Monday, December 14, 2015
Reuters (Dec. 10, 2015): Sierra Leone legalizes abortion, will save 'countless lives' - activists, by Kiernan Guilbert:
Sierra Leone has passed the Safe Abortion Act which legalizes abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After 12 weeks, abortion will only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or risk to the health of fetus or mother. The Act, which has yet to be signed by President Ernest Bai Koroma, will replace an 1861 law which banned abortion except when necessary to save the pregnant woman's life. According to the article:
Around one in 70 women in Sierra Leone dies during or shortly after childbirth, the World Health Organization said.
One-third of these deaths are the result of complications from unsafe abortions, often carried out by untrained people in unhygienic and dangerous surroundings, campaigners say.
The Act was passed five months after Sierra Leone ratified the Maputo Protocol, the African regional women's human rights treaty. The law is expected to have a significant impact on victims of sexual violence and rape.