Target: Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma
Goal: Applaud the legalization of abortion in Sierra Leone, marking progress for women’s rights.
Legalize abortion was passed by the parliament in Sierra Leone recently and is expected to be signed by President Ernest Koroma. This landmark bill called The Safe Abortion Act would allow no restrictions on abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and girls under age 18 will need the permission of a guardian.
The passing of the bill comes after years of outrage at Sierra Leone’s maternal health crisis. The country has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world, with 21 percent of reproductive-age women dying from childbirth last year. A recent study found that 10 percent of maternal deaths in the country’s hospitals were because of unsafe, illegal abortions.
Additionally, women would often face a total lack of post-natal healthcare to assist them in caring for themselves and their child. Pregnant girls were barred from attending school. Access to legal and safe abortion will not only help women’s health, but their economic and social standing.
Applaud this historic bill that supports women’s right to bodily autonomy and good health.
Dear President Koroma,
You are expected to pass a bill into law that would legalize abortion with no restrictions during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Maternal healthcare has been a controversial issue for your country in recent years, and this new bill will help to combat that by helping women.
Too many women have died from childbirth and unsafe abortion, so now is the time to say, “no more.” This bill says just that, and helps women by giving them the choice to make a decision for themselves and their body. I applaud the passing of this historic bill and hope you will pass more like this to empower women in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andriyko UA