Join and support our sisters in Sierra Leone at this critical time by Signing-On this Online Petition.

The parliament of Sierra Leone passed the Safe Abortion Bill sometime in December 2015 and it was forwarded to the President for signature but he declined to sign it.

Arise and stand in solidarity for women’s human rights by signing this online petition, aimed at appealing to members of parliament to maintain their recent positive and progressive vote in favour of the Safe Abortion Bill and to quickly pass the bill into law.

Deadline for the Sign-on on the online petition: 31st January 2016

13th January, 2016

To:     Hon. Sheku Badara Basiru Dumbuya, Speaker
Hon. Chernor M. Bah, Deputy Speaker
Hon  Ibrahim Bundu, Majority Leader
Hon. Leonard S. Fofanah, Deputy Majority Leader
Hon. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader
Hon. AnsumanaJaiaKaikai, Deputy Minority Leader
Hon. Claude D.M Kamanda, Chief Whip
Hon. Sidie Tunis, Minority Chief Whip
Hon. Hannah B. Songowa, Deputy Chief Whip
Hon. Jusufu B. Mansaray, Deputy Minority Whip
Hon. Ibrahim S.Sesay, Clerk of Parliament

We write today to commend the Parliament of Sierra Leone for its recent vote in favour of the Safe Abortion Bill and urge quick passage of the bill into law. This landmark bill allows us to envision the elimination of unsafe abortion in Sierra Leone and the many deaths and injuries it causes. With the passage of the Safe Abortion Act 2015, Sierra Leone will join with other African nations as leaders taking the most direct and effective action possible to reduce maternal mortality and affirm women’s human rights.

We in Africa should be ashamed that our women continue to die of unsafe abortion when safe abortion is such a clear and attainable solution. Yet almost all 47,000 women who die every year from unsafe abortion are in developing countries, with African women at the highest risk. Without access to safe and legal abortion, women become desperate and procure clandestine procedures in unsafe settings. The epidemic of unsafe abortion has left women injured or disabled. It has resulted in families being broken by the loss of the mother.

We applaud the Parliament of Sierra Leone for saying definitively through the Safe Abortion Bill that it cannot sit by while women die needlessly from unsafe abortion.Though opposed by a few loud voices, members of Parliament have had the courage to stand firm in protecting the people of Sierra Leone from harm. We urge you to sign the bill into law and begin saving lives now.

With the passage of this legislation, the Parliament will also be affirming its commitment to the Protocol to the Africa Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (2003), commonly known as the Maputo Protocol. Article 3 of the protocol affirms women’s rights to dignity, life, integrity and security of person and Article 14 protects the reproductive rights of women including the right to safe abortion. Sierra Leone ratified the Maputo Protocol this past summer, and this law ensures that Sierra Leone will meet and lead in its commitments to African nations and peoples.

Again, we celebrate and congratulate the Parliament for its strong and clear steps to protect women’s health and dignity.  Sierra Leone stands as a champion within Africa for women’s health and rights and a model for numerous other countries that are unwilling to take this bold and important step for what is good and right.

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Petition prepared by:-

Ipas Africa Alliance: Contact: Lucy Lugalia: guthriee@ipas.org

SOAWR – Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition

FEMNET – African Women’s Development and Communication Network: Contact: Dinah Musindarwezo: director@femnet.or.ke and Hellen Malinga Apila: advocacy@femnet.or.ke

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