Sierra Leone legalises abortion
WOMEN with unwanted pregnancies in Sierra Leone will no longer have to undergo unsafe abortions after parliament passed a law which activists said yesterday would save countless lives in the country with the world’s highest maternal death rate.
The Safe Abortion Act, passed on Tuesday, made the procedure legal and replaced an 1861 law that banned abortion in the West African nation except when it was necessary to save the mother’s life.
Around one in 70 women in Sierra Leone dies during or shortly after childbirth, the World Health Organization (WHO) 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.
“Practically everyone in Sierra Leone knows someone who has been affected in some way by unsafe abortion – people have lost wives, daughters, and loves ones,” said Val
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