Target: President Macky Sall
Goal: Align archaic Senegalese abortions laws with the African charter, to better promote women’s rights
In Senegal, a ten-year-old girl was forced to keep a pregnancy with twins after her neighbor raped her. Human rights groups and lawyers tried to secure a legal route for the girl to have an abortion but failed. Senegal’s laws date back to the time of Napoleon, and are some of the strictest and harshest laws on abortion. Sign this petition and demand the Senegalese president align their abortion laws with the African charter.
Senegal used to be a French colony and surprisingly, the nation is still using a Napoleonic law on abortion, which threatens women and children. Unfortunately for the ten-year-old girl, she will have to go through with the pregnancy and deal with raising a child and the consequences of childbirth. In a similar case, a nine-year-old girl was raped and became pregnant. The country’s women lawyers’ association paid for the girl’s caesarean, but died a few months after the baby was born due to complications.
For a womn to have a legal right to abortion, they must have three doctors certify that the woman will die unless she aborts immediately. Unfortunately for women who come from poor backgrounds, it is already difficult to see one doctor. It leaves the woman to perform their own abortions, resulting in injury and sometimes death. Hundreds of women die from these abortions every year, and if they are caught by the government, these women can spend up to ten years in prison.
Lawyers in Senegal are pushing the government to align their laws with that of the African charter. The charter allows a legal medical abortion if the woman was pregnant through rape or incest, and if the woman’s physical and mental health is threatened. In the case of the ten-year-old girl, under the charter she would be able to obtain an abortion.
You can help the plight of women and young girls in Senegal if you sign the petition below. The rights of women and children are vastly ignored in this country. Men are allowed multiple wives, and wives left to fend for themselves have little protection or support. Help grant these women their much needed protection.
Dear President Macky Sall,
I am writing to you about the plight of a ten-year-old girl who was raped by her neighbor and is pregnant with twins. She is now five months pregnant and it is highly likely that she will undergo complications with this pregnancy. This young girl shouldn’t have to go through the physical and mental trauma of childbirth at so young an age and I am writing to demand that your country’s laws align themselves with the African charter.
It has become apparent to me that very little laws exist to protect women in your country. Your archaic laws on abortion threaten women and children and must be updated. Women who have been raped or if their mental and physical health is threatened through the pregnancy should have every right to an abortion. I implore you to change the laws in your country to protect the women.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hobo Mama via flickr