STOP PRESS: President Ernest Bai Koroma refuses to sign the abortion bill passed by Parliament in December
6-7 January 2015
This decision followed a meeting with the Inter Religious Council, which has been opposed to the new law. Anti-abortion lobbying against the law from various quarters seems to have been strong, including from a US Congressman. Koroma said the bill would be sent back to the parliament for reconsideration.
According to the Sierra Leone Telegraph , this decision will prove very unpopular for parliamentarians, whose continuous support Koroma is going to need to see his way through the rest of his time in office. To rock the boat now, the article says, will only serve as “a fly in the ointment”.
The newly sworn-in Attorney General, Joseph Kamara, the article says, will find the bill on his desk on his first day in office. He “may therefore need to use his strong legal background and experience to help soften the Bill to get it through parliament a second time, with major amendments in order to keep both parliament and religious groups happy. He will be walking a tightrope.”