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The Price of Senegal's Strict Anti-Abortion Laws


The Price of Senegal's Strict Anti-Abortion Laws
The New Yorker

Supporters of abortion rights blame Senegal's near total ban on abortion for the newborn deaths. "We tell ourselves that if someone had the possibility to get rid of the pregnancy, they would not turn to infanticide," Amy Sakho, a lawyer with the Association of Senegalese Women Lawyers, an organization pushing for the legalization of abortion in cases of rape or incest, told us.Conservative social norms, religion, and the value placed on large families in Senegal and other West African countries have resulted in broad public support for strict legal restrictions on abortion, many of which date back to laws imposed on the region by France and other colonial powers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In Senegal, abortion is illegal in all cases except to save the woman's life; approval for inducing "therapeutic abortions" must come from two doctors, one of whom is independently assigned by the courts.

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