Abortion in Indonesia

This edition of ICLU discusses the regulation in Indonesia regarding Abortion in the new Criminal Code, Law No. 1 of 2023, and other domestic laws. Plenty of the abortion situation in Indonesia is not systematically reported because of the abortion policy in Indonesia, which still regulates all aspects of abortion from an act, information until service with punishment approach.

Before the new Criminal Code, the permissibility of abortion was only limited to conditions, namely, pregnancy as a result of rape with a limited gestational age of only eight weeks and a detected medical emergency indication from an early age of the pregnancy, either threatening the life of the mother and/or fetus, which suffering from severe genetic disease and/or congenital disorder, or those who cannot repair, making it difficult for the baby to live outside the womb.

However, for those two limited conditions, a study from ICJR in 2020 found that there was no safe abortion service to be accessed by the public. One of the obstacles is because of limited regulations, which the gestational age limit for conducting an abortion for rape victims is eight weeks, so it is impossible to build a health system in providing services.

In the New Criminal Code discussion, before it was passed, there was a policy proposal to increase the gestational age limit to allow conducting an abortion, not only for rape victims but for sexual violence to become 120 days. It was included in the Draft of New Criminal Code (RKUHP) November 2019 version after a series of protests back in September 2019 about the draconian character of the draft, one of which related to women’s rights. But then, some developments occurred, and until it passed, the novelty in the Criminal Code relates to abortion for victims of sexual violence becomes for the gestational age limit of 14 weeks and pregnancy for medical emergency indications, as stated in Article 463 paragraph (2) Criminal Code. This article will discuss whether these developments are sufficient for fulfilling the rights of victims of sexual violence in Indonesia.

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