The United Nations again urges Senegal to decriminalize abortion

In its report of March 2016 on Senegal, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed its concern about the criminalization of abortion and the fact that this procedure is authorized only in very few conditions, thus obliging young girls to endanger their life by obtaining abortions illegally. The Committee of experts recommends that the Senegalese authorities amend the Penal Code and the Code of Medical Ethics in order to decriminalize abortion under all circumstances, in the interest of pregnant adolescents.

Prior to a review of the situation in Senegal, FIDH had submitted a report entitled “I don’t want this child, I want to go to school” to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In the FIDH report, which documents violations of women’s and girls’ rights due to the ban on abortion in Senegal, FIDH and its member organisations urge the authorities to decriminalize abortion and to adopt the reform put forth by the Task Force in favour of medical abortion without delay. At present, the Senegalese law only authorizes abortion if a pregnant woman’s life is in serious danger. Since the publication of the FIDH report at the end of 2014, the Committee on the Rights of the Child is the third UN body to recommend that Senegal amend its legislation on abortion. FIDH, and the Task Force on medical abortion are actively advocating for the Senegalese authorities to respect the sexual and reproductive rights of women.

Read more