The law on abortion in Senegal is both restrictive and unclear. Although the country’s criminal code completely prohibits pregnancy termination, the Code of Medical Ethics allows an abortion if three doctors agree that the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life.
In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman’s life; approval for inducing “therapeutic abortions” must come from three doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts. Giving advice on where or how to access abortion is a criminal offence. There were an estimated 51,500 abortions in Senegal in 2012, and virtually all of them were clandestine and unsafe, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Seventy-three per cent of … Continued
Newborn infants found dead, often in public places, are most of the time the outcome of rape, incest or adultery. In February, the body of a three-day-old baby was found in a plastic bag under a truck in the parking lot of the Stadium Léopold-Sédar-Senghor in Dakar. In the same month, another was found in a market gardeners’ stall. In the past two years, 14 similar cases have been identified in garbage dumps, and … Continued
Reproductive governance operates through calculating demographic statistics that offer selective truths about reproductive practices, bodies, and subjectivities. Post-abortion care, a global reproductive health intervention, represents a transnational reproductive regime that establishes motherhood as women’s primary legitimate reproductive status.
The Association of Women Jurists of Senegal continue to put pressure on the government for abortion to be legalised following rape and incest. Some 250 cases of rape of girls aged 13 to 18 years which led to a pregnancy in 52 cases were reported in the first 11 months of 2016 in Senegal. Of those, at least 25 were cases of incest followed by pregnancy, yet abortion on the grounds of rape and incest is not permitted.
Mainstream media sources have started a frank and nationwide conversation on the Maputo protocol and abortion. Le Populaire and many other sources have described the abortion rates as “alarming”. However, the media reports also seem to have picked up on the workshop’s main message – that given the reality of clandestine abortions, the country should legalise the practice.
L’autorisation de l’avortement médicalisé en cas de viol et d’inceste est toujours demandée par des organisations de la société civile sénégalaise. L’application de cette mesure permettra aux femmes violées de pouvoir se débarrasser de leur grossesse, sans courir certains risques.
(Legalisation of abortion in cases of rape and incest has long been called for by civil society organisations in Senegal because it would free women from a forced pregnancy without risk.)
Class affects women’s access to safe abortions: the stories of Rosa and Noziziwe.
She made this plea at a recent showing of her documentary film Congo, Un Médecin Pour Sauver les Femmes – a film that traces the work of Doctor Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gyneacologist and human rights activist who carries out restorative surgery.