A 10-year-old girl Senegalese girl who was raped by her neighbor and pregnant with twins has lost the fight to get an abortion due to Senegal’s abortion laws.
“She is going to have to go through with the pregnancy,” said Fatou Kine Camara, president of the Senegalese women lawyers’ association, which has been campaigning to the authorities for her to have a legal abortion.
Senegal, in west Africa, has one of the toughest abortion laws on the continent. Woman found guilty of having an abortion face 10 years in jail, reports The Guardian. Forty women were held in custody in Senegal in the first six months of 2012, linked to abortion charges. Not only are the women punished, but the doctors who help them can lose their license.
“For a termination to be legal in Senegal, three doctors have to certify that the woman will die unless she aborts immediately. Poor people in Senegal are lucky if they see one doctor in their lifetime, let alone three,” Camara said.
“A single medical certificate costs 10,000 CFA francs ($20), which is prohibitive. We had a previous case of a raped nine-year-old who had to go through with her pregnancy. We paid for her caesarean but she died a few months after the baby was born, presumably because the physical trauma of childbirth was too great.”