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Sri Lankan Law Forum » Criminal Law Forum » Abortion Law in Sri Lanka

Abortion Law in Sri Lanka

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1 Abortion Law in Sri Lanka on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:16 am

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Abortion is only permitted to save the life of the woman.

Abortion Law
Abortion is generally illegal in Sri Lanka under the Penal Code of 1883 and provides that anyone voluntarily causing a woman with child to miscarry is subject to up to three years’ imprisonment and/or payment of a fine, unless the miscarriage was caused in good faith in order to save the life of the mother. A woman who induces her own miscarriage is subject to the same penalties. The Penal Code contains no procedural requirements for the legal termination of pregnancy, except that the pregnant woman’s consent is necessary. There are no provisions specifying the qualifications of those authorized to perform abortions nor the type of facilities in which the procedures are to be performed. A rural survey suggests that 54 abortions per 1,000 population are performed each year.

SRI LANKA.  Penal Code.

303.  Whoever voluntarily causes a woman with child to miscarry shall, if such miscarriage not be caused in could faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both; and if the woman be quick with child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation:  A woman who causes herself to miscarry is within the meaning of this section.

304.  Whoever commits the offence defined in the last preceding section without the consent of the woman, whether she is quick with child or not, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to fine.

305.  Whoever, with intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman with child, does any act which causes the death of such woman shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation:  It is not essential to this offence that the offender should know that the act is likely to cause death.

306.  Whoever, before the birth of any child, does any act with the intention thereby preventing that child from being born alive, or causing it to die after its birth, if such act not be caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

307.  Whoever, does any act under such circumstances that if he thereby caused death he would be guilty of culpable homicide, and does by such act cause the death of a quick unborn child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Illustration:  A, knowing that he is likely to cause the death of a pregnant woman does an act which, if it caused the death of the pregnant woman, would amount to culpable homicide.  The woman is injured, but does not die; but the death of an unborn quick child with which she is pregnant is thereby caused.  A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.

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