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Civil society defends abortion law

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Civil society defends abortion law


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She opined that although the inter-religious council is against the bill, some religious organizations and people of faith do support women’s reproductive rights. Madam Fofanah revealed that they support a bill that decriminalizes abortion and called on parliament to uphold the safe abortion act and support strong legal sanctions against anyone practicing unsafe abortion in a negligent way which harms women, noting that the act focuses to regulate safe abortion and the penalties it contains for anyone who would violate these provisions.

A representative for IPAS, Mrs Omo licsk, stated that there were proper consultations with different people from all works of life with training and dialogue organized with journalists, university students, and societal heads (SOWEIS), the Sierra Leone Police, different women’s groups and thorough engagement with parliament. She emphasizes that on the 1st December, 2015, the minister of social welfare, gender and children’s affairs Alhaji Moijue Kaikai gave his consent to the bill and that all steps were   dully followed by them in order for the bill to be enacted.

In order  to justify the high level of unsafe abortion that is carried  out in the country, Marie Stopes representative, Dr. Taylor, explained  the illegal methods that have been used by quack  and native doctors, using sticks, wires, knives, and anti biotics administered  in very high dosages. He noted that the health system is equipped for abortion as the skills that have been used by nurses, midwives and community health workers to treat complication in women can also be used for an abortion.

 A female representative, Nansu Fofanah explains how she was pregnated by a religious leader when she was a teenager, and how she went through surgical means to terminate her unwanted pregnancy. She however called for women to be given their reproductive rights. , Ibrahim Tommy from the centre for accountability and the rule of law (CARL) and Chernor Bah both stated that it about responding to a practical problem and that public policy should be based on science in order to save lives, respectively.

The majority leader of parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu  reminded the audience on the position of the Inter-religious Council as regards the safe abortion bill, as he further emphasized that as law makers their voices have spoken but in a democracy the highest voices will win.

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