort to clandestine and unsafe means to procure an abortion.

The DRC has ratified, without reservation, the Maputo Protocol , which allows for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and maternal mental health problems. The DRC is a pure monist state, meaning that international laws and treaties are immediately incorporated into national law and dictates that any national law (Penal Code) that contradicts international law or treaties (Maputo Protocol) is null and void. Therefore, in principle, the Maputo protocol should invalidate the national penal code. However, this has not been the case.

The ratification of the Maputo Protocol and the principle of monism has been the basis of advocacy by the DRC women’s movement, which calls for the legalization of abortion and/or the extension of therapeutic abortion to the cases provided for in the Maputo protocol.

In 2015, a group of women’s organizations under the umbrella organization CAFCO drafted a law on reproductive health that transformed into law all initiatives and efforts to meet the reproductive needs of the Congolese population, including abortion and family planning. This bill repeats the terms of the Maputo Protocol and intends to extend therapeutic abortion to cases of sexual assault, rape, incest and when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s mental and physical health or the life of her mother or the fetus.


What are the different abortion services available in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

  • Post-Abortion Care (PAC)
    When abortion is illegal, post-abortion care is a public health priority. Many international non-profit organizations working in the health field support the local health administration in setting up post-abortion services (training of service providers, provision of medical inputs, etc.).
  • Medical Abortion (MA) – Abortion pill (Misoprostol)
    Medical abortion is illegal and not performed in hospitals or by trained caregivers.
    However, in cases where health care workers offer MA illegally, they do so using Misoprostol, which is available locally and is on the list of essential medicines for postpartum care. Mifepristone is not available locally.
  • Surgical Abortion
    This service is available in all hospitals where providers have received training for therapeutic abortions. However, most providers use “Dilation and Curettage” as they lack supplies of MVA syringes, which are recommended by the WHO.

What do abortion pills look like in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

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Who can I contact for additional abortion information and support in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

  • Hotline: 136
    WhatsApp: 00243891897777.
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BatelaLobiNaYo, https://www.facebook.com/okcondomsrdc/, https://www.facebook.com/dkt.rdc
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/dkt_rd
    Website: https://dkt-rdc.org/
    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dkt-rd-congo
  • Polycline Et Maternite Aux Bon Soin
    Quartier Abattoir 2 Av. Kimbata 4
    Masina 1 non loin du Marché Olivia/route Petro Congo
    Prix: Moins de 30,000 FC
  • Centre Medical Esperodi
    Av. Marechal 22 Quartier Sans Fil Non Loin De L’arret Tribunal
    Masina 1
    Prix: Moins de 30,000 FC
  • Polyclinique Bongisa Libota
    Quartier Lubumbashi, Ref: Croisement Avenue Gambela / Kasa-Vubu
    Av: Sandoa N°56, Kasa-Vubu
    Prix: Gratuit
  • Polyclinique Bongisa Libota
    Quartier 3 Av. Table Ronde N°38, Ref: Route Kulumba
    Prix: Gratuit
  • Centre De Santé Kitokimosi
    Maison Communale De Selembao
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Rapha
    Avenue Akala N°5 Quartier Nkulu Référence/Air Mabanga-Selembao
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Sainte-Anne
    Avenue Madowamba N°23 Quartier Badiadingi Reference.
    Arret Wenze/Selembao
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Main De Dieu
    Avenue Bosembo N°16 Quartier Ndanu/Kingabwa/Reference Wenze Localité
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Mayamba
    Avenue Lukula N°5 Reference: Kingabwa Point Chaud/Code Ya Mboka
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Amba
    Avenue Kingombe N°116 Quartier Amba, Reference: Avenue De L’école
  • As you have been doing before
    Avenue Luangi N°19, Quartier Libération, Référence: Wenze Ya Bambu, Terrain Lubembo, Kinseso
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Revolution
    Avenue Kitona N°7 Et 8, Quartier Révolution, Référence: Paroisse Saint Thomas, Pont Tordeur/Kinseso
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Caideco
    Avenue Zaba N°58 Quartier Mbanza Lemba, Référence: Église Pp Kin
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Kimbanguiste
    Avenue Lwange N°2 Référence: Lemba Foire, Hopital Kimbanguiste
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Marcello
    Avenue Clinic Medical N°3 Bis Quartier Kemi, R2ference Triangle Campus/Lemba
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Badara/Kimbanseke
    Camp Kabila
    Badara /Kimbanseke
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Lufungula
    Camp Lufungula / Lingwala
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Centre De Sante Camp Kbila
    Camp Kabila/Kimbanseke
    Prix: 20,000 FC
  • Sexual and reproductive health helpine: +221 78 312 26 26 /+221 78 193 93 93 (WhatsApp)
    Toll free number (800 00 96)

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