Sierra Leone’s women share mixed views about abortion legalization

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Adama Kamara, 43, Trader on Rawdon Street

“Religiously it is against the will of God, this is a religious state. How can the Government legalize such a thing. We are practicing the system of the West too much and such a thing like this help children to be involve in sex now without any fear of their parent. This is not in line with the practice of the will of God.”

Edleen Elba, 37, Partner at JobSearchsl.com 

“Women have a right to freedom of choice. Abortions were being done illegally by untrained people in unsafe conditions. It was necessary to legalize it to reduce the health risks and for the procedure to be regulated. Spreading the preventive message should be primary though, to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.”

Fatima Gabbisi, 33, Nurse at 34 Millitary Hospital

“It is a good act passed by parliament. I hope the ladies treat it seriously and stop taking tabs that lead to excessive bleeding. But I am a christian and abortion is not good in the eyes of the Lord. Still let us encourage the girls to do it safely with professional doctors.”

Sarah Fogbawa, 48, Security Officer, Sierra Leone Postal Service

“I never knew about this, radio said nothing about the legalization of abortion. I have my radio with me everyday when working. On my own side of it, I thank parliament in passing the act. When I was in Lunsar attending school I became pregnant and the doctor by then was Father Francis. Off-course you will know I will not go to Father Francis for abortion, and my intention was to continue school, the pregnancy was a mistake. I ran to Freetown with my friend. I drank all sorts of medicine even drank mauve medicine but the pregnancy refused to waste. That was what led to the end of my education. I thank Government for legalizing it now girls can remove pregnancy they didn’t want.”

Mama Johnson, 57

”E bete way Papa Ernest put this law, because so so street pikin na the country. Pikin dae born pikin na the country, so you Kombra way nor able control you pikin way e get bele you go run go hospital en pull then nor forget oh ge am injection wantem. “